Warriors open 2019 with a win at DeKalb County
By Andy Southard | January 7, 2019 7:25 am
After almost a week off, the White County High School Warrior basketball team stepped back into action for the first time, in 2019, with a trip to Smithville, on Friday, and came back to Sparta with a non-district victory.
The Warriors (13-4) rolled to the 80-43 victory behind 37 combined points from Masyn Winningham (20) and Grant Slatten (17).
During the game, DeKalb County (1-15) hung with the Warriors for the first half, but WCHS pulled away in the third quarter, as they outscored DeKalb 23-6 in the quarter on their way to a 37-point win.
Midway through the first quarter, the Tigers led the Warriors 7-3, but the Warriors took the lead for good after three straight threes by Winningham made it 12-7. A three by DeKalb cut the Warriors’ lead to 12-10, but a layup by David Kinser and a pair of free throws from Slatten pushed the Warriors’ lead to 16-10. A layup by DeKalb cut the lead to four, but the Warriors got another from Winningham and a layup from Kinser to push the lead to 21-12, with 1:23 remaining in the quarter. DeKalb County got a three to close out the quarter, but the Warriors led 21-15 heading into the second quarter.
In the second quarter, DeKalb County opened up the quarter scoring the first six points of the quarter to tie the game up at 21-21, but seven straight points by the Warriors gave them a 28-21 lead. Three consecutive points from Kinser got the run started, then layups by Slatten and Kegan Dodson gave the Warriors a seven-point lead. DeKalb County answered, scoring six of the next eight points to cut the lead to three, but the Warriors closed out the half getting a three from Slatten and a free throw from Dodson to give the Warriors a 34-27 lead at the half.
In the third quarter, DeKalb County opened up the quarter by knocking down one of three free throws to cut the lead to 34-28. However, from there the Warriors took control of the game, scoring 23 of the next 28 points. The Warriors got the run going by getting three-pointers from Winningham, Slatten, and Dyson Reece to make it 43-25. Kinser followed that up with a three-point play at the 4:44 mark to push the lead to 46-28. Austin Burchett and Slatten followed that up with layups to push the lead to 50-28, with 3:40 remaining. After a layup by DeKalb County made it 50-30, Winningham hit a three to make 53-30. The Tigers hit a three to make it 53-33, but the Warriors closed out the quarter getting a pair of free throws from Slatten and a layup from Micah Webster to give them a 56-33 lead heading into the final quarter of play.
The Warriors outscored the Tigers 23-10 over the final eight minutes as everyone got into the action.
WCHS shot 43.5 percent from the field, while DeKalb County checked in at just 31 percent overall. The Warriors were 17 of 34 on two-point attempts and knocked down 10 of 28 threes. The Warriors also knocked down 16 of their 20 free throw attempts.
The Warriors did commit just 11 turnovers while forcing the Tigers into 25.
The Warriors will return to action, on Monday and Tuesday nights, for their final two non-district contest before District 6AAA action starts, on Friday night.
On Monday night, the Warriors play host to Bledsoe County, who the Warriors defeated 68-53, on Nov. 26. Then, on Tuesday night, the Warriors will make their annual trip to Crossville to take on the Cumberland County Jets. At one time, the Warriors and the Jets were both members of District 6AAA until last season when the Jets made the move down to Double-A. Both nights, the girls’ games will tip-off at 6 p.m., with the Warriors to follow.