Warriors avenge early losses to Cookeville Cavaliers
By Andy Southard | January 31, 2019 9:51 am
As the old saying goes, “It’s hard to beat a team three times in a row.” Well, on Friday night, the Warriors proved that saying true, as they pulled out a 72-59 win over the Cookeville Cavaliers, on Senior Night.
The Cavaliers (20-7, 5-1) who had beaten the Warriors (19-6, 3-2) the first two times this season by a combined three points, were coming into Tuesday night’s game after picking up two district wins last week and had taken sole possession of first place in District 6AAA. However, the Warriors’ hot shooting helped them bring down the Cavaliers.
The Warriors had three players finish in double-digits. Junior Masyn Winningham, who finished with 17 points, led the Warriors. Sophomore Grant Slatten finished not far behind with 16 points, and senior Dyson Reece finished with 14 points.
The Warriors shot 45 percent overall from the field. They were 23 of 44 from shots inside the arc and knocked down four of 16 three-point attempts. WCHS was 14 of 24 from the charity stripe.
In the first quarter, Cookeville jumped out to an early 12-5 lead behind four straight three-pointers. However, from there it was all Warriors as they scored 14 of the final 15 points of the quarter. Kade Clark got the Warriors going with a layup, that was followed up with a Slatten layup to cut the lead to three. Then the Warriors got back-to-back threes from Reece and Clark to take a 15-12 lead, with 2:20 remaining. Cookeville hit a free throw to cut the lead to two, but layups by Micah Webster and Slatten gave the Warriors a 19-13 lead at the end of the first quarter.
In the second quarter, Cookeville got a layup to open the quarter, but back-to-back baskets from Webster push the Warriors’ lead to 23-15. However, Cookeville answered, going on a 10-5 run to cut the lead to 28-25. That didn’t rattle the Warriors, though, as they outscored the Cavaliers 5-2 over the final 1:22, including a layup from Winningham at the buzzer to take a 33-27 lead into the locker room.
In the third quarter, the Warriors opened up the quarter hot. David Kinser got the Warriors going with a layup to push the lead to 35-27. After a free throw from Cookeville cut the lead to seven, the Warriors got a layup from Reece and Austin Burchett to push their lead to 39-28. Cookeville got another free throw to cut the lead to 10, but three straight layups from Clark, Winningham, and Slatten pushed the Warriors’ lead to 45-29, with 4:43 remaining in the third quarter. After a Cookeville timeout, the Cavaliers scored the next six points to cut the Warriors’ lead down to five. However, the Warriors outscored the Cavaliers 7-6 over the final 2:37 and took a 52-41 lead into the last quarter of play.
In the fourth quarter, Cookeville scored the first four points of the quarter to cut the lead to 52-45. Both teams would trade baskets to push the lead to 56-49, but the Warriors put the game away from their scoring the next seven points to push their lead to 63-49. The Warriors closed out the game going nine of 16 from the free throw line to pick up the 72-59 lead.
With the win, the Warriors move only a game and a half back of the Cavaliers and their next opponent, the Stone Memorial Panthers. To keep their first-place hopes alive, the Warriors will have to avenge their only other district loss of the season, on Friday night, when they travel to Crossville to take on the Stone Memorial Panthers. The Panthers narrowly escaped Sparta with a win, on Jan. 15, hitting a free throw late to pick up the 56-55 win. On Friday night, the Warriors will look to avenge that loss in Crossville.