The Warren County Lady Pioneers played a superb first half of basketball against the Stone Memorial Lady Panthers on Friday night. The Lady Pioneers kept the Lady Panthers caged through two quarters.
Warren County led 36-29 at the break and maybe got a little too relaxed with a seven-point halftime lead. Stone Memorial put up a stone-wall, full-court press and the Lady Panthers clawed their way back and claimed the lead with under :30 to play in the third.
Stone Memorial got free from its cage and went on the attack in the fourth. The Lady Pioneers could not match the intensity down the stretch and were defeated, 74-66.
Marlee Smith for Warren County led all scorers with a game-high 21 points. Smith put in work for the Lady Pioneers and shot 7-of-8 from the free-throw line.
A stone wall by Stone Memorial was applied in the third quarter and at times the Lady Pioneers struggled to get the ball inbounds. Back-to-back turnovers underneath allowed the Lady Panthers to make up the distance between the two teams as time ticked off the clock.
Warren County called for timeout and attempted to correct its mistakes. It didn’t take long for Stone Memorial to adjust and with under a minute to play in the quarter the Lady Panthers made their move.
Lexi Hinch for Stone Memorial was left open just long enough and she fired her third deep 3-pointer of the game. It was right on target and it dropped as Stone Memorial trailed 49-48.
After a Warren County turnover, Reece Stover took the ball and headed straight to the rim with under :10 to play. Her shot was up, the whistle blew, and her shot dropped. It was the first lead of the game for Stone Memorial at 50-49. She stepped to the free-throw line and completed the and-1. The Lady Panthers led 51-49 and the Lady Pioneers inbounded without enough time to even attempt a shot.
Early in the fourth, Warren County attempted to keep it close the first couple of minutes. Stone Memorial went back to its full-court pressure defense and it kept the Lady Pioneers on their heels.
With the Lady Panthers up 68-57, Elsa Eckenrod went on the attack. She made a quick move around a defender and her shot was up and good. Stone Memorial was whistled for the foul, Eckenrod completed the three-point play and the Lady Pioneers trailed 68-60 with under 3:00 to play.
Stone Memorial worked the clock late and Warren County didn’t seem to be bothered. The shot inside was blocked by Warren County and Saydee Winfree gathered the loose ball and she was fouled. She hit both free throws and Warren County trailed 68-62.
Warren County was forced to foul. Emily Boyd was not their best free throw shooter and stepped up and shot 2-of-2. The Lady Panthers took an eight-point lead, 70-62.
Another Lady Pioneer miss sent Stone Memorial back to the free-throw line with :50 to play. The Lady Panthers hit both and led 72-62.
Warren County pushed the ball up the floor quickly to an open Kristen Rowland. She squared up to the basket and fired a long 3-pointer. It fell through and Warren County trailed 72-65.
Stone Memorial was fouled and shot a perfect 2-of-2 and took a 74-65 lead with under :30 to play.
The Lady Pioneers got the ball to Megan Patch in the front court. She was fouled immediately and sent to the free-throw line where she hit 1-of-2. Warren County trailed 74-66 and Stone Memorial ran out the clock.
The Lady Pioneers played the Lady Raiders on Saturday with results not available at press time.
LADY PANTHER SCORING – Alex Eldridge 13, Lexi Hinch 12, Tesa Johnson 12, Emily Boyd 10, Reece Stover 8, Paige Shelby 6, Caitlyn Reed 5, Riley Hunt 3, Jessica Tabor 3, Susan Nelson 2
LADY PIONEER SCORING – Marlee Smith 21, Elsa Eckenrod 14, Kristen Rowland 12, Saydee Winfree 8, Allison Hitchcock 8, Rylan Moore 2, Megan Patch 1.