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Pioneers win wild matchup
Photos courtesy of Painted Barn Media It was an all-out celebration for Warren County when the final second ticked off the clock in Friday's 50-48 win over Coffee County. Pictured are, from left, Devin Fish, Braylon Grayson and Sawyer Seymour.

Four seconds have never felt like longer for Danny Fish and the Pioneers. Warren County had to hang on at home Friday night in the waning seconds, including having a potential game-winning shot by Coffee County waved off just before the buzzer to beat the Red Raiders 50-48.

Four technical fouls, a missed point on the scoreboard and Deion Subaran’s incredible shot that was wiped away by stepping out of bounds all happened in just four seconds of game time at the Dalt Friday during a pivotal battle that left the Pioneers one game away from a regular season District 6-4A championship. 

Sawyer Seymour, who scored a game-high 15 points for the Pioneers, thought he had sealed the victory for the Pioneers when he hit five free throws to make it 51-44 in the final four seconds. The wild night was just getting started though.

Seymour was sent to the line down the stretch for four free throws when Jackson Shemwell was tossed following back-to-back technicals protesting a call late, but more technicals would follow. While Seymour was shooting another set of free throws, this time when Coffee County was forced to foul with 1.7 seconds left down 49-44, Warren County was hit with two technicals.

Nate Elrod and Devin Fish, two pillars of an epic comeback in the final two minutes, were T’d up after high-fiving in front of the Pioneer bench and behind Seymour, who drilled two more free throws during the craziness.

There was two problems during the stretch for Warren County: the Red Raiders were still going to get four shots and the ball and Seymour’s second free throw never showed up on the scoreboard.

Instead of being up seven, 51-44, the scoreboard showed 50-44 as Subaran strolled to the other end to take four free throws. Coffee County’s talented guard drained all four, cutting the deficit to just two as a packed Charlie Dalton Gym struggled to comprehend everything that was happening. 

It was only going to get more bizarre for the two teams, and a pair of raucous fan bases, seconds later.

Coffee County was able to thread a pass down the sideline to Subaran as he broke to the corner in hopes of winning the game. He turned and fired from deep, nailing a 3-pointer as time expired. 

A whistle was blowing with the ball in the air though, with the referee racing in and ruling Subaran stepped on the sideline before launching what would’ve been a game winner for the Red Raiders.

Warren County started the game trailing 14-2, with a prolonged drought extending into the second quarter. Devin Fish, who finished with 14 points, had a personal 7-0 run to get the Pioneers back in the game in the second quarter. Warren County outscored Coffee County 18-4 in the period, with Treyton Terry sneaking in a layup before the buzzer to push his team ahead 20-16 at the break.

Coffee County retook the lead, 33-32, going into the fourth when Shemwell was fouled taking a half-court shot at the buzzer and hit two free throws. The Red Raiders kept their lead deep into the fourth, but Warren County roared back late.

Alex van Vuuren drilled a huge 3-pointer with 1:40 left to put the Pioneers back up 43-42. It was a perfect setup out of a timeout, giving the team’s sniper from deep a clean look off a pick-and-pop out of a horns set. 

Van Vuuren’s game-changing triple was amid an 8-0 run in the final two minutes that featured a layup from Elrod, an easy layup from Terry after a steal and a Seymour free throw that made it 46-42 with 28 seconds left. Seymour would get even more opportunities at the line in a crazy final stretch featuring a flurry of technical fouls. 

Warren County is now 12-15 overall and will play two more regular season games this week. The Pioneers go for the district title against Shelbyville Tuesday before honoring their seniors Friday, Feb. 10 against Ooltewah. Both games are scheduled to tip-off at 7:30 p.m.