Friday night, the Warren County Pioneers would make the short drive to Coffee County to take on the Red Raiders in the first game coming back from the Christmas break. Warren County was looking to add to its win column with a record of 9-12.
These teams have met on two previous occasions, with one win each. Isaac Golden would lead all Pioneers in scoring with a team-high 13 points and drain the winning shot in the final seconds as the Pioneers outlasted the Red Raiders, 44-42.
Coffee County was up at the half by a very slender three-point lead, but the Pioneers would have some work to do to take over the lead. Warren County would find its way into the lead off a long-range bomb that would find its mark from Golden. Not to be outdone, Coffee County would march right back down the court a drop a bomb of its own to retake the lead. It was like a game of chess with the opponents trying not to make a mistake.
Much of the third quarter was spent trading baskets and tracking down loose balls. It was going to come right down to the wire with both teams fighting underneath for position. The referees were letting them play deep in the paint. Coffee County would pull up and hit a clutch 3-point shot to go up by two points, 36-34 with 4:38 to play.
Christian Wilkinson would take the team on his back driving hard to the rim. The shot was followed by a whistle and it dropped. He hit the foul shot to put the Pioneers up by one point.
Coffee County was not ready to quit yet and they would set up and run the offense getting it in close, but Warren County would not be giving up points easy. So the Red Raiders would draw the foul and get sent to the line, only to connect on one, tying the game at 37 with 2:22 to play.
Krojhn Calbert would gather the pass in low and make the most of his opportunity putting Warren County up by two, 39-37.
Coffee County fired right back tying it again at 39 with 1:04 to play. Wilkinson was fouled off the inbounds and goes to the line and knocks down two. The lead is back to two for Warren County, 41-39, with :46 left. Coffee County would mishandle the ball and give it back to Warren County. Coach Chris Sullens calls for time to make sure everyone is on the same page.
Warren County is in the lead by two points and inbounding. The Pioneers inbound to Golden and he is fouled but would miss the front end of the one-and-one allowing Coffee County one last opportunity to score but the Red Raiders would turn the ball over to Wilkinson and he is fouled. Wilkinson would miss and Coffee County would race to the other end of the floor and knock down a clutch 3-point shot putting the Pioneers down by one point at 42-41, with less than :20.
Warren County would swing the ball around the perimeter to a wide open Golden who would step up big for Warren County and knock down the 3-pointer and reclaim the lead, 43-41, with 3.2 to play. Several timeouts were called at the 3.2-second mark, but in the end Coffee County would turn the ball over on the inbound to Wilkinson and time would expire on the Red Raiders as they are defeated at home by the Pioneers with a final score of 44-42.
The Pioneers were back in action Saturday night at home against Cannon County with the results available in the Wednesday edition of the Southern Standard.
PIONEER SCORING - Isaac Golden 13, Isaiah Grayson 9, Krojhn Calbert 8, Christian Wilkinson 7, Carlos Villegas 2, Holden Baker 2, Joelah Solomon 2
RED RAIDER TOP SCORERS - Zach Taylor 17, Addison Carter 12