For the first time in 45 days, the WCHS Lady Pioneers lost a basketball game.
Warren County couldn’t overcome a sluggish third quarter in falling to district rival Coffee County, 54-40, Friday night at Charlie Dalton Gym.
The loss ends a 12-game winning streak for the Lady Pioneers and leaves the team 16-3 overall and 1-1 in the district. Coffee County improves to 16-3 and 2-0 in the district and increases its own winning streak to 13 games.
Prior to Friday night, the Lady Pioneers hadn’t lost since Nov. 30 against White County.
Sable Winfree was the top scorer for Warren County with 12. Jaden Smartt added 11.
In postgame comments, WCHS coach Anthony Lippe said his team was crippled by a third quarter in which the Lady Pioneers were outscored 19-4. Lippe added he was pleased to see how his team fought to the end, even when facing a double- digit deficit in the final minutes, to score 20 points in the fourth.
Coffee County took an early lead and the Lady Pioneers were down 6 points going into the second quarter, 12-6.
Savannah Winfree scored 2, and Brienne Kelsey made her first 3-pointer of the night to quickly catch up to the Lady Raiders. A few minutes later, Sable Winfree was fouled going up for a layup and made the free throw to tie the game 16-16.
Elli Chumley made another layup for Coffee County to put the Lady Raiders up 18-16 at the half.
Similar to Warren County’s start in the second quarter, Coffee County began the third with 5 immediate points, including another 3 from top scorer Jalie Reuhling. The third quarter proved to be the toughest for the Lady Pioneers as the Lady Raiders outscored them 19-4.
Lady Pioneer Kyra Perkins also committed a technical which further dampened Warren County’s spirit. Reuhling continued dominating the basket through the third finishing the quarter with another 3 at the buzzer.
Going into the final quarter, Warren County was down 37-20.
The fourth quarter proved to be the most successful for the Lady Pioneers, who ramped up the defensive pressure with 4 minutes left. At the halfway mark of the final quarter, Shelby Smartt hit a 3-pointer right after she hit a tough turnaround jumper in the lane.
Sable was able to attack the basket more in the fourth putting up two layups. Warren County was hitting its foul shots with Jaden Smartt scoring 3-of-4, and Mia Hobbs scoring both of hers. Despite the consistent scoring by the Lady Pioneers, the Lady Raiders didn’t slow down as Chloe Gannon stayed open under the basket.
Coffee County coach Joe Pat Cope credited Warren County head coach Anthony Lippe for his work in building the Lady Pioneers to be the best they’ve been in many years.
“I think the difference was that we have probably played a tougher schedule,” said Cope.
Coffee County has already played the No. 1 team in the state in Blackman which he said helped them be more prepared for district games.
WARREN COUNTY -- Sable Winfree 12, Jaden Smartt 11, Brienne Kelsey 6, Shelby Smartt 5, Mia Hobbs 2, Kyra Perkins 2, Savannah Winfree 2 COFFEE COUNTy – Top Scorers -- Jalie Reuhling 17, Elli Chumley 15, Chloe Gannon 10