After beginning the season with promise, the Warren County High School girls basketball team has come back to earth with a pair of humbling losses at home.
The Lady Pioneers lost their second straight game to a border rival Tuesday night at home, falling to the DeKalb County Lady Tigers 55-50.
Senior Lauren Wilkinson had her fourth straight game with 20 or more points, finishing with 25, and Megan Dishman scored a season-high 12 points, but for the second time at Charlie Dalton Gym the Lady Pioneers failed to win their third game.
The beginning of the game saw an onslaught of 3-pointers. DeKalb County guard Alex Meadows began the game with a 3-pointer from the right corner, but Bree Smith promptly tied the game by banking in a 3-pointer from the top of the key on the other end.
Meadows drained her second 3-pointer from the left corner to make it 6-3, but Wilkinson then started inserting her will.
Wilkinson cut the deficit to one with a steal and layup, then gave Warren County its first lead later in the quarter with a three-point play.
Wilkinson’s hoop and harm ended up sparking an 8-4 run to end the quarter as the Lady Pioneers led 13-11. Wilkinson’s free-throw line jumper with 2:36 left in first provided the two-point margin.
Dishman was the lone Lady Pioneer to score in the first six minutes of the second quarter. The junior post player connected on a pair of layups and two free throws as Warren County held a 19-17 lead midway through the period.
DeKalb County was able to take the lead momentarily on a 3-pointer by Chelsea Lewis, but Smith hit a free throw to tie the game at 20 and Wilkinson followed with a 6-0 run on her own.
Wilkinson began by knocking in two free throws. She followed with a steal and layup with a minute to play to make it 24-20. Wilkinson made the same play 11 seconds later as DeKalb County threw away the ball and the senior scooted in for another layup.
Leading by six with 48.3 seconds left, Warren County gave up all its lead before the quarter came to a close.
Lewis scored on a three-point play with 38.7 seconds, then followed with an uncontested 3-pointer with 20.2 seconds to tie the game at 26 going into the locker rooms.
Meadows began the second half just like she opened the game. The Lady Tiger guard drained a 3-pointer to put DeKalb County ahead 29-26.
Wilkinson led the Lady Pioneers back into the lead though. Wilkinson hit two free throws, then scored on an up-and-under on the low block to tie the game at 30.
Dishman scored on a putback on the next possession while being fouled to give the Lady Pioneers the lead back. Dishman missed the free throw, but Wilkinson rebounded and laid the ball in to make it 34-30.
Warren County ran into problems when Wilkinson picked up her third foul with 2:13 left in the third quarter. Coach Erick Baird had to take his star out for the rest of the quarter, but the Lady Pioneers were able to keep the lead thanks to a freshman.
Brittany Myers knocked down a 3-pointer with 1:11 to go to make it 37-31, but followed it with a freshman mistake. Myers fouled Lewis on a 3-pointer with 0.1 seconds to go, giving Lewis three free throws. Lewis made two, making it a four-point game going into the fourth quarter.
DeKalb County kept chipping away at the lead, but Wilkinson and Smith kept the Lady Pioneers in front for most of the fourth.
Smith opened the final period with a bank shot, then Wilkinson followed with a three-point play as Warren County led 42-38.
Laren Cripps and Abbey Caldwell ended up dooming the Lady Pioneers though. Cripps sank a 3-pointer with 6:35 to play to cut the lead to one, then made two free throws to give DeKalb County the lead.
Smith gave Warren County the lead back with a steal and layup, but Caldwell scored the next seven points to give the Lady Tigers a six-point lead with 1:39 left.
Caldwell also made a huge defensive play when she drew a charge on Myers with 1:19 remaining to give the Lady Tigers the ball back.
DeKalb County iced the game by hitting five free throws down the stretch. Dishman and Wilkinson each scored three points in the final minute, but the Lady Pioneers came up five points short.
Wilkinson’s 25 points matched a season high and upped her average to 22.5 points for the season. Smith finished with 10 points while Myers scored three as the Lady Pioneers only had four players score.
The Lady Pioneers will try to get back on the right track when the team competes in the Cannon County Thanksgiving Classic beginning today.
Warren County will take on Sequatchie County tonight at Woodbury Grammar School. The game is tentatively scheduled to start at 6:30 p.m.
The Lady Pioneers will also be in action tomorrow when the team takes on Notre Dame. Game time is yet to be determined.