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WCHS Lady Pioneers win second straight
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2019 will be a year the Lady Pioneers will want to forget, but at least it wrapped up with a winning streak on the hardwood.

Warren County won its second straight game Saturday, beating Tolsia, W. Va., 62-28 in the consolation finals of the Smoky Mountain Christmas Classic.

The win followed the team’s first victory of the 2019-20 season Friday, when the Lady Pioneers won their first game in 345 days by beating Buckhorn, Ky. 70-39. It snapped an 11-game losing streak to start the year and a 19-game slid dating back to the previous season. Before Friday’s win, Warren County’s last victory came on Jan. 10, 2019, against Grundy County.

Struggles were expected this season after the Lady Pioneers went winless in the district last year and saw their longtime coach Shea Panter resign in the offseason.

New coach Anthony Lippe took over a young team looking to replace all five starters. The challenge only got tougher when the Lady Pioneers lost two starters to injury in the last two weeks, along with another starter deciding to leave the team. 

The struggles seemed to finally fade away the moment Warren County reached the Smoky Mountains. The Lady Pioneers fell by two in their opening game, then rolled off two straight victories to build momentum rolling into 2020.

Erica Cantrell broke out in Saturday’s game, scoring a career-high 12 points in the blowout of the Lady Rebels.

Beth Vaughn and Shelby Smartt added nine points each, followed by Brielee Kelsey with eight and Kyra Perkins with seven. Rounding out the Lady Pioneer scoring in Saturday’s victory was Kam Nowlin and Kenley Cathcart with five points each, Madalyn Stubblefield with three and Lia Wright and Sydney Burger with two points apiece. 

Warren County will put its winning streak on the line when it returns to the court Friday, Jan. 3 at Coffee County.