The Pioneers escaped the Hall of Champions tourney with a 64-61 win in their game versus the Rebels in Franklin County.
Warren County was plagued by turnovers in the first half and looked as though the Pioneers had found the handle on the ball in the second half. The pace in the last two minutes forced both teams to turn the ball over and it was a back-and-forth sprint to the finish.
Warren County led 62-61 with 15.9 seconds to play. WCHS coach Chris Sullens called timeout before the Pioneers inbounded the ball against the tenacious Rebel full-court press.
The ball was inbounded to Isaac Golden and he immediately went on the attack. He sprinted the floor and dribbled the ball straight at the heart of the Rebel defense. Golden went toward the rim and was fouled.
He knocked down the first of two shots and Warren County led 63-61. His second shot was off target and the Rebels rebounded the ball and took off.
The Franklin County offense did get a shot to tie, but it went off the front of the rim. Isaiah Grayson rebounded the Rebel miss and he was fouled with less than :02 on the clock. Grayson knocked down 1-of-2 and the Pioneers led 64-61.
Franklin County inbounded the ball and time expired. The shot fired by the Rebels was well short and the Pioneers picked up the 64-61 win.
Senior transfer Trevor Gaines is the newest addition to the Pioneer post game and showed off his touch at the rim. Gaines led the Pioneer offense with 16 points. Sophomore Isaiah Grayson exploded on offense in the third quarter and finished with 15.
Warren County struggled from the free-throw line and the team as a whole shot 14-of-34. Grayson knocked down 7-of-10 from the charity stripe in the second half.
After Warren County got careless with the ball, the Pioneers watched as their 10-point lead from the first quarter slipped through their fingers. Turnovers plagued the Warren County offense in the second quarter and the Rebel offense benefited greatly by outscoring the Pioneers 21-10 in the second off turnovers.
With only :16 to play in the first half, Franklin County led 32-29. With seconds to play, Wesley Jennings fired a shot from beyond the 3-point line. The shot missed its intended target but Gaines was in the right place for the uncontested putback and he just did beat the buzzer and put the Pioneers within one, 32-31.
The pressure intensified on both sides and the Pioneers’ passion poured out in the third. On several occasions players were separated after a hard foul was committed. Warren County’s offense showed it was not willing to budge.
The trio of Gaines, Grayson, and Holden Baker combined for 16 of the 17 third-quarter points. Grayson and Baker attacked the defense and penetrated the Rebel defense. The duo found themselves in front of the rim throughout the quarter.
The Pioneer defense played a masterful third quarter and held the Rebels in check. It was Franklin County after the half which was troubled on offense and not able to find a handle on the ball. Turnovers in the front-court were picked up by Grayson who raced back for easy transition baskets.
The two teams traded blows for much of the fourth and the game was never out of reach for either team. The Pioneers made plays when they needed them and Warren County outlasted Franklin County in a sprint to the finish. Pioneers took the 64-61 win over the Rebels in the Hall of Champions tournament in Franklin County.
PIONEER SCORING – Trevor Gaines 16, Isaiah Grayson 15, Holden Baker 9, Isaac Golden 8, Krojhn Calbert 6, Chance Hobbs 3, Alex Yates 2, Joelah Solomon 2, Lucas Patrick 2, Lorenzo Wilson 1