The Lady Pioneer winning streak didn’t make it into the new year.
Warren County fell 60-27 on the road Friday against Coffee County, the second time the Lady Pioneers have been thumped by the Lady Raiders this season.
“Coffee County is just a tough team,” said Lady Pioneer coach Anthony Lippe, who saw his team win its last two games of December before taking two weeks off for Christmas break. “We struggled to score in the half court and made too many mistakes. We had moments that we competed, but their size was just too much for us.”
Bella Vinson was once again a handful for the Lady Pioneers, scoring 16 points to lead Coffee County.
Vinson scored all her points in the first half before deferring to Chloe Gannon, who scored 10 of her 14 points in the fourth quarter as the Lady Raiders pushed out their lead.
Stopping Vinson – a 6-foot-2, do-it-all scorer - was a focal point of the game plan for the Lady Pioneers. It wasn’t always a success, but Warren County showed improvement after she dominated a 67-32 contest earlier this season at Charlie Dalton Gym.
“We wanted to limit Bella’s touches and I thought we did a better job of that than the last time we played them. She scored 28 last time and we held her to 16 this time,” said Lippe.
Even with improved focus on Coffee County’s main weapon and a full complement of players for the first time in weeks, the Lady Pioneers struggled to keep up.
Senior Hallie Jo Pennington was back on the floor after missing six games to a knee injury and Jaden Smartt returned after missing the Smoky Mountain Christmas Classic. The duo combined to chip in three points.
Senior Beth Vaughn led the team in scoring for the sixth time in eight games, scoring nine. Rudy DeArmond came off the bench to sink two first-half triples for her six points, while Lia Wright also finished with six points. Shelby Smartt and Pennington added two points apiece, while Jaden and Kam Nowlin each hit a free throw.
Coffee County (14-3) took a 31-16 lead into halftime thanks to two late 3-pointers from Marley Perry, the second of which barely beat the buzzer. The Lady Raiders continued the onslaught in the third quarter, outscoring Warren County 14-3 to put the game away.
Warren County was back in action Saturday night in Woodbury. Results from the game against Cannon County were unavailable at press time.
The Lady Pioneers will be back at home Monday night to face Livingston Academy. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m.