The WCMS Pioneers dumped a heaping helping of offense on the Tullahoma East Panthers on Monday night. The much quicker Pioneers forced the Panthers into many bad situations.
WCMS defeated Tullahoma East by a final score of 52-13.
The game’s high scorer was Pioneer sharp-shooter Eli Jones, who connected on four deep 3-point shots to lead the Pioneer offense. Micah Webster was right on his heels with 11 points and the Pioneer post player shot 5-of-8 from the charity stripe.
A scary start to the first quarter for WCMS was when Cristian Espinoza went down in the paint just minutes into the game. It was apparent something was wrong when he did not get up. He suffered a severe ankle injury and was transported to Saint Thomas River Park Hospital. Espinoza scored three points just prior to the injury.
With a player down, the Pioneers turned up the heat and the offense outscored Tullahoma East 19-2 in the opening period. C.J. Taylor and Webster combined for nine of the 19 first-quarter points. Jerry Mrema attacked the defense and he finished the first with three points.
For Tullahoma East, the offense could not get it going against a very aggressive and tough Pioneer defense. Justice Stamatis was the sole Panther player to pick up a basket in the first quarter. After one, Tullahoma East trailed 19-2.
WCMS slacked off the offense in the second quarter. Jones got his offensive night started in the second with his first of four 3’s. The Panther defense was slow to react and Jones made them pay from beyond the arch. Carter Mansfield got inside for two of his six points just before the half.
Once again the defense smothered the Panthers and the timid offense just could not find its range. Stamatis was again the only player to get a shot to fall for the entire quarter. The two teams went into the half and WCMS led 26-4.
Tullahoma East had its best quarter after the half and the Panther offense was led by Josh Daniels with a pair of baskets.
Jones got hot in the third as well and the Panther defense allowed Jones to knock down three more shot from 3-point range. Webster went back to work in the post and he added five more to his total. After three complete, WCMS led 42-13.
The Pioneer defense was solid in the fourth and down the stretch the Pioneers blanked the Panthers. WCMS outscored Tullahoma East 10-0 in the fourth. Eli Buchanan was out front of the offense and collected six, fourth-quarter points. Dante Elam and Brady Gross combined for four points down the stretch.
It was all WCMS as the Pioneers defeated the Panthers, 52-13. The Pioneers are on the road Thursday versus White County. The Pioneers return home to face Coffee County on Dec. 14 with both games scheduled for 6 p.m.
PIONEER SCORING – Eli Jones 12, Micah Webster 11, Eli Buchanan 6, Carter Mansfield 6, C.J. Taylor 5, Jerry Mrema 3, Cristian Espinoza 3, Brady Gross 2, Jacob Lann 2
PANTHER SCORING – Justice Stamatis 6, Josh Daniels 4, Chris Wilson 3