It was the quick or the dead Friday night as the Warren County Pioneers visited White County for Sparta’s homecoming game, and fell victim to the Warriors homecoming celebration, 72-49.
Warren County’s offense was quick, as the Pioneers matched Sparta point-for-point in the first quarter, tied 12 all after one. The Pioneers went ahead by a field goal at the start of the second as Caleb Newby worked inside for 2 points from underneath, 14-12, Pioneers.
Unfortunately, White County’s defense got a step quicker.
Then the tides turned in favor of the Warriors as Jared Carter, Sparta’s top scorer and thorn in the side of the Pioneers, did a quick strike for 2 points and a 3-point shot from a turnover, 17-14, energizing the crowd and the team. Carter scored 18 points in the contest.
Those 5 points would haunt the Pioneers for the rest of the ballgame as they fought to pull close only to find themselves back by 5 points until Sparta pulled away after the third quarter, 42-32.
“We just ran out of gas,” said Warren County head coach Chris Sullens. “They really fought hard but we have to find a way to score consistently instead of in spurts. It was a tough game. They had a great crowd and a few momentum changes. I am really proud of these young men.”
Warren County left a few points on the table from the charity stripe, but not enough to matter going 9-of-14 for 64 percent while White County went 19-of-23 for 83 percent.
The Warriors contained outside shooter Chance Hobbs to one trey in the ballgame by keying on him outside the arc and double teaming him when he had the rock. Hobbs still made it in range for three more field goals making him and big-man K’Rojhn Calbert tied for second highest team score with 9 points apiece.
Pioneer power forward Isaiah Grayson just broke into double digits leading the Warren County offense with 11 points. Sloan Seymour hit for 6 points, Newby 5, Irving Espinoza 4, Logan Wilson and Bunker Brock both scored 2 points, and McCall Turner hit 1 point from the foul line.
Warren County, seeking a second district win, will travel to Cookeville this Tuesday, Jan. 31. Games begin at 6 p.m.