by Conner Smith
The WCHS boys basketball team has been on a hot stretch all summer and it didn’t stop Tuesday in a tri-team scrimmage.
Warren County played Jackson County and Cannon County twice, once in JV and once in varsity as the Pioneers went 3-1 on the day under new coach Danny Fish.
The varsity squad ended the summer season with a record of 10-1 as the Pioneers look to get back as district champs after giving up their throne this past season. The JV went 7-2.
Coach Fish said he’s been pleased with the team’s early progress.
“A prerequisite for playing on one of my teams is you play hard and you play with a lot of energy,” said Fish. “Those are things we don’t coach that the kids have to bring to the table themselves. Attitude and effort are the only things you can control in life.”
Fish continued, “We’ve been having to learn on the fly because I was a late hire and some of the kids have been coming to practice in between football or baseball. I run a motion offense which is sometimes more difficult to learn on the fly but they’ve been doing a good job. So far we’ve shown some good chemistry and we’re working for all of us, not one of us.”
The TSSAA two-week dead period begins next week so the Pioneers will have that time off and then a somewhat relaxed July as coach Fish says July is a time he likes to let “kids be kids.”
Here’s a recap of Tuesday’s action in Gainesboro.
To start the day off the Warren County JV team crushed Cannon County 61-48 as sophomores Aaron Templeton and Nathan Turner shined along with junior Camron Perry, who was a force to reckon with in the paint.
Turner and Templeton connected on a few from deep range as Cannon County had no answer to the speed and scoring ability of the Pioneers.
The Pioneers then faced the varsity Cannon County squad as they again cruised by to win by 20 points, 67-47.
The gritty and aggressive Pioneers were headlined by 2 steals each from juniors Treyton Terry and Isaiah Cummings, along with several forced turnovers caused by seniors Sawyer Seymour, Nate Elrod, and Braylon Grayson.
The Pioneers displayed plenty of star power but had some help from key players off the bench in Dylan Stepp, Aaron Templeton, and Alex van Vuuren. The Pioneer backcourt was explosive as Seymour, always a threat to score, connected from downtown several times while Treyton Terry was the quarterback of the offense and was a force to keep out of the paint with his quickness.
Kaden Rutledge, a senior who will be getting varsity playing time for the fourth year, was also a key contributor in the Pioneers blowout win, 67-47.
This was matchup of Jackson County and Warren County’s JV squads and it was clear from the start who the better team was as WC opened up a 12-0 lead.
Jackson County fought back all game but WC kept a double digit lead for most of the game. Freshmen highlighted the game as Isaiah Robledo had 3 steals, Corban Felton scored 8 points along with 2 steals, and last but not least Keyton Reno led the Pioneers in scoring with 12 points.
Aaron Templeton got some minutes and shined as the sophomore with 10 points and a steal to punctuate his solid day. Nathan Turner couldn’t miss from 3-point land as he was 3-for-3 during the game.
The biggest part of the Pioneer win was junior Camron Perry as he was able to lock down the post as he had 10 points, 6 rebounds, and 2 blocks during the game while being able to get the ball to his other playmakers to score more points.
The Pioneers never lost the lead as they stuck to a 64-55 win to go 2-0 as a JV squad on the day.
This was a challenge as the Jackson County varsity squad has a solid team along and a good size advantage over WC. The Pioneers knew this would be no cakewalk as at halftime Warren County was down 26-17.
The Pioneers however never stopped fighting as they cut the Blue Devil lead to 6 midway through the third quarter. Isaiah Cummings and Treyton Terry led the way for the Pioneers as Cummings had a key and-1 to pump up the Pioneers and get them back into the game.
Terry was a defensive wizard not allowing any points and scoring several as well. Warren County went down by as much as 18 late in the fourth but a quick surge by Sawyer Seymour got them back into the game as Seymour had 5 points and 2 steals in a matter of minutes.
Warren County was able to make a late comeback but ran out of time and dropped the final game 56-50.