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WCHS girls smash DeKalb
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Sable Winfree speeds right by the DeKalb County defense in Friday's matchup. Winfree had 13 points in Warren County's 78-53 victory over the Lady Tigers. - photo by Jeffery Simmons

It seemed counter intuitive to get into a track meet against one the best runners in the state of Tennessee, but the Lady Pioneers weren’t going to take their foot off the pedal in Smithville. Warren County was running and gunning from the opening tip and it paid off as the Lady Pioneers stomped DeKalb County 78-53.

Kyra Perkins scored a career-high 28 points, Shelby Smartt canned three triples in the second half on her way to 14 points and Sable Winfree sliced and diced her way to 13 points as Warren County picked up its third win this season. The Lady Pioneers are now 3-2 and are coming off back-to-back blowout wins behind an offense that is on the go for the full 32 minutes.

“We’re pushing the ball in transition and finding girls. I think pushing in transition, getting out and running our lanes and sharing the basketball has done a lot for us,” said coach Anthony Lippe about his team’s offensive explosion this week, including Friday’s 78 points (the second-most for the Lady Pioneers in Lippe’s four seasons at the helm).

DeKalb County tried to keep pace behind the splendid play of Ella Van Vranken. The junior guard poured in 27 points, including sinking five triples, in a losing effort for the Lady Tigers. The Lady Pioneers are well aware of Van Vranken, who runs track for Warren County (as part of a co-op program with Smithville) and has set four school records for WCHS.

“We didn’t do a great job of finding their shooters and all credit goes to them. Van Vranken and (Avery) Agee can really stretch your defense and knock down shots. We lost them, but we made a few adjustments at halftime and came out and played a lot better,” said Lippe.

Warren County led 37-28 at the break, but it found a different gear in the third quarter. Perkins was masterful getting behind the Lady Tiger defense on cuts and in transition, adding 10 points to her total in the period. Smartt also started warming up with a 3-pointer, while Mia Hobbs (who had nine points) added a key three-point play off a tough finish in traffic to stretch the lead to 21 entering the fourth.

The Lady Pioneer avalanche of points continued as Smartt drained two late triples and Perkins and Brienne Kelsey connected from distance as well. Almost all the shots were wide open as Warren County’s ball movement was pristine.

“We’re understanding what good shot selection is and what kind of looks we want for our team instead of what looks we want as individuals. I say it all the time, ‘It’s not your shot, it’s our shot.’ We’re looking for good looks and not wanting to be a one shot and done offense,” said Lippe about the team’s turnaround offensively.

Warren County will try to keep up its hot shooting this Tuesday when it heads to Sparta for a showdown with the Warriorettes. Action is set to start at 6 p.m.

Lady Pioneer scoring – Perkins 28, Smartt 14, Winfree 13, Kelsey 9, Hobbs 9, Lex Verge 5