Warren County freshmen girls were ready to play Monday night in their season finale at home against visiting Cannon County, after dropping their Friday night overtime loss to Rhea County. Could the Lady Pioneer freshmen rise to the challenge and bounce back?
The answer was a decisive yes as the Lady Pioneers were down early but quickly got things turned around and defeated Cannon County, 42-38.
Callie Cathcart led the Lady Pioneer scoring with 11 points, followed by Jordan Bess with 10.
Warren County had a dismal start only coming up with five points in the first quarter, but quickly got headed back in the right direction with an 18-point second quarter giving the Lady Pioneers a 23-18 lead at the half.
Warren County out of halftime jumped out early with full-court pressure on the ball and created turnovers. The Lady Pioneers scored quick baskets in transition and forced Cannon County to call timeout. Out of the timeout, Cannon County responded with a 3-point bomb. But not much longer after that, Cathcart would respond with a deep 3-pointer right on target for the Lady Pioneers and the score was 31-24.
The Lady Pioneers looked very sharp to start the second half right where they left off in the first half. Rachel Johnson scored six of her eight points in the third quarter, with two of those baskets coming off Cannon County turnovers and assisted by Cathcart.
After a flurry of missed shots, Kaylee Chisam collected the loose ball late in the quarter and on her way to the basket, Chisam would draw contact and a whistle. She then hit 1-of-2 free throws and extended the lead to 36-24. Cannon County would try and hold for the last shot of the third quarter and after getting a decent look, the shot was off target and Warren County was up 12 points heading into the final quarter.
Lady Pioneer passing and ball handling were much better in the third quarter and constant pressure on the ball forced Cannon County into making bad decisions passing and shooting. Cannon County was not able to establish its normal 3-point shooting game.
Cannon County came out firing in the fourth from long range, trying to claw its way back into this game, but the first couple were slightly off target. Warren County was back to feeding the ball inside to the post and Bess scored deep in the paint.
Play was getting physical late in the game as Cannon County turned up the pressure on the ball. Immediately after scoring in the low post, Bess was hit with a foul and it was her fourth and she would have to take a seat.
As Bess had to take a seat, Anna Bain would need to step up and carry the load inside for Warren County. Bain would pull down a rebound and it would send a Lionette hard to the floor.
It was all Warren County inside in the fourth quarter. Warren County coach Eden Fann called for timeout to make sure her team was on the same page to close this game out. What happened next no one saw coming and Cannon County started scoring.
Out of the timeout, Cannon County drew the foul and hit one of two shots. The score was 40-25. The Pioneers would score but Cannon County charged right back picking the ball off in transition and scoring several shots back-to-back. Coach Fann had seen enough and called for timeout.
Out of the timeout Warren County threw away the inbound pass and the Lionettes would score easily. Warren County would drive the length of the floor only to turn the ball over on a travelling violation. Cannon County wasted a lot of clock needing to foul, but after a Lionette shot missed its mark and Cannon County fouls. Warren County turned the ball over again on an inbounds play and this time a Lionette 3-point shot found its target. But it was too little, too late as the Lady Pioneers picked up the win by a final score of 42-38.
Neither team pushed the tempo early in the game as a low-scoring first quarter showed the Lady Pioneers had trouble finding points. Warren County quickly got things turned around as the Lady Pioneers started to heat up.
Bess scored eight of her 10-point total in the second and gave her team the spark that carried over into the second half.
LADY PIONEER SCORING – Callie Cathcart 11, Jordan Bess 10, Rachel Johnson 8, Kaylee Chisam 5, Allison Cripps 3, Anna Bain 3, Lexie Chadwell 2
LIONETTE TOP SCORERS - Maleah Scott 9, Emily Sissom 7, Shelby Earls 7