Warriors snap losing streak Tuesday against Rhea County

by | February 8, 2018 9:26 am

Micah Webster goes up over a Rhea County defender for a layup in Tuesday night’s game vs. Rhea County. Webster finished the game with 10 points. (Photo by ANDY SOUTHARD)

The White County High School Warriors’ basketball team can head into their final game of the regular season, on Friday night, with a big load off their backs.

The Warriors (10-17, 1-6) snapped their losing skids, on Tuesday night, against Rhea County (16-11, 2-5), winning by a final score of 72-45 to pick up their first district win of the season. The Warriors also welcomed leading scorer Grant Slatten back to the court. The freshman had sat out the last nine games after getting hurt in the DeKalb County game and requiring surgery. Slatten came in off the bench in the first quarter and chipped in 13 points in the game, going four of seven from behind the arc.

With Slatten back on the court, the Warriors looked like the Warriors of years past, knocking down 11 threes in the first half. The Warriors had their best half of the season in the first half of Tuesday night, going 11 of 17 from behind the arc and seven of 13 from inside the arc.

With the score tied at 5-5, with 3:48 remaining in the first half, the Warriors would score 22 straight points to take a 27-5 lead. The Warriors would knock down five threes on the run, which included three straight from Dyson Reece. Rhea County would close out the quarter with a pair of free throws, but the Warriors would lead 27-7 at the end of the first quarter.

In the second quarter, Rhea County would open the quarter with 5 straight points to cut the Warriors’ lead to 15, but a 3 from Reece would push the lead to 30-12. Rhea County would score to cut the lead to 16, but the Warriors would score the next 6 points get three free throws from Austin Burchett and a three from Slatten to make it 36-14, with 4:15 remaining in the half. Rhea County would answer with a 7-1 run, but the Warriors would end the half on a 15-2 run. Slatten got the run going with a 3 and Burchett would follow it up with a layup to make it 42-21, with 2:29 remaining. Back-to-back baskets from Winningham would make it 46-21, but a Rhea County basket would cut the Warriors’ lead to 46-23. The Warriors would close out the half with threes from Kade Clark and Trey Crockett to make it 52-23 at the half.

After halftime, neither team would get much going in the third quarter, as the Warriors were outscored 9-7 in the quarter, but led 59-27 at the end of three. Micah Webster scored the first 4 points of the quarter, and Slatten hit a 3 at the 1:40 mark for the Warriors only scoring of the quarter.

In the final quarter of play, Rhea County would open the quarter scoring the first 8 points to cut the Warriors’ lead to 59-40. However, 7 straight points from the Warriors to make it 66-40 would pretty much wrap up the game. The Warriors would outscore Rhea County 6-5 over the final 4 minutes to win by a final score of 72-45.

The Warriors had four players finish the game in double figures. Reece led the Warriors with 15 points, and Slatten finished with 13 points. Masyn Winningham added 11, and Webster rounded out the Warriors double figures scoring with 10 points.

The Warriors were 11 of 21 on 2-point attempts and 12 of 27 from behind the arc. The Warriors were 14 of 19 from the charity stripe.

The Warriors will close out the regular season, on Friday night, when they play host to Warren County. The Warriors’ seeding for the tournament has already been decided, but the Warriors can play spoiler, on Friday night, if they can pick up the win over the Pioneers. The Warriors and the Pioneers have already faced off twice this year, with both games coming down to the wire. In the Sonic Shootout, the Warriors fell 75-74, and at Warren County early this season, the Warriors held the lead late but couldn’t hold on falling 66-61. The Warriors will look to pick up their first win of the season over the Pioneers, on Friday night, and their second straight district win of the season. The Warriors will also honor their lone senior, Kendall Barker, before the Warriorettes’ game, on Friday night.

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