It was the first of a four-game road trip since the Warren County Pioneers returned from Christmas break. Up first for the Pioneers were the Lions of Cannon County. These two teams last faced each other Nov. 25 and the Pioneers escaped with a five-point win at home.
Tuesday night in Cannon County, the Pioneers improved their margin of victory and defeated the Lions for the second time, 65-55.
The Pioneers were led by Trevor Gaines, who scored a game-high 25 points. Gaines battled down in the trenches versus a physical Lions defense. He also shot 3-of-4 from the free-throw line.
Warren County has picked up its intensity as the season has progressed and Tuesday night in the Lions’ Den was no different.
The Pioneers set the tone right from the start and the offense fed the ball into the post early and often. Gaines battled his way into position and picked up six of his points in the first. His teammate, Krojhn Calbert, provided another large presence inside and Calbert went to work and added four more points in the paint.
Outside the paint, it was sharp-shooter Chance Hobbs who stretched the defense with his 3-point accuracy. Isaac Golden also knocked in a jumper.
The Pioneer defense stepped up in the first and was constantly in the face of the Lion offense. Warren County forced the Lions to shoot from deep and they did. Three different players fired shots from long range and the shots hit their target for nine of the 13 first quarter points by Cannon County. At the end of the first quarter, Warren County led 18-13.
In the second quarter, Isaiah Grayson took over on the offensive end for Warren County. His relentless pursuit of the basket netted him 11 points before the half. Gaines kept up inside the paint and added six more to his total.
At the half, Cannon County trailed 35-23.
Warren County came out of the half a little flat and Cannon County held a slight edge in the third. Gaines and Grayson continued to put in work on the offense and the pair got help in the third from Joelah Solomon who dropped in a pair of shots inside the paint.
The Lions went back outside the arch and Austin Duggin slipped free from the Pioneer defense and he buried a pair of deep threes and he led Cannon County with eight points in the quarter and after three complete Warren County led 47-36.
The Lions attacked in the fourth quarter and pulled within three points and forced Warren County to call timeout. The Pioneers got their focus back and out of the timeout a flurry of baskets dropped for Warren County.
Alex Yates drew contact and stepped to the free-throw line and went a perfect 2-of-2. Lorenzo Wilson drove right up the middle of the Lion defense and finished at the rim for his only basket.
Gaines, Grayson, and Golden all added points to the Pioneer total and fended off the final attack of the Lions.
Austin Martin from Cannon County had his biggest quarter and he finished with a nine-point fourth quarter and shot 4-of-4 from the free-throw line. It was not enough and time ran out on the Cannon County offense.
The Pioneers defeated the Lions by a final score of 65-55. Tonight the Pioneers will be on the road again in Cookeville against the Cavaliers. The Pioneers will follow the Lady Pioneers who are scheduled to start at 6 p.m.
PIONEER SCORING – Trevor Gaines 25, Isaiah Grayson 19, Chance Hobbs 5, Isaac Golden 4, Joelah Solomon 4, Krojhn Calbert 4, Alex Yates 2, Lorenzo Wilson 2
LIONS SCORING – Austin Duggin 15, Austin Martin 15, Briar Jakes 13, Brandon Miles 7, Bo Bryson 3, Trey Fann 2