The Lady Pioneers trailed at the half by two points, but Warren County regrouped during halftime and kept mistakes to a minimum in the second half. The Lady Pioneer defense kept DeKalb County caged in the third quarter and built a lead they would hold till the buzzer.
Warren County beat DeKalb County, 61-56, Tuesday night at Charlie Dalton Gym.
Lady Pioneer head coach Shea Panter said, “It wasn’t pretty but it’s a win. We did a better job on turnovers but have more work to do before we play Cumberland County on Friday.”
Marlee Smith led the Lady Pioneers with 20 points and was a beast in the low post. Smith shot 4-of-5 from the free-throw line.
The game-high scorer was DeKalb County’s Ashli Chew with 24 points. Chew knocked down a pair of 3’s late in the fourth quarter and was a perfect 4-for-4 from the free-throw line in the first quarter.
Warren County led 43-38 to start the fourth quarter and it didn’t take long for the Lady Tiger offense to pull within two, 47-45. Near midcourt Lady Pioneer Rylan Moore stole the ball and raced back to the rim and scored to put Warren County up by four, 49-45.
DeKalb County called timeout with 6:57 and just moments after play resumed WCHS freshman Megan Patch pulled the trigger and fired from beyond the arch. The shot hit its mark and Patch put the Lady Pioneers up, 52-45. DeKalb responded with a 3-pointer and the Lady Tigers trailed 52-48 with just over three minutes to play.
Saydee Winfree drew contact and put herself on the line for a one-and-one. Winfree missed the front end and Elsa Eckenrod rebounded. With nowhere to go, she put the ball back into Winfree’s hands and she was fouled again.
This time Winfree hit the front end but missed the second. DeKalb County hit inside with 1:11 to play and called timeout. Warren County led 55-50. The Lady Tigers showed a full-court press and Kristen Rowland slipped behind the defense and scored easily under the basket, 57-50.
DeKalb County continued to fire shots and responded with another 3-pointer. The Lady Tigers hit four from behind the 3-point line in the final period.
Rowland was fouled on the inbound and coach Shea Panter called for time. Rowland knocked down both shots after the timeout.
Time was running out on the Lady Tigers and Smith stepped into position and stole the ball and she was immediately fouled with :31 to play. Smith was perfect on both and Warren County led 60-53.
Smith stepped into the passing lane for the second straight time and gave the ball up to Rowland. Rowland missed the shot and Eckenrod rebounded and she was fouled. Eckenrod hit 1-of-2 and extended the lead to 61-53.
DeKalb County could not win but fired one final shot. The 3-point attempt banked in off the glass as the final buzzer sounded and the Lady Pioneers defeated the Lady Tigers, 61-56.
Warren County started the game off with a quick-moving defense that kept the Lady Tiger offense away from the basket. The Lady Pioneers led 12-0 before DeKalb County got on the scoreboard. However, DeKalb County settled in and finished the first quarter strong and trailed 16-12.
The Lady Tigers took the lead at 5:23 to play in the second quarter at 20-18. Warren County immediately reclaimed the lead back at 23-22 and it was back and forth until the Lady Pioneers claimed the lead for good in the third quarter.
The Lady Pioneers are now 2-0 at home and 3-4 overall. They play the Lady Jets of Cumberland County tonight at Charlie Dalton Gym with tipoff scheduled for 6 p.m.
Lady Pioneers – Marlee Smith 20, Saydee Winfree 12, Kristen Rowland 10, Elsa Eckenrod 8, Allison Hitchcock 5, Rylan Moore 3, Megan Patch 3
Lady Tigers – Ashli Chew 24, Joni Robinson 13, Jailyn Bolding 10, Sophie Cripps 6, Hanah Panter 3