After Tuesday, there is no debate on how valuable Tyra Wright is to the Lady Pioneers.
Without their talented junior post for the majority of the second half, the Warren County girls gave away a 13-point halftime lead and fell 70-57 to visiting White County.
Warren County (11-11) led 35-22 at the break, but things turned swiftly when Wright went to the bench with her fourth foul 28 seconds into the third quarter. Without Wright to protect the paint and clean the glass, the Warriorettes began to score at will.
White County started with a 10-2 spurt after Wright sat down. Megan Patch briefly slowed the pace by hitting one of her five 3-pointers for the Lady Pioneers, but the Warriorettes responded with seven straight.
Patch sank her final 3-pointer with :35 left in the third to give Warren County a 48-45 lead, but the Warriorettes took the lead on Kanden Reeves’ floater at the buzzer.
The Warriorettes started the fourth quarter on an 8-1 run before Wright entered with 6:17 to play. The Lady Pioneers were outscored 35-14 during Wright's absence and never recovered.
Patch brought the Lady Pioneers within six on two free throws with 3:24 to play, but two missed free throws by Wright with 2:04 left proved pivotal as the Lady Pioneers weren’t able to slice into a 62-56 deficit. Wright fouled out on the ensuing possession and White County closed by scoring nine of the game’s final nine points.
The Lady Pioneers stunned White County early with sizzling shooting from the outside. Warren County scorched the nets with six 3-pointers in the first half, with Patch doing the heavy lifting. Patch scored 13 of her 22 points and hit three 3-pointers before halftime.
Patch went on a personal 10-0 run bridging the first and second quarters. Patch hit a floater, went coast to coast after a steal and finished the first with a corner 3-pointer to give the Lady Pioneers an 18-9 lead after one. The junior then started the second quarter with a 3-pointer.
The hot shooting continued in the final two minutes. Warren County hit three straight 3-pointers before halftime, with Patch, Callie Cathcart and Caylie Sherrell all connecting. Sherrell’s shot with 54 seconds left gave Warren County its biggest lead, 35-19.
Things turned quickly in the second half. Reeves was a big part in helping the Warriorettes to a 2-1 record in district play, scoring 14 of her 22 points in the second half. Mia Murray, after going to break scoreless, finished with 17 points, buoyed by an 11-for-15 night at the charity stripe.
Cathcart scored 16 points for the Lady Pioneers, who dropped to 1-3 in district play. Grace Rains added 10, followed by Wright with four, Sherrell with three and one apiece from Kam Nowlin and Rhealee Johnson.
Warren County will look to bounce back Friday night against Stone Memorial. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m. at Charlie Dalton Gym.