The middle school sixth-grade basketball teams were home Thursday night for a matchup against Tullahoma West. Both the Lady Pioneers and Pioneers beat the Wildcats.
The WCMS girls (1-3) won 26-25 in an exciting finish, and the WCMS boys (3-1) won 43-37 in a game with two different halves.
The Lady Pioneers did not get the lead until there was only 1:41 left. Warren County took a 23-22 lead when Brynlee Chisam made a free throw to break the tie. Chisam was the Lady Pioneers’ leading scorer with 16 points that came from a lot of fast breaks and free throws.
Warren County shot 24 free throws in the fourth quarter, and the Lady Pioneers made 8 of them. Warren County shot 41 total free throws in the game.
Tullahoma was very aggressive on defense, and their coach was either given a technical or warning during the game for being on the floor. Tullahoma committed 27 fouls in the game; 18 of the fouls were in the second half.
The Warren County crowd erupted when the Lady Pioneers tied the game at 22, and the cheers got louder when they took the lead. This team made two big comebacks this week in the second half, and Thursday night they finally got the win they have been looking for all season.
Head Lady Pioneer coach Leanne Pelham Morrison said, “We were due one. We had to pull out a win. If we had hit layups and free throws, we would have won by 30 points. We earned every one of those free throws!”
WARREN COUNTY 26
TULLAHOMA WEST 25
WARREN COUNTY: Brynlee Chisam 16, Cortlyn Porter 5, Sydney McCurry 4, Kaydence Wiser 1
TULLAHOMA WEST: Madison McCarl 8, Adalyn Nelson, 7, Lizzy Sharpton 4, Kenzie Farrell 2, Anna Milhan 2, Neveah Houghtaling 2
In boys action, the Pioneers started out slow, falling behind 15-5 after the first quarter. They trailed Tullahoma 24-17 at halftime.
WCMS coach Chase McGee must have inspired the team at halftime because Warren County scored 18 points in the third quarter that ended with the Pioneers in front, 35-32.
The Tullahoma bench was called for a technical in the third quarter when Tullahoma was up 29-27, and the technical helped change the momentum. Warren County soon took the lead in the third quarter, and Luke Simpson scored 8 of his game-high 20 points in that quarter.
There are moments when one is watching Luke Simpson in a basketball game when he appears to have been born to be a basketball player. Simpson has all the ball-handling skills and moves on the court that can be expected of a sixth-grader.
After the game, coach McGee praised his team, “After we decided to pull back off and put in a 2-3 defense and only press them at half court, it kind of changed their game (in the second half). We started forcing them to take 3-point shot shots and outside shots and not get inside. They did what I wanted them to do in the second half, and they played well. You cannot ask for anything better than that. Luke Simpson is a good player, he is special.”
WARREN COUNTY 43
TULLAHOMA WEST 37
WARREN COUNTY: Luke Simpson 20, Grayson Todd 8, Dominic Robertson 5, Christian Young 4, Trey Martin 4, Luke Thomas 2
TULLAHOMA WEST: Zion Jeffrey 14, Blake Melton 12, Landon Johnson 8, Trae King 2, Gabriel Delaughter 1