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Skid continues for Lady Pioneers
Lady Pioneers fight for ball --
James Clark photo Bri Young tries to wrestle the ball away from Rhea County's Maddie Smith during Monday's matchup. The Lady Golden Eagles stayed atop the District 6-AAA standings with a 82-59 victory.

Rhea County was a little more than the Lady Pioneers could handle Monday night at Charlie Dalton Gym.
The Lady Golden Eagles were a little crisper with their passes, a little more tenacious with their defense, and a little sharper with their 3-point shooting.

Warren County couldn’t keep pace and suffered an 82-59 loss. The Lady Pioneers are now 10-10 overall and 0-2 in district.

“We’re averaging 65 points a game,” said Rhea County coach Garvin Gill, whose team improves to 18-3 overall and 2-0 in district. “We got some good looks and we shot the ball well. We’re averaging 8.2 made 3-pointers a game.”

Tyra Wright was a towering force for the Lady Pioneers in the paint, finishing with a team-high 19 points. She was hard to stop when she caught the ball down low. Megan Patch and Grace Rains added 8 points each.

The Lady Pioneers were effective in scoring the basketball when they were able to shoot. The problem was the offense was hobbled by poor passing and turnovers, especially in the half-court set.

Rhea County was able to gain separation by playing aggressive defense, beating the Lady Pioneers down the floor, and by catching fire from 3-point range. Rhea County hit 3-pointers on four straight possessions late in the first quarter to build a 24-12 lead.

Warren County tried to rally in the second quarter but there were too many unforced errors. On one possession, a Lady Pioneer pass sailed over the head of its intended target for a turnover. Shortly thereafter, an inbounds pass was stolen.

Rhea County didn’t experience the same ballhandling woes and finished a solid all-around game with 11 made 3-pointers and a 19-for-23 performance from the foul line.

Rhea County was up 41-23 at the half and led by at least 15 the rest of the way. Micah Black was the top scorer for Rhea County with 25 points, followed by quick point guard Mallory Hampton with 20.

Other Lady Pioneer scorers were Callie Cathcart with 7, Rhealee Johnson with 4, Beth Vaughn and Emily Mikkola with 3 each, Caylie Sherrell, Bri Young, and Hallie Pennington with 2 each, and Kam Nowlin with 1.
The Lady Pioneers look for their first district win this Friday night when they’re scheduled to face the Lady Cavs in Cookeville.