Warriors avenge early losses to Warren Pioneers
By Andy Southard | February 12, 2018 7:47 am
Last Updated: February 12, 2018 at 8:51 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 63-45 win over the Warren County Pioneers, on Senior Night.
The Pioneers (21-6, 5-3), who had beaten the Warriors the first two times this season by a combined 6 points, were coming into Friday night’s game after taking down Cookeville, on Tuesday night, and were also tied for the top spot in District 6AAA. However, the Warriors’ hot shooting helped them bring down the Pioneers.
Before Friday night’s game, White County High School honored senior Kendall Barker. Barker, who is the only senior on the Warriors’ basketball team, was injured before the season with an ACL tear, but, on Friday night, he dressed out and started the game. He was taken out after the tip, but he was put back in in the fourth quarter and scored the final 2 points of the game.
In the game, the Warriors had three players score in double-digits. The Warriors were led by juniors David Kinser and Dyson Reece who both finished the game with 17 points each. Masyn Winningham rounded out the Warriors’ double-digit scorers with 13 points.
The Warriors shot 58 percent from the field overall for the contest. They were 19 of 29 on shots inside the arc and knocked down six of their 14 3-point attempts. WCHS was 7 of 10 from the charity stripe. The two teams combined for 18 turnovers, seven by WCHS.
In the first quarter, Warren County opened the game with a quick 3 only 12 seconds into the game to take an early 3-0 lead, but that was their only lead of the game. The Warriors would go on to score the next 9 points to take an early 9-3 lead, with 4:29 remaining in the game. Micah Webster and Kinser gave the Warriors the lead after back-to-back layups to make it 4-3. Winningham would then hit a 3 to push it to 7-3, and Reece would finish it off with a layup. After a pair of free throws by Warren County made it 9-5, Reece would hit a 3 from the corner to push the lead to 12-5. Warren County would get a quick layup, though, to cut the lead to 5, but the Warriors would get a layup from Kinser and a 3 from Kade Clark to make it 17-7, with 57 seconds remaining in the quarter. Warren County would close out the quarter with a 3 to make it 17-10 heading into the second quarter.
In the second quarter, the Warriors would open the quarter with a pair of layups from Kinser and Reece to push their lead to 21-10, with 6:20 remaining in the half. However, Warren County would respond with 8 straight points to cut the Warriors’ lead to 3. The Warriors would answer, though, with 4 consecutive points, getting layups from Reese and Winningham to push their lead to 25-18. Warren County looked like their layup with 36 seconds remaining in the half would close out the quarter with the Warriors only leading by 5, but Reece would knock down a deep 3 with seconds remaining to give the Warriors a 28-20 lead at the half.
After halftime, the Warriors came out of the locker room on fire. The Warriors would open the second half scoring the first 6 points of the quarter and 14 of the first 16 points. The Warriors would get three straight layups from Kinser to open the quarter and push the Warriors’ lead to 34-20. After a basket from Warren County cut the lead to 12, the Warriors would get a 3 from Reece, with 5:13 remaining in the quarter, then a layup from Winningham and Kinser would close the run with a 3-point play. This run would push the lead to 42-22, with 3:06 remaining in the third quarter. Both teams would close out the quarter scoring 7 points, and the Warriors would lead 49-29 heading into the final quarter of play.
In the fourth quarter, Webster would get a quick basket to open the quarter and put the Warriors up 51-29, with 7:48 remaining in the game. After a basket by the Pioneers put the lead back to 20, the Warriors would get a layup from Reece and a pair of free throws from Grant Slatten to push their lead to 24. Warren County would get a 3, with 1:04 remaining in the game, to cut the Warriors’ lead to 14, but a pair of free throws by Winningham and the basket by Barker would seal the win for the Warriors by a final score of 63-45.
With the win, the Warriors move to 11-17 on the season and 2-6 in District play. The Warriors’ fate has already been decided, as they will have to play in the must-win game against Rhea County to try and keep their season going and give them three more games. If the Warriors can win that game, then they will have to play number one seed Cookeville in the semifinals. Right now, the Warriors look to be playing some of their best basketball of the season and are heading into the district tournament with a two-game win streak.