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Tournament champs
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Lady Pioneer Shelby Smartt scored the game-winning point in the Sonic Shootout championship against longtime rival White County. In the last few seconds, Smartt made a perfect jump shot, securing victory and avenging a loss to the Warriorettes earlier in the season. - photo by Taylor Moore
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Warren County’s top scorer Kyra Perkins showed up once again in the final quarter for the Sonic Shootout championship against White County. Perkins’s efforts and sheer strength on the court made her the tournament MVP. Catch video of the final seconds of the championship at www.southernstandard.com. - photo by Taylor Moore

The Warren County Lady Pioneers fought tooth and nail in the 15th annual Sonic Shootout at White County High School, playing overtime twice in the three-game tournament.


Warren County took the top spot in the tournament after beating White County in the championship Wednesday night. For a majority of the game, the two teams were within two points of each other and the Lady Pioneers won by one, 72-71, in overtime.


In the final moments, Lady Pioneer Shelby Smartt produced with the game on the line. She landed a crucial jump shot for 2, scoring the game-winning basket. Warren County fans exploded at the final buzzer with the victory.


Warren County head coach Anthony Lippe was pleased with his team and its improvement. He said, “I feel so proud of our girls. They’ve worked their tails off. They’re very deserving of this win.”


After being crowned the Sonic Shootout champions, Mia Hobbs, Brienne Kelsey, Shelby Smartt and Sable Winfree were all awarded all-tournament trophies, and Kyra Perkins was awarded the tournament’s Most Valuable Player.


Perkins led the Lady Pioneers in scoring in the championship game with 16 points, followed by Smartt with 14.


The win is the seventh straight for the surging Lady Pioneers who improve to 11-2 on the season. The team hasn’t lost in December.


Warren County’s last loss was Nov. 30 against White County, 57-47, in a game played in McMinnville at Charlie Dalton Gym. Seeking revenge for that loss, the Lady Pioneers played a tough, physical game.


It was tied 8-8 at the end of the first quarter. Sable Winfree fouled 15 seconds into the second quarter, making it the team’s sixth foul against the Warriorettes' one foul.


Lady Pioneer Brienne Kelsey made a 3-pointer to gain a slight advantage. Warren County ended the first half up 23-22, foreshadowing the end of the game.


The third quarter would look grim for the Lady Pioneers as the Warriorettes made every foul shot and scored three 3-pointers. Though Warren County landed just as many 3s, foul trouble really put the team at a disadvantage, ending the third quarter behind 46-38.


The start of the fourth would look tough as Sparta gained a 10-point lead early. Sable Winfree made two 3-pointers in a row, closing the gap quickly. Sable unfortunately also committed two consecutive fouls, those being her fourth and fifth.


After Sable fouled out, final act stars Perkins and Shelby Smartt scored


some important points with Perkins putting up seven herself in the last quarter. Similar to what led to a Sparta lead, Warren County got back in the game with Perkins nailing all five of her free throws.


Foul shots made all the difference this game as Warren County was up by three with only 24 seconds in regulation. Three free throw points made by White County led this rivalry to an equally intense overtime.


With the score difference getting no larger than three points in overtime, few fans could stay seated. Mia Hobbs landed a 3, and Savannah Winfree made two successful steals allowing Jaden Smartt to score 2, which put Warren County ahead.


However, after two fouls against Savannah, the Warriorettes seized their opportunity for the lead once again. With less than 30 seconds, White County was up by 1. In the final moments, Shelby Smartt secured the win with one of the biggest baskets of her career.


Warren County Scorers -- Kyra Perkins 16, Shelby Smartt 14, Brienne Kelsey 11, Mia Hobbs 9, Sable Winfree 9, Jaden Smartt 7, Savannah Winfree 6 White County Top Scorers -- Nia Powers 26, Celeste Reed 18, Alaina Stiles 13