The Warren County Pioneers gained momentum early last week with their first road win in a four-game road trip versus Cannon County. The excitement was short-lived when the Pioneers ran up against the Cavaliers in Cookeville on Friday night.
The Pioneers entered the game with their sights aimed at their first district win. Warren County jumped out to an early lead, but by the end of the first quarter Cookeville claimed the lead and never relinquished it.
Cookeville defeated Warren County, 65-47.
Noah Hilliker of Cookeville led all scorers with a game-high 18 points. He buried three deep 3-pointers and shot 7-of-8 from the free-throw line.
Trevor Gaines led the Pioneers with 12 points.
Krojhn Calbert and Gaines went to work in the post for Warren County and the Cavalier defense matched up well with the Pioneers size inside. Each player picked up a pair of baskets in a physical battle inside.
Chance Hobbs buried a 3-pointer to keep the offense headed in the right direction. An early 2-on-1 situation allowed Gaines to slip behind the defender and he took a pass in stride toward the rim. Gaines went up strong and rocked the rim with a two-handed dunk that excited the large Pioneer crowd.
The excitement was short lived when the Cavaliers continued to fire shots outside the Pioneer zone defense. Ayden Gist led the Cookeville assault with seven first-quarter points. Cookeville claimed the lead near the end of the quarter and the Cavaliers led 16-13 when the buzzer sounded.
The Cavaliers defense went lights out against a stunned Pioneer offense. The Cookeville defense gathered most of the loose balls and out rebounded the Pioneers in the second. The result was Warren County went into the half down 35-17.
The third quarter was dead even on both ends of the floor. Lorenzo Wilson and Hobbs highlighted the third quarter with a pair of 3-pointers for six of the 12 third-quarter points. The Pioneers did not attempt to push the tempo and just settled into a half-court offense.
Cookeville stayed the course on what got them in the lead and Warren County did not have an answer.
Ayden Gist got in close for a basket and then he was sent to the free-throw line and shot 4-of-4 as the third quarter wound down. Warren County trailed 47-29 at the end of three.
Despite the deficit, there was no sense of urgency for the Pioneer offense. Isaac Golden pulled the trigger and hit from beyond the arch. Isaiah Grayson was scoreless until the fourth and the Cavalier offense sent him to the free-throw line where he shot 5-of-6 on the night.
The bench for Warren County emptied for most of the final quarter.
Alex Yates entered and went right at the Cookeville defense and hit inside the paint. Tyree Ladet was hacked on his way through the defense and he knocked down 1-of-2 before the end of the quarter.
Warren County has an overall record of 9-12 and falls to 0-3 in the district.
Warren County will be at Wilson Central on Monday and will follow the Lady Pioneers game scheduled for a 6:30 p.m. tip off.
CAVALIER SCORING – Noah Hilliker 18, Ayden Gist 13, Bryric Savage 10, Jacob Reeves 6, Jacob Willbarscheid 5, Trey Bundrant 5, Jack Humphrey 4, Cameron Hayes 2, Hunter Vick 2
PIONEER SCORING – Trevor Gaines 12, Chance Hobbs 8, Krojhn Calbert 6, Lorenzo Wilson 5, Isaiah Grayson 5, Isaac Golden 3, Alex Yates 2, Tyree Ladet 1