A team leader on the hardwood, and often top scorer, Pioneer Isaiah Grayson’s departure early in the third quarter after an ankle injury took its toll on Warren County in Cumberland County on Monday night.
In town for a makeup snow game, the Pioneers were keeping things close, 30-29, at the break. The Jets capitalized on Grayson’s abrupt departure as they went on an 11-point roll, 41-29, before Pioneer Irving Espinoza dialed long distance for 3-points, 41-32.
It wasn’t Warren County’s night, however, as despite a fourth-quarter rally the Pioneers fell to Cumberland County, 65-55.
“I thought we really fought to get back into the ballgame late,” said Warren County coach Chris Sullens. “We didn’t take advantage of opportunities from the foul line. When Isaiah went down in the third quarter, I thought we went through a 2-3 minute stretch where we were out of sync offensively. We fought our way back into the game cutting the lead down to 5-6 points but we have to make the most of opportunities given. We have to be better at the charity stripe.”
Chance Hobbs was the top scorer for the Pioneers, garnering 14 total points, but the 3-point shooter didn’t make any from outside the arc in this contest. Freshman Irving Espinoza hit all the treys over the Jets adding up to four, as Espinoza scored 12 points.
The Pioneers went 17-of-32 for 53 percent from the line, while Cumberland County hit 23-of-29 for 79 percent.
Josh Dykes led the scoring for the Jets with 26 total points.
Tall post K’Rojhn Calbert had more court time Monday, grabbing some critical boards on both ends of the court and hitting 3-of-4 in fourth-quarter, foul-line shooting earning him 9 points in total. Isaiah Grayson and Caleb Newby both scored 8 points apiece and Isaac Golden and Sloan Seymour both hit for 2 points each.
Grayson will be evaluated and treated this week continuously, in hopes he will be able to play tournament ball which starts for the Pioneers on Friday as Warren County High School is the location for this year’s tournament starting Thursday.
“We will make a game-time decision with him,” said Sullens on Grayson’s status. “Knowing the type competitor he is, he will do everything he can to play. We will make sure he is OK to play at a high level and not do further damage to himself health wise. Either way, the first round of district tournament is coming up later this week and everyone able to play needs to be ready.”
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