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Pioneers comeback effort falls short
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On a night where eight seniors were honored, it was a pair of juniors who nearly led the Warren County High School boys basketball team to a comeback victory.Nick Simmons and Tucker Smith combined for 24 second-half points, but it wasn’t enough as the Pioneers lost 58-52 to the visiting Cumberland County Jets on senior night.Seniors Mitchell McCorkle, Jacob Reagan, Hunter Daniel, Hunter Adams, Justin Ware, Mac Britton, Gage Myers and Thomas Locke each received basketballs autographed by their teammates before the game, but the emotional night didn’t seem to get the Pioneers off to a great start.Warren County fell behind 14-1 in the first six minutes as coach Malcolm Montgomery elected to play only seniors in the first quarter.The lone spark came from Myers, who has appeared in only six games this season. Myers drained a 3-pointer in the final minute of the first quarter, then stole the inbound pass and fed Reagan for a layup as the Pioneers drew within 12 right before the period ended.Coach Montgomery went back to his normal rotation following the first quarter, which meant a heavy dose of Smith and Simmons.The junior duo scored six points in the second quarter, but Warren County found itself trailing 27-16 entering halftime.The Pioneers began to claw back into the game in the third quarter with Smith taking charge on offense. Smith scored six points in the third quarter as he was able to out-hustle the Jets for baskets.The biggest bucket for Smith came shortly after the Pioneers saw D’Andre League and Hunter Daniel make back-to-back 3-pointers to cut the lead to six points.Kendall Rutledge came up with a steal at halfcourt moments later and raced in for a layup.