Coach Erick Baird called a time-out with five seconds left hoping to devise a potential game-tying play in the girls freshman game against the Coffee County Lady Raiders Monday night. What coach Baird drew up during the break and what the Lady Pioneers executed on the court were two very different things.
Warren County had the ball at halfcourt trailing 46-44, but threw away the inbounds pass and allowed Coffee County to escape Charlie Dalton Gym with a two-point win.
Coach Baird was looking to get the ball in the hands of Bri Melton, who had scored 16 points. The inbounds pass was just short of the freshman’s reach though and Warren County was forced to foul after the Lady Raiders stole the ball.
The Lady Pioneers had one last chance with 1.5 seconds to play and a Lady Raider at the free-throw line attempting a one-and-one. Four Warren County players fell asleep though when the shot missed the mark.
Instead of rebounding the ball and calling a time-out, the Lady Pioneers let the lone Lady Raider slide in and rebound her own miss and run out the clock.
Coach Baird was disappointed in how the final five seconds played out, but overall he was pleased with the effort he got from his young team.
“I thought the girls gave good effort and got in a position where we had a chance to win,” said Baird. “All we ask from them is getting to the end with a chance to take home a victory.”
Warren County made a big comeback to get within striking distance at the end. Melton and Brittany Myers led a furious rally as the Lady Pioneers trailed 26-17 at halftime and by as many as 12 early in the third period.
Melton started the comeback with a pair of 3-pointers in the third quarter. Myers, who was held to four points in the first half, had a three-point play in the third as Warren County cut the lead to 33-28 entering the fourth period.
Myers was huge in the fourth as the Lady Pioneers stormed back into the game. Myers began the fourth by sinking a 3-pointer, then made two driving layups through traffic to bring Warren County within two with three minutes to play.
Coffee County kept the lead by answering with back-to-back baskets, but Myers helped the Lady Pioneers respond.
With the Lady Raiders doing all they could to stop the Lady Pioneer point guard, Myers started finding teammates for easy baskets.
Myers twice drove into the paint and drew a triple team. With the defense focused solely on No. 1, Lexy Holmes was able to slide behind the defense undetected. Myers found Holmes each time for layups as Warren County was able to cut the lead to two with a minute left.
Solid defense by the Lady Pioneers gave the team two chances in the final minute to tie or take the lead, but each time the offense wasn’t able to come away with a basket.
Warren County was turned away with 40 seconds when Melton couldn’t put the ball in the basket on a contested jump shot. After getting the ball back on a rebound with 10 seconds to play, coach Baird frantically tried to call a time-out as Warren County brought the ball up the court.
The referees finally noticed coach Baird with 5.2 seconds left as the Lady Pioneers crossed halfcourt. Coach Baird wanted to get Melton the ball on the final possession, but the ball never reached her hands and Warren County never had another chance to tie.
Myers scored 14 points as the two guards combined for 30 of their team’s 44 points. Holmes was the team’s third leading scorer with six points.
The Lady Pioneers return to action tomorrow night in hopes of breaking a two-game losing streak. Warren County will play host to White County beginning at 6 p.m.