The close losses are the ones that hurt the most.
The Warren County High School girls basketball team nearly rallied back from a double-digit deficit to defeat the Franklin County Lady Rebels, but the Lady Pioneers fell five points short on their comeback as the team lost 42-37 Tuesday at Charlie Dalton Gym.
Lady Pioneer coach Erick Baird took the loss hard as he knew his team had a good Franklin County squad on the ropes.
“They were exhausted late and we had a few chances to make them play,” said Baird. “It’s a tough one to lose because we had a quality opponent featuring one of the best players in the state within reach. I’m proud of the way the girls didn’t quit and fought for 32 minutes.”
It would have been easy for the Lady Pioneers to lay down and accept their third loss in four games when Franklin County built a 15-point lead with 5:05 to play in the third quarter, but Warren County tried to protect its home court.
Sophomore Brittany Myers led the charge offensively while junior Jessie Newby accepted the tall task of trying to contain star Lady Rebel forward Danielle Jordan.
Myers scored all of her team-high 10 points in the second half as she returned from a two-game absence over the weekend.
Myers started the rally with a step-back 3-pointer, then followed by sinking two free throws. Newby added four points, which was the same total she held Jordan to in the period.
Warren County trailed 33-22 by the start of the fourth quarter and the Lady Pioneers kept cutting the lead down.
Myers and Camerie Martin each sank 3-pointers to cut the lead to six, but Jordan was too much to handle late.
The Lady Rebels’ star player, who is considered one of the top 25 players in the state, scored eight points in the final period as Franklin County kept the Lady Pioneers at bay.
Warren County had late chances to make it a one-possession game late, but missed chances at the charity stripe proved costly. The Lady Pioneers missed six free throws in the fourth quarter, including two by Newby with 1:48 to play that would have made it a four-point game.
Jordan connected on a three-point play on the ensuing possession, ending the chances of a Lady Pioneer comeback.
Bri Melton, who opened the game by giving Warren County its only lead on a 3-pointer, was held under double figures this season as the sophomore guard finished with nine points. Martin scored a season-high eight points in the loss. Jordan finished with a game-high 20 points for Franklin County.
The loss was the second straight for the Lady Pioneers, who dropped to 5-3 overall. Warren County will take the court tonight in Tullahoma at 6 p.m.