The Warren County Pioneers would find themselves face to face with the White County Warriors on Friday night in McMinnville at Charlie Dalton Gym. Warren County was coming off a tough road loss against Franklin County Tuesday night.
It would not be an easy task for Warren County when the very next team after a loss just happens to be 9-0. The Pioneers were well aware of the challenge before them, but would not be able to get past the firepower from long range the Warriors would display.
Warren County would lose its second straight game and fall 66-45.
Holden Baker would be the man for Warren County, leading the team in scoring and being the only Pioneer to reach double digits with 15. It would prove to be a long game for the Pioneers. It would not stop the efforts of Warren County to get after the loose balls and drive hard to the basket when given the chance.
White County’s star, Kordell Henderson, put on a less-than-stellar game as well, only putting up four points against the Pioneer defense and really getting a reaction when he went in for a wide-open uncontested dunk, only to get hung on the rim and come away empty.
Unfortunately there were four more player for White County to contend with other than Henderson. The Warriors jumped out to a quick 6-0 lead early in the first. After a flurry of quick transitions, the Pioneers would find themselves within striking distance down 11-8. For Warren County, that would be as close as it would get.
The problem was getting back on defense. If White County wasn’t running back before the defense was set, the Warriors would stop and set up an offense equally as potent. Perimeter passing was almost perfect with the Warriors cutting the baseline looking for, and getting behind, the defense on more than one occasion.
The two bright spots for Warren County in the second quarter were two 3-point shots, one by Carlos Villegas and the other by Baker. The second quarter was the lowest scoring quarter for the Pioneers. They never really seized an opportunity to put together any type of scoring run.
Passing was at an all-time low for Warren County on Friday night as the two teams headed into the break with White County out front 33-18.
Warren County came out ready in the second half. The passing game had improved over that of the first half.
Isaac Golden connected from deep to chip away at the White County lead, but quick points for the Warriors in transition would force a timeout for Warren County. As the third quarter drew to a close, White County was up, 51-29.
The Pioneers were flat and appeared to be running on fourth-quarter fumes. Coach Chris Sullens subbed in five fresh players for Warren County with 4:19 to play. The fresh five rose to the challenge and knocked down three shots from beyond the 3-point line, two by Alex Cripps and one by McCall Turner.
The first half was simply more than Warren County could overcome and White County showed the Pioneers why they are undefeated for a reason.
Up next for Warren County is a game this Tuesday at Tullahoma.
PIONEER scoring - Holden Baker 15, Alex Cripps 8, Isaiah Grayson 6, Krojhn Calbert 5, Isaac Golden 3, McCall Turner 3, Carlos Villegas 3, Zech Clark 2.
WARRIOR top scorers - Zach Stephenson 17, Cole Vaughn 14, Hyle Robbins 8.