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They're going to Disney World!
The Warren County Lady Pioneers captured first place Wednesday night in the Sonic Shootout. Pictured are team member front row, from left, Miranda Medley, Jenna Newby, Kennedi Pegg, Lex Verge, Rudy DeArmond, and Bella Pennington. Back row, Bri Taylor, Sable Winfree, Savannah Winfree, Mia Hobbs, Brienne Kelsey, head coach Anthony Lippe, Shelby Smartt, Kyra Perkins, Emily DeArmond, Jaden Smartt, and Sydney Burger. - photo by Taylor Moore

What are the Lady Pioneers doing to celebrate after winning the Sonic Shootout?

They’re going to Disney World!

The Warren County girls basketball team is off to Florida to compete in the Tampa Bay Christmas Invitational. The Lady Pioneers will be taking a seven-game winning streak and a Sonic Shootout championship with them to the Sunshine State.

Warren County’s first game is scheduled against Wesley Chapel of Florida this Wednesday, Dec. 29.

“From an email I received today, there are 115 teams in the tournament,” said WCHS coach Anthony Lippe on Tuesday. “There are a number of different brackets because that’s too many teams for one bracket. I know of several Tennessee teams that are going – Cookeville, Bearden, Cumberland County. We won’t be playing any of them. We are in a bracket with all Florida teams.”

The Lady Pioneers will be making the trip in two rented Chevy Suburbans. They are scheduled to play games on three days and visit Disney World on two days.

Lippe says the camaraderie and team-building are as important as any action which will take place on the court.

“The big thing is getting to take these kids to Disney World,” said Lippe. “For some of them, they have never been before. It’s a trip they will remember for the rest of their lives.”

On the court the Lady Pioneers are off to an 11-2 start. Searching through Southern Standard

archives, it is believed to be the team’s best start since the 1998-99 season.

That squad, led by seniors Jessica “Magic” Grayson and Jennifer Wilson, started the year 15-3 and finished with a 22-5 record. Mike Shockley was the coach.

This year’s team is clicking

on the court thanks to a number of athletic playmakers. Kyra Perkins was named MVP of the Sonic Shootout and she has been an all-around star.

Guards Shelby Smartt and Sable Winfree have also provided octane for the high-powered offense of the Lady Pioneers. Mia Hobbs, Jaden Smartt, and Savannah Winfree fill in the blanks and do all the things necessary to have a winning team. Brienne Kelsey is establishing herself as a sharp shooter behind the 3-point line.

After returning from Florida, the Lady Pioneers will play their first game of 2022 on Jan. 4 against Siegel in Murfreesboro. Warren County begins district play in its new-look district on Friday, Jan. 7 at home against Franklin County.

Cookeville and White County are no longer in Warren County’s district. The new district is composed of just four teams and has Warren County, Coffee County, Franklin County and Shelbyville.