The Lady Pioneers opened their official regular season Monday night against the Lady Tigers from DeKalb County at Charlie Dalton Gym.
Warren County led by as many as nine points in the second quarter, but the Lady Pioneers saw that lead shrink to 1 point at halftime. DeKalb led for most of the fourth quarter and hung on to win, 52-47.
It was a tough loss for the hustling Lady Pioneers after winning their first two games. They will look back at losing that nine-point lead in the second quarter as the turning point.
Lady Pioneer head coach Anthony Lippe explained it this way, “It stings. It definitely stings because it was an opportunity that we let slip through our hands. We expected to win this game. They scored eight straight points and reduced our lead to one point at halftime. That’s an eight-point swing and we lose by five. We have to do a better job. We haven’t practiced a whole lot. We will get better.”
Lady Pioneers had three main scorers against DeKalb County. Kyra Perkins was high scorer with 14 points, followed by Erica Cantrell with 12. Mia Hobbs started and had a strong game with eight points.
Coach Lippe is looking for his guards and other players to all contribute on the same night to give the Lady Pioneers a productive team effort.
Practice time has been limited because of shutdowns with COVID-19, but playing four games in five days is helping the Lady Pioneers develop a greater sense of themselves, Lippe said. The team is learning which combination of girls in certain situations works best.
Coach Lippe rotated four players in and out in the closing minute and a half. Lippe was trying to overcome DeKalb’s five-point lead. One set of players was sent in for defensive purposes, and another set of four players was sent in for offensive purposes. The Lady Pioneers played hard in the final 90 seconds, but they could not regain the lead.
The two top scorers for DeKalb County were Ella VanVranken with 23 points and Kadee Ferrell with 15 points. DeKalb County is a young team, and will be a team to watch over the next two seasons.
After playing Cannon County last night, the Lady Pioneers are off for Thanksgiving. They return to action on the road against Coffee County on Monday.
DEKALB COUNTY 52
Warren county 47
Kyra Perkins 14, Erica Cantrell 12, Mia Hobbs 8, Brielee Kelsey 4, Sable Winfree 4, Jaden Smartt 3, Shelby Smartt 2