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Lionettes pounce on Lady Pioneers
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The first day of the Sun Drop Romp Christmas tournament saw the Warren County High School girls basketball team win two games. The final two days weren’t as kind.
The Lady Pioneers finished in fourth place after losing to the Cannon County Lionettes in the consolation game 44-35 on Friday.
Warren County found itself in the consolation game after being stopped by Stone Memorial 57-26 in the semifinals Thursday.
The Lady Pioneers made a good run on Friday against the state-ranked Lionettes a day after being run out of their own gym by Stone Memorial.
Warren County went toe-to-toe with Cannon County for three quarters before falling behind in the last eight minutes.
Behind the scoring of Lauren Wilkinson and Taylor Johnson and the tight defense of Camerie Martin, the Lady Pioneers stuck with Cannon County in the first half.
Wilkinson and Johnson scored four points each in the first quarter as the Lady Pioneers trailed 13-12 entering the second period.
While the senior duo handled most of the early scoring, Martin was given the assignment of slowing down Cannon County’s Abbey Sissom.
Martin was up to the task early as the junior used her quickness to stay with Sissom every single step. The Lionettes’ top scorer showed her frustration with Martin by taking a number of ill-advised shots that missed badly.
With Cannon County slowed on offense, the Lady Pioneers took the lead. A three-point play by Bree Smith and a 3-pointer from freshman Bri Melton gave Warren County its biggest lead at 23-19, but Cannon County was able to sneak back on top before halftime.
The Lionettes scored the final five points of the first half to take a one-point lead into the locker rooms.
Warren County jumped back in front to start the third quarter when Wilkinson hit a free throw and added a layup on the next possession, but it would prove to be the final time the Lady Pioneers led.
A late 3-pointer by Cannon County gave the Lionettes a 31-28 lead entering the fourth quarter and the gap continued to grow in the final period.
The Lionettes took a double-digit lead midway through the fourth, but Wilkinson kept Warren County within striking distance.
Wilkinson cut the lead to seven with a three-point play, then added a jumper to make it five with two minutes to go. Cannon County changed its defense to stop Wilkinson in the final two minutes and the move worked as the visitors prevailed by nine.
Wilkinson, who was named to the Sun Drop Romp all-tournament team after scoring 14.5 points per game in four contests, led Warren County with 16 points. Smith was second with five points.
In Thursday’s game, Warren County fell behind to Stone Memorial 16-3 in the first quarter and never recovered.
The Lady Pioneers saw the deficit increase to 19 by halftime and coach Erick Baird rested most of his starters in the second half as the team suffered its worst loss of the season.
The last two games snapped a stretch of great basketball by Warren County. Going into Thursday’s semifinal game against Stone Memorial, the Lady Pioneers had won seven of their last eight games.
The losses to Stone Memorial and Cannon County were the first back-to-back losses for Warren County this season.
The Lady Pioneers took the holiday weekend off and will hit the road for a long trip Monday. Warren County is taking part in the Rock Holiday Classic held at Windermere High School in Orlando, Fla., starting Wednesday. The Lady Pioneers are scheduled to play at least four games over the two-day tournament against teams from all across the Southeast.