Top 10 of 2021: No. 3 - Lady Pioneers win Sonic Shootout
Welcome to the Warren County Sports Authority Top 10 of 2021. Each day until Dec. 31, we will be releasing a new story counting down the top 10 sports stories in Warren County this year. Be sure to check back everyday to see the biggest headlines from this year!
No. 3B – Lady Pioneers win Sonic Shootout, start 2021-22 season on fire
Anthony Lippe couldn’t have envisioned a better Christmas present than the one his Lady Pioneers delivered last week. Warren County shocked the world in the Sonic Shootout, winning the event in Sparta in thrilling fashion.
The Lady Pioneers took home three wins in three days against a stout field, culminating with one of the biggest wins for the program in two decades. Warren County snapped a 20-game losing streak to White County in the finals, beating the Warriorettes on their home court 72-71 in overtime.
The victory improved the Lady Pioneers to 11-2 and was the team’s seventh win in a row. With the win over White County, the Lady Pioneers have already avenged both of their early losses in the 2021-22 season (they also beat Tullahoma in a rematch at Charlie Dalton Gym after losing to the Wildcats in November).
Kyra Perkins was the standout for the Lady Pioneers in the tournament, earning MVP honors for her dominant defense and scoring. Perkins averaged 13.7 points per game in the tournament, including a team-best 16 points in the finals.
Shelby Smartt delivered the dagger in OT against Sparta, banking in the game winner with just 5 seconds to go. Smartt was one of four Lady Pioneers to earn all-tournament honors, joined by Mia Hobbs, Brienne Kelsey and Sable Winfree.
Warren County made it to the finals by defeating Lawrence County in overtime in the quarterfinals - led by a career-high 12 points from Savannah Winfree - and taking down York in the semifinals.
During the current winning streak, the Lady Pioneers have also toppled Tullahoma, LaVergne, Franklin and Siegel (all at Charlie Dalton Gym). All the home victories came by double figures, including a season-best, 49-point thumping of LaVergne right before heading to Sparta for the Christmas tournament.
From left, Sable Winfree, Mia Hobbs, Brienne Kelsey, Shelby Smartt and Kyra Perkins (MVP) were honored for their standout play in the Sonic Shootout.
The Warren County girls are striving for the first winning season since 2013-14 and just the second winning season in over two decades. The Lady Pioneers will be playing in the Tampa Bay Christmas Invitational over the next four days, including a game against Wesley Chapel, Fl. tonight (Dec. 29).
Warren County will face off with Siegel Tuesday, Jan. 4 before starting the District 6AAAA season against Franklin County Friday, Jan. 7 at Charlie Dalton Gym.
You can read about all the Lady Pioneers’ wins in the Sonic Shootout (Free of charge) on the WCSA website. Just click the following links:
Quarterfinals – Warren County beats Lawrence County in overtime
Semifinals – Lady Pioneers top York Institute
Finals – SONIC SHOOTOUT CHAMPIONS!
(Editor’s Note: I should have known when I wrote a preview of the top 10 list on Dec. 21 and said it’s risky to do it day-by-day because something could happen between the start and end – Dec. 22-31 – that changes everything that, of course, something would happen to change everything. Well, this was it. I went into Dec. 22 with a top 10 I really liked – and had already cut some things I hated to leave off – so I couldn’t take anything else off my list. I think this is reasonably placed, even if it may be a little bit of recency bias too. Anyway, I couldn’t leave it off – congrats Lady Pioneers!)
Make sure to check back Thursday, Dec. 30 to see the No. 2 story on the WCSA Top 10 Sports List of 2021
No. 3A - WCHS track shatters records, sends five athletes to state: https://www.wcsportsauthority.com/post/top-10-of-2021-wchs-track-shatters-records-sends-5-to-state
No. 4 – Ike Gillentine earns state medal in wrestling: https://www.wcsportsauthority.com/post/top-10-of-2021-no-4-gillentine-medals-in-state-tourney
No. 5 – Lauren Slatton finishes sixth at state, wins district: https://www.wcsportsauthority.com/post/top-10-of-2021-no-5-slatton-finishes-sixth-at-state
No. 6 – Pioneers win district regular season baseball title: https://www.wcsportsauthority.com/post/top-10-of-2021-no-6-pioneers-win-district-baseball-title
No. 7 – COVID shuts down Pioneer football, causing the first game cancellations in school history: https://www.wcsportsauthority.com/post/top-10-of-2021-no-7-covid-shutdowns-slow-pioneer-football
No. 8 – Covenant’s year of championships: https://www.wcsportsauthority.com/post/top-10-of-2021-no-8-covenant-wins-multiple-tncaa-titles
No. 9 – Boyd’s special year: https://www.wcsportsauthority.com/post/top-10-of-2021-no-9-boyd-s-special-year
No. 10 – WC Sports Hall of Fame adds 13 members: