Playing two games in the span of four hours on opening day was a concern for Warren County High School girls basketball coach Erick Baird. By the time the second half started in the second game against Monterey, those concerns seemed legitimate.
The Lady Pioneers lost a big lead against the visiting Lady Wildcats, but senior Megan Dishman sparked a rally as Warren County finished the game on a 27-5 run to win 49-29.
The Lady Pioneers, who began Thursday with a 57-20 victory over South Pittsburg in the Think Pink Hall of Fame games, looked poised to runaway from their second opponent when the team built a 22-10 lead in the second quarter, but a prolonged dry spell let Monterey back in the game.
The Lady Pioneers looked like they had weary legs as the team went cold for nearly eight straight minutes.
The Lady Wildcats were able to go on a 14-0 run spanning the second and third quarters to take a 24-22 lead with four minutes to play in the third period.
Facing its first deficit of the season, Warren County responded by leaning on its most experienced player.
Dishman, a two-year starter for the Lady Pioneers, sparked a rally by connecting on a layup to tie the game, then finishing a three-point play to put Warren County up for good.
Dishman continued to spark the Lady Pioneer offense as she fed senior teammate Rachel Nokes for a wide-open layup to make it 29-24.
Monterey ended the spurt with a free throw, but a perfectly executed play at the end of the third quarter resulted in a 3-pointer from the corner by Bri Melton to give Warren County a 32-25 lead entering the final period.
Layups by Nokes and Camerie Martin, along with a free throw by Brittany Myers, pushed the lead to 12 at the start of the fourth quarter and Warren County never looked back.
Late 3-pointers by Myers and Lexy Holmes made the lead 20 at the end of the game as Warren County celebrated a 2-0 start to the season.
Coach Baird thought his team showed plenty of spirit in fighting through a slump in the second half to defeat the Lady Wildcats.
“You build character when facing adversity and we faced some against Monterey,” said Baird. “We got in a funk, but some good defensive effort and shot making helped us pull through.”
Melton finished with 15 points in the victory, while Myers joined her fellow sophomore teammate in double figures with 10. Dishman added nine, followed by Nokes with eight.
The Lady Pioneers played three games in the DeKalb County Hall of Fame event yesterday. Scores weren’t available at press time.
Warren County returns to action Tuesday with an away game against DeKalb County. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m.