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Seymour sparks Pioneers to victory
Sloan Seymour made an immediate impact in his first game in three weeks. The senior scored 12 points and dished out five assists as the Pioneers beat Rhea County 75-64 Friday at home. Warren County is now 15-10 overall and 2-4 in district, with both wins coming over the Eagles.

Sloan Seymour showed just how valuable he is to the Pioneers Friday night.

Warren County had lost three of five games without its senior starter, with all losses coming in district play, before Seymour suited up for the first time in three weeks against Rhea County. Seymour came off the bench to score 12 points in a 75-64 victory over the Eagles.

“He’s a key player for us,” said coach Chris Sullens. “It was good to have him back. He can score and create, and we’ve needed a boost offensively.”

Warren County (15-10) also got 22 points from Lacedrick Cox and 16 points from CJ Taylor as it improved to 2-4 in district play. It was the third time the Pioneers have beaten Rhea County this season.

Seymour made an impact instantly. Inserted into the game just three minutes after tip-off, Seymour hit his first two shots – both 3-pointers. He also had a slick assist to Taylor for a layup as he helped the Pioneers build a 17-10 lead.

Rhea County battled back in the second quarter, but Cox shot the Pioneers back out front before halftime. Cox drained three 3-pointers in the second quarter, all coming from his preferred spot in the corner.

“I’m a corner 3-point shooting specialist,” Cox said after the game.

Cox helped the Pioneers take a 38-31 lead into halftime and the break did little to cool off the junior. Cox hit three more 3-pointers in the third quarter, much to the delight of Sullens.

“We know this is the kind of scoring Red is capable of producing,” said Sullens. “He’s a guy we’re always encouraging to shoot.”

All that kept the Pioneers from running away with a victory was Ricky Guthrie. The powerful post was a devastating force at the rim, scoring 23 points – eight coming in the third quarter.

Raven Lewandowski pushed the lead to double figures early in the fourth, burying back-to-back jumpers. By the time Taylor muscled his way to the basket for a layup with 6:15 left, the Pioneers led 65-52.

Warren County hit a rocky patch in the fourth when Taylor picked up his fourth foul. In a two-minute span with Taylor on the bench, the Pioneer lead was sliced to 65-61.

Upon returning, Taylor made a highlight play that almost turned disastrous.

The sophomore forward outworked two Rhea County defenders for an offensive rebound, then powered through contact for a back-breaking layup. His shot gave the Pioneers a 69-63 lead, but he was called for a technical foul for flexing after the score.

Warren County missed the free throw and Rhea County walked to the other end, making 1-of-2 from the charity stripe.

The Pioneers shut down the game with two late defensive stops. Ethan Smith and Seymour each had big steals to seal the victory.

“I liked what we did defensively at the end. We showed a lot of effort,” said Sullens. “That was our plan from the start. We wanted the game to be uptempo and fast. I thought we got the pace we wanted.”

Smith finished with 12 points, including five late free throws. Lewandowski finished with 11, while Eli Jones had two.

The Pioneers will be back in action Tuesday, Feb. 5 with a game at Cookeville. Warren County closes the regular season Friday, Feb. 8 at home against White County.