WCHS head coach Chris Sullens has said, “This is a team that will win or learn.” Friday night was the second learning experience for Warren County, which lost earlier in the week to White County.
The Pioneers fell to 4-2 Friday at home with a loss to the visiting Siegel Stars, 54-39.
Siegel looked like a formidable team during warmups. Their center, Jimmy Snead, is 6-foot-5, and they had good perimeter shooters. Surprisingly, Eli Kuykendall controlled the opening tipoff against the taller Siegel center.
Pioneers point guard Treyton Terry scored the opening basket to give Warren County a 2-0 lead. It was the only time the Pioneers led. The Pioneers fell behind in the first quarter, 17-9, but fought back to trail Siegel by only 3 points, 23-20 at the half.
Siegel’s head coach was asked at halftime to explain how his team lost the lead to Warren County in the second quarter. Stars head coach Matt Rigsby replied, “Bad things happen when you play coach Sullens’ team in this gym. We are great friends, and he coaches his players to play hard. We missed some shots. Give them credit defensively. We have to do better against their zone. We took some quick shots early. If we can swing it around, maybe we will get more shots in the paint.”
The Stars were able to pass the ball around the perimeter and made some critical 3-point shots in the third quarter that prevented the Pioneers from tying the game or taking a lead. The Pioneers forced turnovers and made shots in the third quarter to keep the game close.
Treyton Terry, Nate Elrod and Kaden Desmaris scored all of Warren County’s points in the third quarter. Terry and Elrod made shots in transition, and the crowd became energized as the Pioneers trailed only 39-37 late in the fourth.
The turning point came in the final quarter when Warren County committed an intentional foul that put Siegel at the free throw line and gave the Stars possession after the foul shots. Siegel’s Isaiah Haynes made both free throws, and then the Stars inbounded the ball and missed a 3-point shot.
Unfortunately, the shooter was fouled. Siegel made all three of the subsequent free throws. In a matter of seconds, Siegel had extended its lead from 2 points to 7 points on free throws.
Warren County could not make a comeback, and during the last two minutes Siegel increased its lead and went into a four-corner offense that helped run out the clock.
In the fourth quarter alone, Siegel made 11 free throws. As coach Sullens mentioned after the game, Warren County struggled to score points, and in the fourth quarter, the Pioneers were outscored 17-6.
The Pioneers low score can be misleading. The Pioneers were not outhustled. Siegel assistant coaches said after the game Warren County played harder than the Stars, but the fouls and shot-making were the difference.
Coach Sullens was asked if the intentional foul and quick number of foul shots made a difference in the fourth quarter. Sullens responded, “That helped. Let’s face it. That was a 7-point swing. They made two foul shots and then three foul shots on the 3-point shot foul. That was a big, and then they added a bucket to make it a 9-point lead. We have to get better offensively. It is hard to win ball games when you are only scoring 40. That being said, we have to play better in the half-court. I think defensive rebounds hurt us a little tonight. Our kids played extremely hard, but we have to finish around the basket. We have to get to the free throw line more. We have to coach better.”
Sophomore Treyton Terry was asked how he felt about the game. Terry said, “We really played hard. Some shots didn’t fall.”
Terry was also asked what he was thinking in the fourth quarter when the Pioneers trailed 39-37. Terry replied, “I thought we were going to win this game. We were still in it. All we can do is keep pushing, keep working.”
The Pioneers travel to play Upperman on Tuesday and return home to face Franklin on Friday.
PIONEERS Treyton Terry 13, Kaden Desmaris 7, Nate Elrod 5, Eli Kuykendall 4, Keldric Cox 3, Sawyer Seymour 3, Braylon Grayson 2, Hayden Collins 2,
SIEGEL Isaiah Haynes 24, Carter Webb 10, Mac Moss 10, Tre Von Bass 5, Jimmy Snead 4, Peter Thomas 1
SOUTHERN STANDARD ON SPORTS
Entire interviews with both Siegel boys and girls head coaches in addition to both Warren County head coaches can be viewed on a new Southern Standard on Sports. Player interviews and some game footage is also included. The show can be viewed for free on the Southern Standard app and at www.southernstandard.com.