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Pioneers move to 3-0
Nate Elrod fighting for ball at Tullahoma.jpg
Nate Elrod, right, moves in to try and take the ball away from two Tullahoma players Tuesday night. Elrod scored 15 points in the Pioneers win that makes Warren County 3-0 for the season. - photo by Brad Durham
Braylon and Collins at Tullahoma KEEPER 2.jpg
Pioneers Braylon Grayson and Hayden Collins both go up for a rebound at Tullahoma on Tuesday night. The Pioneers won 55-47 and host DeKalb County at the Dalt Friday night.

The Pioneers beat Tullahoma on Tuesday night on the road, 55-47. The win gives Warren County a 3-0 season record as the Pioneers prepare for DeKalb County at home this Friday night.

Tullahoma was a young, athletic team that started four sophomores and a freshman. Most of its varsity starters are still playing football for the 13-0 Tullahoma Wildcats who host a semifinal playoff game against Haywood County on Friday night. Not having most of the varsity starters did not appear to slow down Tullahoma as they jumped to a 14-10 lead at the end of the first quarter.

Warren County found some offensive power in the second quarter and took a 29-20 lead at halftime. Both Sawyer Seymour and Nate Elrod made 3-pointers in the quarter, and five other Pioneers scored in the quarter. Seven players scoring points in a quarter is a good example of what head coach Chris Sullens is alluding to regarding the Pioneers being 10-11 players deep.

Nate Elrod was Warren County’s top scorer with 15 points, and he did about everything you expect a basketball player to do. Elrod had an ESPN-highlight type of block in the third quarter that showed how athletic Elrod is defensively as well as offensively. His defensive and offensive performance was reminiscent of how Elrod was a playmaker in football on both sides of the ball.

Elrod made a shot that rolled around the rim and dropped through the net as the buzzer sounded to end the third quarter. It was a night in which Nate Elrod earned a lucky roll on the rim for a basket with his exceptional hustle. He made three 3-point shots in the game that felt like they came at crucial times in a close ballgame.

Kaden Rutledge started strong with 8 points in the first half. Treyton Terry had 7 points, and looked like he is becoming more comfortable running the offense. Terry is a solid ball-handler who caught the attention of former Pioneer point guard Dee Spates who was in the stands at Tullahoma. Spates made a comment about the Pioneers giving up height to Tullahoma, “Height doesn’t mean anything. It is the height of the heart that matters.”



After the game WCHS head coach Chris Sullens said, “Our team knows that we are 10-11 players deep. I don’t have a name for the groups we are sending in and out of the game. They are the Pioneers. We are a team. Tonight, as it is in every game, each quarter counts. We got on a spurt in the second quarter, and that got us going. This is a team that can score points quickly, and that spurt helped. We will have a tough game against DeKalb on Friday night. They have a good team this year. It is a border battle, and we will be ready.”


Both the Pioneers and Lady Pioneers will host DeKalb County at the Dalt on Friday night. The high school basketball teams will also be home Tuesday night against rival White County.




WARREN COUNTY Nate Elrod 15, Kaden Rutledge 8, Treyton Terry 7, Braylon Grayson 6, Sawyer Seymour 5, Isaiah Cummings 5, Kaden Desmaris 4, Alex van Vuuren 2, Hayden Collins 2, Eli Kuykendall 1

TULLAHOMA Xavier Ferrell 16, Jacob Sanchez 8, Khani Johnson 8, DeAndre Jenkins 8, Keegan Taylor 5, Trevaughn Palmer 2