The WCHS Lady Pioneers traded punches with one of the top teams in the state Monday night in McMinnville, but Coffee County was too mighty in the second half.
The Lady Raiders held Warren County to one FG and 10 points in the third and fourth quarters in gaining a 45-29 victory at Charlie Dalton Gym.
Warren County used three 3-pointers from Mia Hobbs to keep the score close at halftime, 22-19. Coffee County changed its defense in the third quarter, going to an aggressive man-to-man.
The change had the Lady Pioneer offense sinking in quicksand. Senior Kam Nowlin hit a 10-foot floater in the lane with 1:22 left for Warren County’s only made shot from the floor in the second half.
“That team is ranked third in the state and to be able to compete with them for one half is a huge lift for us,” said WCHS coach Anthony Lippe, whose team now stands at 9-9 overall. “I’m also very proud we held them to 45 points. The last time we played, they almost beat us by 45 points so this game was a big improvement.”
Coffee County won the first meeting in Manchester by a 66-22 margin. This time was much more difficult for the Lady Raiders, who improve to an eye-catching 21-1.
“We were playing a 1-3-1 in the first half and the Hobbs girl was able to make a few shots,” said Coffee County coach Joe Pat Cope. “The second half we decided to go man and that really worked well.”
Hobbs finished as the top scorer for Warren County with 11 points. Brielee Kelsey and Sable Winfree each scored 5.
Coffee County’s Bella Vinson was the game-high scorer with 19, which included a 9-for-9 performance from the foul line. She has committed to play for Lipscomb University next season.
“She leads the state in free throw shooting at 90.4%,” said coach Cope. “She’s now just 9 points away from scoring 2,000 for her career.”
With Coffee County up 3 at the half, the third quarter only featured two made shots from the field, both by the Lady Raiders. All the other scoring was from the foul line as Coffee County inched further ahead, 31-22.
Coffee County made a layup and 10-foot jumper to start the fourth to open up a 35-23 lead. The Lady Raiders spread the floor midway through the fourth to try to run out the clock. The strategy left the Lady Pioneers chasing the ball and fouling in an attempt to mount a comeback. Unfortunately for Warren County, Bella Vinson was the girl who was often shooting the free throws.
“It’s really hard to keep the ball out of her hands,” said coach Lippe.
Bella Vinson 19, Chloe Gannon 10, Elli Chumley 6, Jalie Ruehling 5, Emma Fulks 4, Alivia Reel 1
Mia Hobbs 11, Brielee Kelsey 5, Sable Winfree 5, Shelby Smartt 3, Kam Nowlin 2, Kyra Perkins 2, Jaden Smartt 1