The Pioneers did not hold anything back Monday when they kept Centertown’s hands tied and defeated the Warriors by a final score of 51-23. An explosive 30-6 first half by WCMS had the Pioneers well ahead.
WCMS fired a barrage of shots in the first half against the Warrior defense and most hit their intended target. Eli Kuykendall led all scorers as he unloaded 14 points for the Pioneers.
The Pioneer offense had plenty of giddy-up and go in the opening quarter. WCMS dominated both ends of the floor and the Pioneer offense ran far away with an early lead. Chance Hunter scored all six of his points in the first quarter. Kuykendall started his 14-point total with four in the first. Raleigh Gilliam and Layne Roberts combined for the other four points in the early offensive assault.
Centertown was not able to keep up with the quick tempo. Although the Pioneer defense covered the floor, Blake Adams and Trent Davenport connected on two separate occasions for the Warriors.
The Pioneer stampede continued and WCMS extended its lead in the second behind Hudson O’Connor who dropped in four points just before the half. Kuykendall added five as well as a host of other Pioneers.
The second quarter came and Centertown went backward on offense and their shooting woes continued to plague the Warriors. Isaiah Pollard dropped in the only shot from the floor for the entire second quarter. The Warriors also went 0-for-5 from the free-throw line as the struggle continued as time ticked down before the half.
As the third quarter got under way, Centertown picked up its intensity on the offensive end and shots started to fall. Nathan Lemons connected for the first time during the game in the third. Lemons was scoreless in the first half for the Warriors. Pollard made good on 2-of-4 from the free-throw line. Although the Warriors improved in the third it was not enough and the Pioneers defense looked effortless as the game continued.
Kuykendall continued to flourish and he scored his final five points in the third to lead the way for the Pioneers. Gilliam dropped in a second pair of baskets for another four points as WCMS stayed in pursuit of the rim and ran right through the Warrior defense.
It was too little too late as Lemons got started from the floor and attacked the Pioneer defense. He dropped in three consecutive shots over Pioneer defenders in transition. The lackluster performance was highlighted by Austin Conner when he decided to take matters into his own hands. Connor pulled up and fired from beyond the 3-point line and the shot hit its mark for his only three points of the game before time expired.
Curtlan George led the offense in the closing minutes for WCMS. George dropped in six points as he ran the ball right at the heart of the Warrior defense. Asher Wallace and True Craven picked up points in the fourth before time expired and the Pioneers ran away with a win and defeated the Warriors, 51-23.
PIONEER SCORING – Eli Kuykendall 14, Raleigh Gilliam 10, Curtlan George 6, Hudson O’Conner 6, Chance Hunter 6, Layne Roberts 5, True Craven 2, Asher Wallace 2
WARRIOR SCORING – Nathan Lemons 9, Isaiah Pollard 4, Blake Adams 4, Austin Conner 4, Trent Davenport 2