Substate matchup leads to trip down memory lane
When the Pioneers face off with Siegel Monday night, it will be a chance to get one of the biggest wins in school history. Warren County has never been to the state tournament at Murphy Center, otherwise dubbed “The Glass House.”
Until the last two years, where the Pioneers have been crowned back-to-back champions, it had been a long time before the program had a true signature win. In fact, the last truly seismic win for the Pioneers was likely back in 2005.
The opponent? The Siegel Stars.
During a season where drama off the court completely overshadowed what was happening on it, the Pioneers still were able to shock the world once. Facing off against one of the top 10 teams in the state, Warren County was able to take down Siegel 72-64.
With the sectional matchup coming up Monday, we dug back 16 years to remember one of the biggest upsets in Pioneer history:
Depending on who you ask, Siegel was either top 10 in the state, top 5 in the state, the No. 1 team in the state or the best team in the country when the Stars arrived at Charlie Dalton Gym back on Feb. 8, 2005. The Stars were rolling toward a District 7AAA title, while Warren County was only in the news because their coach’s wife had recently been accused of having an inappropriate relationship with a student.
On the court, nothing the Pioneers had done prior to that night gave any indication they were going to hang with the Stars. After starting 3-1, Warren County had lost 13 of its next 16 games. Siegel had already beaten the Pioneers 72-49 and many believed it could be even worse the second time.
The Stars had Jimmy Oden at point guard and Keith Ramsey at forward, both of which were named to the all-state teams in their careers. Oden later played at Lipscomb University and MTSU, while Ramsey enjoyed a long career at Missouri (the entire Siegel starting five from 2005 signed college scholarships, according to several sources). Siegel’s front line was long and lanky, led by Ramsey. Across the court, the Stars towered over the Pioneers at every position.
Warren County was led by big man Brandon Adcock and point guard Brooks Majors, but even the most ardent Pioneer supporters didn’t have much faith going into the late season matchup. Forwards Andy Harrell, Adam Wood, Todd Gilley and Warren Swann were feisty, but gave up a ton of size at their positions.
Angry Adcock leads the way
It seems no matter how far back you go, there is always a good story about a player catching the hot hand after being riled up by opposing fans. Warren County knows all about how it’s not a good idea to trash talk current Pioneer star CJ Taylor, but Adcock – the Pioneers’ hulking center in 2005 – was the same way.
Before matching up with Siegel, Adcock recalled going to class and having a teacher tell him about the latest buzz about the game. Namely, Adcock was finding out just how little Siegel’s fans thought of his abilities.
“I remember sitting in class and a teacher – I’m not sure, maybe Tommy Davis – told me they were trash talking me on CoachT,” said Adcock. “They were saying I was some country, cornbread fed post guy they were going to dominate. I’m pretty sure they had nicknamed me, ‘Country Cornbread.’”
When Adcock got to the locker room before the game, the normally stoic center addressed the team. His message was right to the point.
“I told the guys, ‘We are going to win this game. I want the basketball – just throw it to me,’” said Adcock.
The Pioneers obliged, riding a 27-point performance by Adcock to the stunning victory. Despite being undersize and not possessing explosive leaping ability, Adcock was able to score over and over. His secret weapon was a lethal pump fake, used early and often to slow down the Stars.
“I had a plan before the game of how I was going to get them off their game. I was good at pump faking and that first shot, he went up thinking he was going to block my shot. After that, I got in his head and scored a bunch,” said Adcock.
Near the end, Adcock had the answer each time Siegel threatened to take over. Country Cornbread called game.
A Major Lift
Brooks Majors didn’t know exactly what was going on, but he wasn’t going to fight it. After hitting some big free throws down the stretch to seal the game, Majors was mobbed when the final horn blew. In an instant, he was in the air.
“I remember Adam Wood holding me on his shoulders to celebrate the win,” recalled Majors. “I remember having an awesome game and it was a big-time win.”
Majors seemed to be right in the middle of all the heated moments down the stretch. He sunk a pair of technical free throws with 50 seconds to go and hit two more in the final seconds after an intentional foul. Majors finished with 18 points, a great second option on the outside to counter Adcock’s low-post dominance.
“They were like No. 2 in the state and we were not expected to win, but me and Brandon both had good scoring games. We played some inside-out, big-man, little-man games,” said Majors.
The Crunk Crew shows up big
A passionate student section has always seemed to accompany good Pioneer basketball teams. Currently, Warren County has a devoted following, one that outnumbered Cleveland in its own gym in the region finals. When the Pioneers played at MTSU back in the 2001 regionals, it was the ‘Front Row Bros’ making noise from the rafters of the Murphy Center.
In 2005, the Pioneers had the ‘Crunk Crew.’
“Man, the ‘Crunk Crew’ was going crazy,” said Adcock. “Colby Killian and the guys had shirts made. They were so loud.
“When we won, the whole crowd rushed the floor. They about took me out – everybody was hugging and jumping.”
Current Pioneer assistant coach Adam Wood remembers being exhausted from the battle with Siegel’s powerful front line, but the crowd was always there to bring some extra energy.
“The fans were crazy. They were huge in that game,” said Wood.
Memories of that game have lived on with the people who were in Charlie Dalton Gym on a fateful February night. The Warren County Sports Authority contacted several Pioneers and fans who remember the last time Warren County shocked the Stars – their responses are below.
More will be added as more respond with their memories.
Adam Wood, junior forward in 2005, recalls the game: “I remember their offense firepower with Ramsey and (Lucas) Jones in the paint. They had great size and good shooting. I think they overlooked us being No. 1 in the state, if I remember correctly.
“We had a solid first half and I think at halftime we realized if we locked in we had a chance to pull off the upset. I remember having to guard Ramsey and we had a good battle. I remember Stan (Jacobs) really let us play and trusted the we could make good decisions. It was one of those games were all five of us really played out of our minds and never really got rattled when big plays were made. We weathered the storm and somehow ended up pulling out.”
Wood, who is an assistant coach on the current Pioneer team, talks about the importance of the win: “I have always felt like, in that era, it was one of the biggest upsets for Warren County. Even though we didn’t have a successful season, that game has always been proof to me that, on any given night, five guys can pull off something special.”
Jay Walker, Voice of the Pioneers, when finding out the Pioneers and Stars will play Monday: “Memories of the old District 7 days. I'll never forget when Warren County knocked off a highly ranked Siegel team at Charlie Dalton Gym. The place was rocking.”