Strong start pushes Warriors to win for third place
Posted By Sparta Live | February 25, 2010 12:00 am
The Warriors came out firing on all cylinders in Tuesday’s consolation game of the District 6AAA tournament.
WCHS scored the first 13 points of the game and would finish off a 69-55 win over host, Warren County, to capture third place finish in the tournament. The win sends the Warriors to Ooltewah Saturday night for the opening round of the Region 3AAA tournament.
Four players scored in double figures for the Warriors as they started the game on fire shooting the ball. Freshman Devon Davidson led the way with 20 points followed by Josh Turner with 16. Jordan Armstrong added 12 and Caleb Lowery chipped in with 11. Misses were few and far between for WCHS in the first 11 minutes of the contest. The Warriors finished the game shooting 50 percent overall from the field connecting on 28 of their 56 attempts in the contest. They were four of seven outside the arc. That shooting and the explosive start helped to offset a nine of 24 performance from the free throw line.
The strong start would help the Warriors hold off the Pioneers over the final three quarters. Following the first quarter, the two teams played even with each team scoring 47 points in quarters two through four.
Just over three minutes into the game, the Warriors had built a 13-0 lead propelled in large part to a pair of three pointers by Turner. Warren County did not score their first basket until the 4:44 mark of the initial quarter. Four points in the final two minutes of the quarter gave WCHS a 22-8 lead after one quarter of action.
The Warriors turned the four points of Duke to end the quarter into a 13-0 run crossing over into the second quarter. Davidson opened the stanza with a trey. Then Armstrong sandwiched a pair of baskets around two points from Davidson stretching the Warrior lead to 23 points. WCHS led 31-8 with 5:21 still to play before the half. The Pioneers, however, would not go quietly. They closed out the half with a 12-3 run pulling back to within 14 points at the half. They did cut their deficit to 12, 32-20, on a transition basket with 52 seconds left. Armstrong, however, added a basket for WCHS with 42 seconds remaining. The teams exchanged missed three pointers before the quarter would end. The Warriors took a 34-20 lead into the locker room.
Davidson opened the second half scoring with a driving basket, but Warren County countered with a trey and a basket into transition to pull to within 11. They would eventually cut the Warrior lead to seven points with just less than three minutes to play in the third. Baskets by Travis Howard and Davidson pushed the lead back to 11. The Warriors would hold a 47-36 advantage going into the fourth quarter.
Warren County scored first in the final frame getting their deficit back to nine. A conventional three-point play by Turner pushed the lead back to 12. Back to back baskets got the lead down to eight with just over six minutes to play. Caleb Lowery answered for the Warriors and would score nine of his 11 points over the final six minutes of the game to help keep the Pioneers at bay. Warren County would not get closer than 10 the rest of the way.
Daniel Duke just missed a double-double by one point as he tallied nine points and pulled 10 rebounds. Davidson had eight rebounds, five steals and four assists.
The Warriors, who improved to 8-18 on the season, will travel to Ooltewah to take on the Owls (20-10). Ooltewah suffered a 65-54 loss to Cleveland in the District 5AAA title game. The Raiders outscored the Owls 20-9 in the fourth quarter. The game was tied at 45 going into the fourth quarter. Three of Ooltewah’s 10 losses on the season have come to Cleveland and three others are to out of state teams.
While the two teams have only met twice in the past 25 years, two significant parts of the match-up will be anything but strangers. Warrior coach, Eric Mitchell, and Ooltewah coach, Jesse Nayadley, were teammates at Tennessee Tech.
Warren County will travel to Cleveland.
In the District 6AAA championship game, Cumberland County upset Cookeville 47-44 garnering the top spot. The Jets will play host to Bradley Central while the Cavaliers will host McMinn County.
All boys’ first round games will be played Saturday. Currently, the games are set for 7 p.m. local time at the site of each game.
The winners from those games will advance to the semifinals on Tuesday in Warren County. Like the girls, should all four District 5AAA teams win the opening games, the tournament will be moved to that district.