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Local teams ready for postseason

It’s win-or-go-home time for local high school basketball teams. The regular season is over and tournaments are starting next week, where local squads will have to keep winning to keep playing.

The Lady Pioneers and Pioneers will be traveling to Shelbyville next week to take part in the District 6-4A tournament, while Boyd and Covenant’s teams will be making trips around the Midstate to play in the TSIAA tournament.

Warren County’s squads already know they will be moving on to the region tournament since District 6-4A has just four teams, but seeding will be vital if the Pioneers and Lady Pioneers want to make a deep postseason run. Home-court advantage in the region tournament is just one win away for both Warren County teams in the coming days as well.

If either team wins its opening game in the district tournament, they will earn the right to host their first region game February 21-22. The Pioneers have been at home for region games in each of the last two seasons, but the Lady Pioneers haven’t played a region game at Charlie Dalton Gym since 2011.

Coach Anthony Lippe’s squad, the No. 2 seed after a 6-3 regular season in district play, will have to take down Shelbyville for a fourth time to be back at home once more. The Lady Pioneers have beaten the Lady Eagles three times, including twice in Shelbyville, but it won’t easy to do it again. Shelbyville is coming off its best stretch of games, having beaten Franklin County by double figures twice and given top-seeded District 6-4A favorite Coffee County a scare last week. The Lady Raiders, 9-0 in district play this season, had to hold off Shelbyville 47-46 on Feb. 4.

“It’s going to be tough for us. It’s a home game for Shelbyville,” said coach Lippe, who has guided the Lady Pioneers to a 22-6 record this season. “They’re playing extremely well right now, so it’s anybody’s game. Our girls will have a lot of effort and we’re going to try to win a big ball game.”

Coffee County and Franklin County will match up on the other side of the girls District 6-4A tournament bracket.

Coach Chris Sullens and the Pioneers are entering the district tournament in a much different way than the last two years. Warren County was a favorite when it took home back-to-back titles over Sparta the last two seasons, but this year the Pioneers will embrace the role of underdogs. Their first test comes against Coffee County, a group that has beaten the Pioneers three times already.

Warren County (10-15) will enter the tournament playing its best ball of the season, even if the wins haven’t piled up down the stretch. The Pioneers fell in overtime to Coffee County Feb. 4 and lost 44-43 to top-seeded Franklin County in the regular season finale Monday.

“I can say this – we are a much better team right now than we were even 10 days ago,” said Sullens, after Monday’s nailbiter. “Our goal as a program each year is to be playing our best in February. Defensively, I think this team is as good as anybody in the district.”

The Lady Pioneers will be first up in district play as they square off with Shelbyville Monday, Feb. 14 at 7:30 p.m. The Pioneers will take on Coffee County Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. The final games of the District 6-4A tournament will be played Friday, Feb. 18 (girls) and Saturday, Feb. 19 (boys). All games will be in Shelbyville.

The Boyd Broncos and Covenant Lions, along with the Covenant Lady Lions, are set to make their TSIAA debut Monday on the road. The Broncos will be taking on South Haven, while the Lions are set to face Clarksville. The Lady Lions will play Franklin Road Christian in the opening round of the TSIAA state tournament.

Thanks to a bye, the Lady Broncos will get a chance to await their opponent on Tuesday night. Boyd’s girls, who went unbeaten in TSIAA play, will also be at home when they make their postseason debut. The Lady Broncos are set to face the winner of Dickson Christian Academy and Zion Christian on Tuesday at JK Stanley Gymnasium. Tip-off is set for 5 p.m.

Continue following the WCSA website and our social media pages for the latest updates on the postseason for all Warren County high school teams.

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