For two quarters, the Lady Pioneers looked ready to match up with White County. The problem was the Warriorettes started and closed with a fury, making the middle quarters moot. White County took down Warren County 83-47 Tuesday night, handing the Lady Pioneers their 21st straight loss to a District 6AAA opponent.
Gracie Dodgen scored 24 points and Morgan Quick had 15 points to lead White County. The dynamic duo combined to drill 11 of White County’s 15 triples in the contest. Erica Cantrell led the Lady Pioneers with 10 points.
“Anytime you play Sparta, about every girl they have can shoot it. They came out hot,” said coach Anthony Lippe, who – in his second year – is still looking for his first district win. “The second and third quarters – it was a five-point difference. We’re just not there yet. We’re young and still growing as a team.”
White County raced out to a 22-9 lead in the first quarter, with Quick draining three 3-pointers to get the Warriorettes going. Just when it looked like another district blowout, the Lady Pioneers found their range from deep.
Warren County (5-4) got big shots from Kam Nowlin, Kyra Perkins and Sable Winfree in the second quarter, helping keep the team in range. Dodgen was able to match Warren County on her own though, shaking loose to sink three long-range shots to push White County ahead 45-26 at the break
The Lady Pioneers took the third quarter, 13-12, by using Cantrell’s strength in the paint. The senior did her damage from in close, scoring once on a fast-break pass from Winfree and another on a putback when she snared a rebound.
Warren County was only able to hold down the Warriorette shooting for a quarter though. White County started letting loose in the fourth, hitting seven triples to stop any chances of an epic comeback by the Lady Pioneers.
The final score may have been discouraging from the outside, but those two quarters of strong play was enough to give Lippe some hope for the future.
“I told the girls before the game, ‘If we want to take the program where we want to and meet our goals, we have to close the gap and give more effort.’ I thought for the most part we did that, but you have to give White County credit. They’re probably a top 10-12 team in the state,” said Lippe.
Warren County will try to get back to its winning ways Thursday when it travels to Cannon County. The Lady Pioneers will also face Stone Memorial (Friday) and Franklin County (Saturday) at home this weekend. Thursday’s action will begin at 6 p.m.
Lady Pioneer scoring – Erica Cantrell 10, Shelby Smartt 7, Brielee Kelsey 6, Sable Winfree 6, Mia Hobbs 4, Kyra Perkins 4, Kam Nowlin 3, Madalyn Stubblefield 2, Lia Wright 2, Savannah Winfree 2, Jaden Smartt 1