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Lady Pioneers win 46-3 romp
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It seems the cure to what ailed the Warren County High School girls basketball team was to play Gabriel Christian.
The Lady Pioneers snapped a three-game losing streak in emphatic fashion, beating the overmatched private school team from Smyrna 46-3 Friday morning at Morrison Elementary School.
Warren County was in danger of falling under .500 for the first time as it entered Friday’s game at 7-7, but Lady Pioneer coach Erick Baird knew the team’s opponent would offer little resistance.
After seeing the results from Thursday’s preliminary games in the Sun Drop Romp Christmas tournament, when DeKalb County beat Gabriel Christian 69-10, coach Baird decided to make Friday’s game a showcase for his future Lady Pioneers.
Regular starters Rachel Nokes, Megan Dishman, Camerie Martin, Brittany Myers and Bri Melton, along with super sub Jessie Newby, never entered the game as five freshmen started for Warren County.
Kristen Rowland, Lexi Rowland, Allison Hitchcock and Marlee Smith made their first career varsity starts and the foursome was very productive.
Each set their career-highs in points on the varsity team, led by nine points apiece from Smith and Hitchcock.
Kristen Rowland made a big impact early, scoring all eight of her points in the first quarter to help Warren County take a 25-0 lead. Smith added five in the first quarter.
Assistant coach Anthony Lippe, who got a chance to take the reins while coach Baird watched, instructed his team to back off its full-court press after the Lady Pioneers took a 15-0 lead in the first four minutes.
Even with Warren County relaxing defensively, Gabriel Christian couldn’t find the mark on offense.
Gabriel Christian went into halftime without a point as Warren County  led 37-0. Junior McKenna Dixon came off the bench to score all eight of her points in the second quarter.
The Lady Pioneers slowed down their offensive attack in the second half, scoring only nine points in the final 16 minutes.
Gabriel Christian finally got on the scoreboard with a free throw to snap a 30-minute scoreless streak with 2:30 to play.
A layup for the visitors followed, but Hitchcock matched Gabriel Christian’s output with one shot when she buried a 3-pointer in the final seconds.
Saydee Winfree, the fifth freshman starter, and Lexi Rowland finished with six points apiece.