The shots were all open, but none would fall.
Warren County had multiple opportunities to tie DeKalb County down the stretch in its home debut, but four 3-pointers all rimmed out in the last two minutes as the Lady Pioneers fell 53-50.
The Lady Pioneers couldn't have asked for better shots.
Senior shooting guard Megan Patch had three clean looks in the last 90 seconds. The team’s leading 3-point shooter from last year saw all three spin out. Caylie Sherrell had a final chance to tie, but her rushed shot before the horn was errant.
It was a disappointing end to the team’s first game at Charlie Dalton Gym. Not many expected a senior-laden team to start 1-2, which only added to the frustration.
“We had a lot of miscommunication defensively and we got away from what was working offensively,” said coach Shea Panter.
Grace Rains was the early answer.
Often overshadowed by fellow senior post Tyra Wright, Rains continued her torrid start with 23 points against the Lady Tigers. Rains did the majority of her damage in the first three quarters, when Warren County built a 41-35 lead going into the final eight minutes.
DeKalb County was able to flip the score from the outside. Kennedy Agee, Emme Colwell and Kadee Ferrell all hit 3-pointers during a 10-2 push to start the fourth quarter. The Lady Tigers backed up the hot shooting with a swarming defense, packing the paint against Rains and Wright to force the Lady Pioneers out of their offensive rhythm.
Down the stretch, DeKalb County had multiple opportunities to put the game away, but missed free throws opened the door. The Lady Tigers missed eight free throws in the fourth, including four in the final minute when Warren County had three shots at tying the game.
Patch missed one open shot from the corner, then was off the mark on a deep 3-pointer with less than 10 seconds to play.
Sherrill had the last chance off a missed free throw with 7.7 seconds left, but the senior never was able to set her feet before flinging a shot at the rim.
Wright was held to a season-low nine points in the loss, while Patch finished with eight.