The Warren County Pioneers came up four points short of finishing .500 in the district Friday night in Crossville. The Pioneers got off to an early lead behind five 3-pointers in the first half.
Stone Memorial claimed the lead less than a minute into the third quarter. The Panthers continued to attack the Pioneer defense and Warren County struggled to find the handle on offense.
The Pioneers were defeated at Stone Memorial by a final score of 54-51.
With less than a minute to play, Chance Hobbs shot a wide open 3-pointer and hit his mark. Hobbs pulled the Pioneers within one, 52-51, and coach Chris Sullens called timeout.
The Panthers inbounded and Warren County was forced to foul. Mason Baucum stepped up and missed both as the Pioneers rebounded and hurried down the floor. The ball went inside to Trevor Gaines and the shot went off the backboard and off the side of the rim. The Panther defense rebounded and a Panther was fouled with seconds left.
Nathaniel Sexton buried both shots from the free-throw line and put the Panthers up by three, 54-51.
In a last-ditch effort, Holden Baker inbounded to Lorenzo Wilson. His pass went to Hobbs and this time the shot was no good and the Panther defense got the final rebound as the buzzer sounded. Stone Memorial defeated Warren County to drop the Pioneers to 4-6 in the district.
Tristan Norman for the Panthers led all scorers with a game-high 25 points. The Pioneer defense tried to contain Norman with everything except the kitchen sink. He seemed to find his way through everything in his path and made his way to the basket.
Chance Hobbs led the Pioneers with 16 points. He had a hot hand down the stretch and delivered four 3-pointers, three in the final period.
Warren County edged Stone Memorial at the half, 21-19. A less-than-stellar night of shooting on both ends of the floor contributed to the low-scoring first half.
The second half started with a flurry of turnovers on both ends. The Pioneers led 27-24 when Sexton dropped a long 3-point bomb over the defense that hit its mark and the score was locked at 27-27.
The quarter continued at a quick pace despite the lack of scoring. A pair of free throw by the Panthers put them out front 35-29.
With time running out in the third, Baker picked off a pass and raced back for an uncontested layup at the buzzer. Warren County trailed 35-31 at the end of the third.
The Pioneers claimed the lead less than a minute into the fourth quarter. Chance Hobbs was left open and he buried a 3-pointer and pulled the Pioneers within one, 35-34.
Stone Memorial missed and Gaines rebounded and got the ball ahead to Logan Wilson. Wilson fired a 3-pointer over the Panther defense and Warren County claimed the lead at 37-35.
Isaiah Grayson tried for the steal and was whistled for the foul. Jared Van Winkle stepped up and hit a pair of free throws and tied the game at 37-37.
Stone Memorial would eventually score and reclaim the lead at 41-40.
Isaiah Grayson would not have any part of it and he took the ball coast-to-coast. The Pioneers led 42-41.
Shade Foster was fouled and went to the line and knocked down 1-of-2 and the score was locked again at 42-42.
It would stay close until the final buzzer.
Warren County came close but the final shot attempt missed and the Pioneers finish 4-6 in the district, and improvement over last year’s 0-10 mark.
The Pioneers played the Coffee County Red Raiders on Saturday with results not available at press time.
PANTHER SCORING – Tristan Norman 25, Shade Foster 9, Nathaniel Sexton 8, Brett Newcome 4, Ransom Velker 4, Jarred Van Winkle 2, Mason Baucum 2
PIONEER SCORING – Chance Hobbs 16, Logan Wilson 8, Holden Baker 8, Isaac Golden 7, Trevor Gaines 6, Isaiah Grayson 4, Jack Davidson 2.