With the Dibrell Lady Wildcats nipping at their heels, the Warren County Middle School Lady Pioneers couldn’t afford to slip up against the Morrison Lady Eagles Thursday night.
Using a stifling fourth-quarter defense and getting a season-high 14 points from Megan Patch, Warren County kept its lead in the girls 5-6 grade elementary league by defeating Morrison 33-17.
Warren County entered the game with a 7-1 record, while Dibrell sat right behind at 7-2. Knowing a loss could mean a tie for the regular-season championship, the Lady Pioneers were all business against an upset-minded Lady Eagle squad.
In a battle of speed versus size, it was the quick Lady Pioneer guards who got the best of the big posts from Morrison.
Patch played a key role on offense as she ignited the early offense with a baseline jumper in the opening minute. Warren County would never relinquish the lead after the shot as the Lady Pioneers led from start to finish.
Patch finished with four points in the opening quarter to help Warren County build a 9-2 advantage. Addyson Crouch had the lone basket for Morrison.
Layups in transition by Patch, Emily Mikkola and Shonacye Rutledge helped the Lady Pioneers increase their lead to double digits by halftime. Warren County went to the locker rooms ahead 15-4 as Morrison center Tyra Wright hit the Lady Eagles’ second bucket of the first half.
Macy Harrell tried putting Morrison on her back in the third quarter to lead the Lady Eagles to a victory. Harrell scored all of her 11 points in the third quarter, hitting three layups, two free throws and a 3-pointer.
Warren County countered with six points from Patch and four from Rutledge to hold a 25-17 lead entering the final period.
The Lady Pioneer defense made the lead stand up as Harrell and the rest of the Lady Eagles couldn’t find the mark in the final six minutes. Morrison was held scoreless in the fourth quarter as Warren County won going away.
Rutledge finished with seven points for Warren County, followed by three from Kelsey Fults. Mikkola, Marah Wanamaker, Brianna Garcia and Madison Ledbetter added two points apiece and Hailey Wood chipped in a late free throw.
Crouch and Wright, who came into the game as a dominant post combo for the Lady Eagles, finished with six points combined. Crouch had four points while Wright was limited to two points.
In other girls elementary action, Centertown moved into a tie for third place with a 20-19 win over Eastside while Dibrell hung onto the second-place spot by defeating Boyd 39-15.
The Lady Warriors were able to survive a late scare by the Lady Bulldogs to win by one point and move to 5-4 overall, tying Morrison in the standings.
Raeliegh Moore, the hero for Centertown in a one-point victory over Boyd Monday, led the Lady Warriors with eight points. Page Duke and Drew Davis followed with five points each. Macie Walker added two points.
MaKenna Mason scored 11 points for Eastside, including making a late 3-pointer which cut the lead to one late. Kapri Talley added four for the Lady Bulldogs, who fell to 1-7. Rylie Crawford and Grayson Hillis scored two points each.
The dynamic Dibrell scoring duo of Brianna Young and Grace Rains was too much for Boyd Thursday. Young led the Lady Wildcats with 15 points and Rains chipped in 10 as Dibrell improved to 7-2. Kailey Wood added four, while Calyn Damon, Alora Stuart, Olivia Woodlee and Gretchen Stuart scored two points each.
Abby Bain scored eight points for Boyd, followed by Saylor Hodges with four, Jaden Vining with two and Alli Beaty with one. The Lady Broncos dropped to 1-8 overall.