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First victory for Pioneers
Coach Fish.jpg
Danny Fish got his first victory at WCHS Friday against Cannon County. The Pioneers beat the visiting Lions 47-33. - photo by Taylor Moore

The celebration was imminent, but the Pioneers were staying silent in the locker room after Friday's game in anticipation of their leader’s arrival. Once Danny Fish cried out “Let’s Go!” and flew into the middle of the room, the Pioneers swarmed their coach in celebration.

It may have taken longer than either Warren County or its first-year coach would have liked, but the Pioneers have their first win in the 2022-23 season now. Behind another big night from Treyton Terry, the Pioneers downed visiting Cannon County 47-35 Friday, breaking a six-game losing streak to begin the season.

Close calls in four of their last five games, including an OT loss and a pair of games where the Pioneers missed chances at the buzzer to win, had left the Pioneers battered, but certainly not broken. As Fish has become fond of saying, his teams “never lose – we win or we learn.” On Friday, those hard-knock lessons paid off.

Terry was the engine of the attack, pouring in 17 points just three nights after finishing with 18 points in Sparta. The junior point guard was pivotal down the stretch, igniting the offense in the fourth after a scoring drought after halftime had allowed Cannon County to make it 32-30 going into the final period.

Terry hit back-to-back floaters to give the Pioneers a 38-30 lead with 5:18 to go, then threw a bullet pass to Alex van Vuuren for a layup with 3:00 left. In the final two minutes, Terry had a layup and a free throw as Warren County built a double-digit lead and was able to dribble out the clock on the Lions.

Van Vuuren also had a strong showing in the team’s second home game, finishing with 13 points and seven rebounds. The junior forward got the Pioneers off to a hot start, splashing two triples in the first quarter when Warren County built an 18-7 advantage.

Offensive struggles through the middle quarters (Warren County had just 14 points in the second and third quarters, including just four in the third) allowed the Lions to slowly chip away, but the Pioneers never surrendered the lead. 

Nate Elrod iced the game with a late layup, capping a night where he had five steals, three rebounds and all four of his points in the final eight minutes.

Warren County (1-6) will be looking to have many more locker-room celebrations now that it has broken the losing streak. The Pioneers are scheduled to be on the road next week to face Stewarts Creek (Tuesday) and Ooltewah (Saturday).

Pioneer scoring – Terry 17, van Vuuren 13, Kaden Rutledge 5, Elrod 4, Carter Simpson 2, Chase Newby 2, Devin Fish 2, Sawyer Seymour 2