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Three Lady Pioneers honored
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The honors for the Lady Pioneer basketball program keep rolling in.
Following a 14-19 season where Warren County finished fourth place in the District 6-AAA regular season and tournament and made a second straight regional tournament, the Lady Pioneers had three players honored by the coaches in District 6-AAA.
Senior Lauren Wilkinson was recognized on the All-District 6-AAA first team, while senior Bree Smith made the second team. Freshman Bri Melton was given honorable mention after her first year of varsity basketball.
Wilkinson is no stranger to honors, having been named to the all-district team the past three years. Wilkinson finished her career at Warren County with 1,562 points, a number that could be the highest total ever by a Lady Pioneer.
Wilkinson averaged 16.7 points her senior season, including topping 20 points 14 times. Wilkinson scored a career-high 30 points in a victory over the First Academy in the Rock Holiday Classic held in Orlando, Fla.
Wilkinson also hit a game-winning shot against DeKalb County in Smithville on a night where she scored 29 points. For the season, Wilkinson scored double digits in 26 of the Lady Pioneers’ 33 games.
Wilkinson was also the team’s leading rebounder and shot blocker and ranked among the team lead in steals and assists.
Smith came on in her senior season to help form a dynamic duo for the Lady Pioneers on offense.
Smith averaged 8.5 points and over four assists a game as she split time between shooting guard and point guard for the Lady Pioneers.
Smith’s best outing came in the highest-pressure contest for Warren County. Knowing the season was on the line in the play-in game of the District 6-AAA tournament, Smith scored a season-high 18 points to help Warren County defeat Cookeville 40-28.
Both senior starters also garnered all-tournament recognition last week.
Coach Erick Baird hopes the quality of play and leadership Wilkinson and Smith provided this season will live on with the returning Lady Pioneers.
“Bree’s and Lauren's hard work and dedication over the last three years have set a standard for Lady Pioneer basketball,” said Baird. “Hopefully, over time, the program will become competitive on a state level due to their perseverance and discipline.”
Melton didn’t hit her stride as a freshman until district play began in January. Playing spot duty for most of the first two months, Melton worked her way into the starting lineup when Warren County started taking on its district opponents.
Melton scored a season-high 12 points in a three-point road loss to Cumberland County in her third start and added 10 points in a 40-39 win over Cookeville at home.
Coach Baird knows how important Melton is to the future of the Lady Pioneer program.
“Melton will be the first of many classes that have a direct effect on the program,” said Baird. “She exemplifies the student athlete and her leadership will be key in getting to the regional tournament again.”