The Warren County Lady Pioneers were caught in a stampede of sorts Monday during their game versus Clarkrange. The Clarkrange offense ran just hard enough to keep the Lady Buffaloes out front and after four quarters the Lady Pioneers were edged, 49-45.
Clarkrange entered the White County Christmas Tournament with an overall record of 8-5 and barely escaped the two teams’ first meeting with a 29-24 win on Dec. 18 in Cookeville.
Lady Buffalo Hannah Garrett led all scorers with a game-high 16 points and shot 4-of-4 from the free-throw line. Lady Pioneer Saydee Winfree led her team with 13 points.
Clarkrange led 32-28 after three quarters of back-and-forth action. The Lady Pioneers had the chance to cut the lead to just two points, but the shot rimmed out and the Lady Buffaloes rebounded.
The Lady Buffaloes did not have the opportunity to set up the offense before Gracie Bush got free outside and she knocked down the wide-open 3-pointer and Clarkrange led 35-28.
Each team swapped baskets and WCHS trailed 40-30 and the Lady Pioneers brought the ball up the floor. A pass was thrown to Elsa Eckenrod on the inside and she hit as WCHS trailed 40-32.
On the next possession, Clarkrange lost the handle and the Lady Pioneers pushed the ball back up the floor. Kristen Rowland buried a jumper and WCHS trailed 40-34.
After another Clarkrange turnover, Rowland drove into the middle and she drew the whistle. Rowland connected on 1-of-2 and the Lady Pioneers were down five, 40-35.
The Lady Buffaloes would not back down. They responded with a basket inside. On the ensuing possession, the ball was taken down low by Winfree and she attacked the defense and she drew the whistle. Winfree stepped up to the free-throw line and shot 2-for-2 and WCHS trailed 42-37.
Clarkrange fired back and found the opening in the defense and made the Lady Pioneers pay and Clarkrange led 44-37. WCHS pushed the tempo and the ball was passed over to Eckenrod and she turned the corner and drove the baseline. Her shot dropped and WCHS trailed 44-39 with 1:04 to play.
Clarkrange’s Garrett was left alone just long enough she slipped behind the defense and scored inside the paint and WCHS trailed 46-39.
WCHS senior Marlee Smith spun inside and went up over the taller defender and she drew the whistle and a trip to the free-throw line. Smith knocked down both and Clarkrange led 46-41.
The Lady Buffaloes picked up a quick foul and Katelin Beaty shot 1-of-2 and WCHS controlled the rebound. With Clarkrange up 47-41, Winfree went on the attack and drove hard to the basket. Winfree cut the lead to four, at 47-43 with a little over half a minute to play.
WCHS had to foul and the Lady Pioneers sent Gracie Bush to the line. She buried both and Clarkrange led by six with :20.2 to play.
WCHS went on the attack as precious seconds ticked off the clock. The ball was skipped across to Rowland who was fouled. She went to the free-throw line and connected on both. WCHS trailed 49-45 with :14 to play.
It was the last points for both teams. The ball was controlled by Clarkrange as time expired and the Lady Pioneers were defeated, 49-45.
The first half was controlled by Clarkrange and the Lady Buffaloes came out aggressive in the first quarter. The Lady Buffaloes led 26-18 at the half.
In the second half, Winfree and Rowland combined for 10 points and outscored the Lady Buffaloes 10-7 in the third. The Lady Buffalo offense went cold and allowed the Lady Pioneers to climb back to within four points, 32-28.
LADY BUFFALO SCORING – Hannah Garrett 16, Charity Crabtree 14, Gracie Bush 10, Breanna Bush 4, Katelin Beaty 3, Zoie Crouch 2
LADY PIONEER SCORING – Saydee Winfree 13, Kristen Rowland 12, Elsa Eckenrod 7, Allison Hitchcock 5, Marlee Smith 5, Rylan Moore 3