If the Warren County Middle School boys team needed any more motivation to move its record to 4-0, it got it when the Pioneers suited up to play the DeKalb County Saints in front of the entire student body on Friday.
The Pioneers put on a show, downing the Saints 31-26 behind a spirited defense and complete team effort on offense.
Eight different Warren County players scored baskets, with the high man being A.D. Majors with seven, as the Pioneers got enough offense to scrap by a scrappy Saint team.
Neither team could do much offensively early. The Pioneers main offense was to try to work the ball to Will Lupo on the block, but the Saints collapsed to take away the inside option.
Majors had to shoot the Saints out of the zone. The eighth-grade guard connected on two deep jumpers to score four points in the period and give the Pioneers an 8-6 lead after six minutes.
Warren County kept its offense centered around shooters in the second quarter. With the Saints struggling to score, the Pioneers ran out to a 19-8 halftime lead after Isaac Golden connected on two 3-pointers in the second and Majors drilled one. Golden’s final three came from the corner just as the clock was winding down in the half and sent the Pioneers riding high into halftime.
The Saints wouldn’t go away in the second half, but the Pioneer shooting seemed to open up options for Lupo inside in the third quarter. Lupo scored three points in the third, including a powerful layup over two defenders, as Warren County led 26-17 entering the final period.
Warren County slowed the ball down in the fourth quarter and hoped its defense would lead the team to its fourth straight victory.
The Saints made a final charge, bringing the score within four with 50 seconds to go, but Liam Brock blocked a layup attempt down the stretch and Darius Wright connected on a late free throw to wrap up the win.
Golden finished with six points, followed by Lupo with five. Wright added four, Brock chipped in three and Brendon Breedlove, Krojhn Calbert and Jack Davidson scored two points each.
Friday’s win came after the Pioneers had defeated Tullahoma West 40-22 less than 24 hours before in their home opener. In Thursday night’s victory, Lupo, Wright, Davidson and Grant Walker led the team with six points each. Brock was next with five, while Majors and Golden added four.
Warren County will take Thanksgiving week off before putting its 4-0 overall record and 2-0 Central Tennessee Conference mark on the line on Monday, Nov. 28 against Coffee County. The game will be played at WCMS gym and the girls tip-off action at 6 p.m.