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Pioneers win two to start tourney
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Before the Warren County High School boys basketball team could start thinking about a Sun Drop Romp Christmas tournament championship, the Pioneers had to take care of business twice on opening day.Warren County did just that, picking up wins over Sequatchie County and Rhea County Thursday to reserve a spot in the semifinals in the tournament held at Charlie Dalton Gym.The Pioneers defeated Sequatchie County 64-52, then followed with a 54-50 victory over the Golden Eagles.The back-to-back victories helped the Pioneers move above .500 for the first time since Nov. 17 when Warren County beat Daniel 1 Academy to move to 2-1 early in the season. Thursday’s win gave Warren County an 8-7 record.Both victories were led by the inside-outside combination of seniors Tucker Smith and Kendall Rutledge.Smith battled around the basket against Sequatchie County to score 11 points, then exploded for 23 points to lead the Pioneers past Rhea County.Rutledge was the leading scorer against Sequatchie County as the senior hit four 3-pointers en route to a 16-point performance. His outside touch didn’t leave him in the second game either.