Lego sets always come with assorted sizes, knowing any building project needs small and large pieces to make it work. With the Pioneer basketball program under construction and Danny Fish at the helm, Warren County is hoping all the new pieces will fit too.
So far for the freshman boys team, everything seems to be clicking into place perfectly. The young Pioneers started the season by smashing Coffee County by 30 points last week, then made the most of their home debut Monday. Warren County topped Tullahoma 51-39 behind a strong second half.
The Pioneers were down eight, 27-19, early in the third quarter before Corban Felton changed the game with one shot. The team’s talented guard got help from the glass on a 3-pointer, banking in a triple that would ignite a 15-0 run and flip the entire outcome.
Warren County (2-0) dominated from that moment, with Felton and Isaiah Robledo flying up and down the court and the team’s endless supply of big men suffocating the Tullahoma attack.
“They had a rough first half, but came out to a strong start in the second half. We took care of the basketball better – I couldn’t be prouder. They hustled hard,” said coach Holden Baker.
Felton finished with 19 points and Robledo added 18 as the Wildcats couldn’t keep up with the star Pioneer guards. Making all the running and gunning for Warren County possible was a strong defense, led by gigantic back line of the 2-3 zone featuring Chance Whitlock, Luke Saldana and Deashawn Adams.
“We went a bit bigger later and played a zone. That seemed to put them in a fit,” said Baker, who has multiple posts over 6-foot-3 to circulate in the paint. “We haven’t seen this kind of size in a while. We’re going to use them more offensively as we go forward. We can throw the ball up to them, let them go get it and do what they do.”
The hot start from the young Pioneers comes despite the fact three other freshmen – Carter Simpson, Devin Fish and Keyton Reno – are on the varsity roster and don’t play with their classmates. Still, Warren County has plenty of firepower and an eye toward the future.
“It’s all about fundamentals and teaching what coach Fish wants them to do at the varsity level. We’ve had some fundamentals errors in both games, but we’re getting better. We want to focus on getting them to execute our offensive and defensive sets the way we want to do it in Warren County,” said Baker about the team's season goals.
The freshman boys will look to make it three wins in a row this weekend when they take part in the White Co. playday.