It looked like an epic district battle at the half as the Lady Pioneers were tied 12-12 with No. 3 seeded Cookeville on Thursday night at Warren County High School.
Unfortunately, the Lady Cavs gained some momentum in third quarter, leading 21-14 after three as the Lady Pioneers put on the press hoping to light a fire on their offense.
Warren County played it a little too heavy-handed as Cookeville scored 18-of-22 from the charity stripe in the fourth quarter, distancing themselves for the 44-28 win and advancing the second round of district tournament play.
The loss ends the season for the Lady Pioneers who were 15-17 overall, improving from 10-22 the previous season.
“We had a solid game plan and in the first half, we stuck together. As the third quarter unfolded we struggled to score and started to panic on defense,” said Warren County coach Shea Panter. “I think over the course of the season we matured and certainly gave every effort to do our best. I’m proud of the girls and the hard work they did this year.”
The Lady Pioneers went 7-of-9 for 79 percent from the foul line, while Cookeville was 19-of-24 for 78 percent.
Warren County’s Elsa Eckenrod dropped in a pair of treys in the fourth quarter as the Lady Pioneers would have their best scoring of the night with 14 points in the final 8 minutes, but there wasn’t enough time left.
Lady Pioneer Tyra Wright played the boards well on both ends of the court, earning 8 points to lead Warren County’s scoring followed by Callie Cathcart and Eckenrod with 7 points apiece. Megan Patch scored 4 points, while Emily Mikkola hit for 2.
“Our seniors will be missed, but I’m excited to get the majority of our core back next year,” coach Panter said. “I look for us to be even more competitive. Thanks to all our fans for their support throughout the season. Warren County is a special place and I feel we have made great strides in changing the culture of our athletics. It is an ongoing process that will continue to take every one here in Warren County. We can change. We can be competitive. We can come together for one county, one team.”