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Warriors rally late to down Pioneers

The tough start to the season for the Pioneers continued Tuesday as they fell to 0-6 Tuesday after losing to White County 75-67. The game was a good, old fashioned Warren County Sparta matchup where both teams fought tooth and nail for four quarters.

It was the third late game loss for Warren County this season but coach Danny Fish knows that is part of the growing process.

“I loved how hard they played and kept the faith,” said Fish. “We are becoming more cohesive on offense and defense. We are getting good minutes from our bench but we just need to play better defense without fouling.

“We will continue to focus on the process and stay the course. If we continue to work hard for one another then we will be fine.”  

Early in the first quarter, the Pioneers jumped out to a 8-7 lead after a big three from Aaron Templeton forced Sparta coach Eric Mitchtell to take a timeout to get his team back on track. After the break, Sparta came out firing and rattled off 8 unanswered points, making it 15-8 with just over 2 minutes to go in the first.

After the big momentum swing for the Warriors , the Pioneers never flinched. Warren County battled back, closing the gap back to two points, 18-16, going into the second quarter.

The middle quarters were a dog fight that saw neither team take a big lead. Warren County took a four-point lead into the fourth, 52-48, after Treyton Terry banked in a three at the buzzer to end the third.

The Warriors got back on top 56-54 early in the fourth and never looked back when Thomas Brock hit back to back threes with just over 7 minutes to play.

Warren County hung in tough down the stretch, but missed free throws and Tripp Pinion’s play for the Warriors were the Pioneers Achilles Heel. Sparta’s sophomore PG had 16 points in the second half and was huge in the fourth to close it out for the Warriors.

The start has no doubt been rough for Warren County and definitely not the one coach Fish wanted to have to begin his tenure, but his team has battled in all of their games so far. Finishing the battle (Warren County has held the lead in the fourth quarter of each of its last two losses) and just finding a way to close games down the stretch is the next step.

“We need to make winning plays in winning moments, We have to continue to mature mentally,” said Fish.

On Friday night, the Pioneers welcome the Cannon County Lions into town. The Lions come into The Dalt sitting at 2-2 overall. Even though Cannon is young, they are a tough team and will be a test on Friday. “They have 4 guys that can hurt you if you don’t cover them up,” said Fish. “(Theo) Winters, (Eli) Pelham, (Lukas) Phillips can all hurt you from the perimeter and then the (Antonio) Jones kid is like stretch 4 who likes to pick and pop.”

Friday night at The Dalt is alumni night so if you were a member of any Pioneer, Lady Pioneer or basketball cheer teams, we encourage you to come out and see some former teammates and the current WCHS teams play. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m.

WC scoring - Sawyer Seymour 19, Treyton Terry 18, Kaden Rutledge 9, Nate Elrod 8, Alex van Vuuren 5, Carter Simpson 3, Aaron Templeton 3, Braylon Grayson 2

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