The Warren County Pioneers picked up their second straight district win Tuesday night versus Stone Memorial. The Pioneers were at a sizable advantage when the two teams took the floor.
The Panthers surprised the Pioneers and kept it close through the first quarter. However, it was the Pioneer show after that as Warren County defeated Stone Memorial, 63-49, at Charlie Dalton Gym.
WCHS head coach Chris Sullens said, “We took another step forward in the process of building our program and I’m proud of how our guys competed against a district team that Warren County had never defeated.”
Isaiah Grayson and Trevor Gaines led the Pioneers as the two players combined for 46 of the 63 points by Warren County. Grayson scored 24, while Gaines added 22.
Tristan Norman from Stone Memorial led all scorers with a game-high 25 points.
The Pioneers got off to somewhat of a slow start even though Gaines owned the Stone Memorial defense inside the paint. Gaines unloaded eight of his 22 in the opening period and controlled the boards, along with teammate Krojhn Calbert.
Grayson made some quick moves off the dribble for Warren County and he went straight to the rim with the ball.
Stone Memorial stayed close as Norman took aim and hit his mark twice from behind the 3-point line and Brett Newcome found the range once. At the end of the first quarter the score was locked, 14-14.
Warren County adjusted its game on both ends of the court. The Pioneers exploded in the second and outscored the Panthers 19-9.
The Pioneers continued their assault inside with Gaines and he worked Stone Memorial underneath. The Panther defense was shorthanded inside and packed the paint with defenders in an attempt to stop Gaines.
It allowed Warren County to shoot from outside. Logan Wilson stepped back behind the 3-point line and buried a deep shot over the Panther defense. Chance Hobbs got free and knocked down a jumper from outside while Grayson continued driving.
Stone Memorial struggled to keep pace in the second and if not for Norman the quarter might have been a complete wash for the Panthers. Norman took the Panthers on his back, scoring all nine points and at the half the Panthers trailed, 33-23.
It was another explosive quarter for Warren County in the third and the Panther defense did not have an answer. Grayson was on a mission after the half and he continued his quest to get to the rim with eight more points.
Gaines and Calbert worked inside while on the court, but their time on the floor was limited after the half.
Lorenzo Wilson made a strong move against the Panther defender and beat him inside off the dribble for his first two points.
Stone Memorial fell well short of the lead after the Panthers made several attempts to push the tempo. Newcome dropped in seven points from inside and behind the 3-point line. After a dismal second and third quarter, Stone Memorial trailed 51-34.
Warren County began the fourth quarter on cruise control. Sullens emptied the bench and Warren County maintained its lead throughout the final eight minutes.
The inside game by Warren County prevailed against the undersized Panther defense and the lack of depth on the Stone Memorial bench allowed the Pioneers to pull away with a 63-49 win Tuesday night.
Sullens added, “It was good to get back on our home floor in front of our home crowd. We thought our guys attacked well on both ends. We continue to try and find areas we need improvement and get better in those areas.”
Warren County is scheduled to play Cumberland County tonight in Crossville. The Pioneers were defeated in a two-point loss at home in the first meeting between these teams. The Pioneer game will follow the Lady Pioneer game scheduled to start at 6 p.m.
PIONEER SCORING – Isaiah Grayson 24, Trevor Gaines 22, Logan Wilson 7, Lorenzo Wilson 4, Krojhn Calbert 4, Chance Hobbs 2
PANTHER SCORING – Tristan Norman 25, Brett Newcome 16, Justin Headrick 4, Shade Foster 4