The Pickett County Bobcats stalked their prey and went on the attack early and often against the Warren County Pioneers at the White County Christmas Tournament played Monday in Sparta.
The Bobcats gained momentum as the game progressed and an explosive, 28-point fourth quarter cemented the win for the Bobcats. Pickett County defeated Warren County, 73-56.
Dawson Abbott for Pickett County led all scorers with a game-high 22 points behind six 3-pointers.
Trevor Gaines started strong and finished strong for the Pioneers and he led Warren County with 15 points.
Warren County attempted to make a run at the lead with six minutes left. The ball went inside to Gaines and he made a hard move around the defender. Gaines was fouled and he was able to muscle up the shot for a trip to the free-throw line. He completed the three-point play and Warren County trailed 50-43.
Pickett County responded quickly and moved the ball around the perimeter before a short jumper was hit just outside the paint.
Warren County went back to Gaines inside. His shot was off but he gathered his own rebound and was fouled after the miss. This time Gaines hit 1-of-2 and the Pioneers trailed 52-44.
Pickett County was left alone beyond the arch and late rotation allowed Abbott to connect on his fifth 3-pointer and the Bobcats led 55-44.
In a matter of seconds, Warren County set up the offense and Isaiah Grayson responded and made his third 3-pointer, his first since the opening quarter. Pioneer coach Chris Sullens immediately called timeout and Warren County trailed 55-47.
With 4:46 to play and out of the timeout, it was Abbott alone again for the second time and he fired again and hit as Pickett County extended its lead 58-47.
The Pioneers moved the ball up the floor again and the ball skipped over to Grayson and not to be outdone, he fired his second consecutive 3-pointer. He buried the deep shot and kept the Pioneers within striking distance, 58-50. With 3:58 to play, coach Sullens again calls for timeout.
Moments after the timeout, Warren County was hit with a technical foul as two players crossed paths after a made basket by Pickett County. It was a three-point play for the Bobcats and they retained possession. Warren County trailed 61-50.
John Ferrell from Pickett County was fouled and he connected on both and the Bobcat lead was 63-50.
Warren County started to feel the pressure and the Pioneer shot was off its mark and the Pickett County defender was in the right spot for the rebound.
It did not take the Pickett County offense long to find its way inside and score. The Bobcats extended their lead to 65-50 with just over 2:00 to play.
The Pioneer offense pushed the ball across midcourt and Wesley Jennings freed himself from the defense and he pulled the trigger on a 3-pointer. The Pioneers trailed 65-53 and coach Sullens calls for time.
In the final two minutes, Pickett County controlled its own destiny. Clay Smith entered the game for Pickett County and dropped in a deep 3-pointer for his only three points. Ferrell and Abbott combined for three more free throws as time ticked away.
For the Pioneers, Joelah Solomon drove inside and got the contact. His efforts allowed him to step up to the free-throw line where he hit 1-of 2. Finally Christian Locke drove deep into the Bobcat defense and hit a short jumper over the defender and the Pioneers were out of time after the made basket by Locke.
Both teams matched up well the entire first half and neither had much of an advantage over the other. It was the third quarter when the wheels rolled off for the Pioneers and the Bobcats defense made its move.
In the fourth quarter, Warren County threatened up until the technical foul was called. It was the turning point Pickett County needed and the Bobcats pounced at just the right moment.
Pickett County defeated Warren County 73-56 on Monday.
BOBCATS SCORING – Dawson Abbott 22, Brian Gipson 17, John Ferrell 16, Blake Hughes 7, Ben Neal 6, Clay Smith 3, Trent Young 2
PIONEER SCORING – Trevor Gaines 15, Isaiah Grayson 14, Isaac Golden 6, Lorenzo Wilson 4, Krojhn Calbert 4, Wesley Jennings 3, Chance Hobbs 3, Joelah Solomon 3, Caleb Newby 2, Christian Locke 2