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On the line
Lady Pioneers season hinges on clash with Cumberland County
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Another year, another play-in game for the Lady Pioneers.The Warren County High School girls basketball team will go into the District 6-AAA tournament for the fourth straight year knowing its season is on the line when the ball goes into the air to start the play-in game.Coach Erick Baird and his Lady Pioneer team will battle the Cumberland County Lady Jets tomorrow night at White County High School as the winner will advance to the semifinals of the district tournament, assuring a spot in the regional tournament, while the loser will go home for a nine-month basketball break.The play-in game, which will begin at 6 p.m. tomorrow as all tournament games will be played in White County, was one coach Baird was hoping to avoid for the first time since taking over the Lady Pioneer program before the 2009-10 season.As the first game of the District 6-AAA tournament, the play-in game has the most at stake for the participating teams as a regional berth hangs in the balance. The top three teams are guaranteed three more games in their season, but coach Baird knows the play-in game is a possible one-and-done scenario.“We’ve been here the last three years and have won two,” said Baird. “It’s a game you’d rather avoid, because it means you have to win three straight games with little rest to take home the tournament title.”“We have some experience with this kind of game and hopefully it plays to our advantage,” said Baird.In the first two years District 6-AAA, as currently constructed, held its postseason tournament, the higher seed in the play-in game got homecourt advantage.