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Pioneers continue slump against Smyrna
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After winning two of its first three games, the Warren County High School boys basketball team has now lost its last four games.
The Smyrna Bulldogs beat Warren County 56-40 Saturday in the Mitch Wilson Classic, continuing the slide for the Pioneers.
Warren County had lost its previous two games by 12 points total, but the Pioneers found themselves trailing Smyrna by that much in the first quarter.
The Bulldogs used their size and sharp shooting to post 18 points in the first quarter, while Tucker Smith scored late in the first quarter to bring Warren County’s total to seven.
D’Andre League tried to put the Pioneers on his back in the second quarter to bring Warren County back against the Bulldogs.
League, who normally sets up his teammates to score, took matters into his own hands and put in seven points in the period. League’s 3-pointer with two minutes to go brought Warren County within nine at 26-17, but Smyrna scored the final four points to lead by 13 at halftime.
The Pioneers and Bulldogs started trading baskets to begin the second half. Smyrna started the half with a layup, only to see Warren County answer back with a 3-pointer from Kendall Rutledge.
The Bulldogs got to the basket for another easy shot, but Malik Ladet swished a shot from outside as Warren County used the 3-pointer to creep back into the game.
Junior Dillan Wood sank the team’s third 3-pointer of the quarter when he connected from the left corner at the buzzer.
Wood began the fourth quarter by hitting from the same spot to cut Smyrna’s lead to 41-31, but the Pioneers never got any closer.
Rutledge added a late 3-pointer to give him a team-high 11 points and senior Nick Simmons got on the board with two free throws, but the Pioneers were beaten soundly by Smyrna to fall to 2-5.
Smith, who had scored in double figures the Pioneers’ first six games, was limited to six points. League finished with a season-high seven points.
Warren County will return to action this Friday with a game against the Tullahoma Wildcats on the road. Action will begin at 6 p.m. with a girls game. The Pioneers are scheduled to tip off at 7:30 p.m.