Warren County’s opponent Friday in Crossville, Stone Memorial, had lots of toys. There were two big-screen monitors on either end above the scoreboards, a great PA system, and personal introductions of the players akin to a Predators game.
And those with the most toys, in this case the Stone Memorial Panthers, won 67-47, largely from fourth-quarter action, laser accuracy on the 3-point shot, and a run on points in the fourth quarter.
“They kicked our tail,” said Warren County (11-9, 1-3) head coach Chris Sullens. “Defensively, we didn’t play up to their level and we were still worried about our last shot instead of focusing on the next one. We had some success due to individual performances but need to work more as a team. It’s a coaching issue. It’s the coaches fault.”
The Pioneers held their own for three quarters, 44-40, going into the fourth with Stone holding the two-bucket lead. But even without much support from the sixth man at home – the Panthers home crowd was sparse – Stone Memorial shut down the Pioneers offense and outscored Warren County, 23-7, in the fourth quarter.
Warren County gave the Panthers 23 shots from the charity stripe, and they took every advantage of the opportunity going 21-of-23 or 91 percent. Warren County shot 50 percent making 3-of-6 as Stone didn’t give them a lot to work with from the foul line.
Stone went 16-of-16 in the final eight minutes, and rounded that off with one trey and two 2-point field goals. Not a lot of outscoring except from what they were handed on a platter.
Pioneer Chance Hobbs was still Mr. Consistent converting four 3-pointers and a bucket for 14 points. The Pioneers top scorer was followed closely by Isaiah Grayson who scored all his points in the paint hitting 13 points.
The Panthers offense was led by Brett Newcome who divided his game-high 25 points from the line, underneath and outside the arc.
The Pioneers ran into major foul trouble in the fourth, spurring the snowball scoring drive of the Panthers.
Other Warren County players to score were Ethan Smith and Caleb Newby with 5 points each, McCall Turner 4, Irving Espinoza 3, Sloan Seymour 2 and K’Rojhn Calbert hit for 1 point.
The Pioneers play at home as they play host to Cumberland County this Tuesday, Jan. 24. Games begin at 6 p.m.