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Pioneers crushed by Coffee County
Heath Kuykendall takes a late jumper in Thursday's blowout loss to Coffee County.

Officiating may be the only thing Chris Sullens didn’t have to worry about following Thursday’s matchup between Coffee County and Warren County.

The Red Raiders roasted the Pioneers 74-41 Thursday night, completing their first sweep in the season series since Sullens took over the Pioneers before the 2015 season.

“They beat us in every phase. It’s the worst loss in my tenure at Warren County,” said Sullens. “I take full responsibility. It’s completely unacceptable. We have no excuses, they deserved to win.

“It is never acceptable to have that type of performance when you put on a Pioneer jersey. To have it happen on our home court is even more troubling. To say I am concerned about our team going into the heart of the schedule would be an understatement.”

Warren County had been 7-2 against Coffee County over the last four years, but the Red Raiders reversed the trend this season. The first matchup sparked great debate locally, with Coffee County parading to the foul line 44 times to the Pioneers’ five free throws in a 61-55 overtime win in December.

The Red Raiders, and star forward Darius Rozier, left little doubt on who was better Thursday.

Coffee County scored the game’s first 15 points and held a double-figure lead for all but four minutes of action. Rozier was a big reason why, as he scored 20 points while taking great joy lighting up the Pioneers.

Rozier was overwhelming offensively, bullying smaller defenders at the basket and driving past the Pioneer posts. Rozier had fun pumping up the Coffee County crowd, especially on a thunderous dunk in the second quarter.

The Pioneers trailed 32-19 at halftime, but saw the deficit grow to 57-33 by the end of the third quarter. Rozier racked up nine points in the third period, including an emphatic and-one where he beat two Pioneers for a bucket.

Sloan Seymour and CJ Taylor tried to rally the Pioneers in the third, but the effect was minimal. Both players hit 3-pointers in the third, but found their way to bench shortly after due to frustration fouls.

Seymour picked up a flagrant foul in the third and sat the rest of the way. Taylor joined him minutes later after receiving a technical foul. The duo finished as the team’s leading scorers despite sitting the fourth quarter, with Seymour scoring 11 and Taylor adding nine.

Lacedrick Cox and Ethan Smith followed with four points apiece.

Warren County will try to bounce back at home Tuesday when it plays host to Stone Memorial. It will be the first district contest for each team. It is set to start at 7:30 p.m. 

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