Pioneers victorious in 5A east conference play

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Report by Wes Gwaltney

After taking the Christmas break off from conference basketball action, the two Pioneer teams would enter Tuesday on very different sides of the table.

The Lady Pioneers were coming off sportsmanship ruled conference victory against the Jonesboro Lady Hurricanes and the Pioneers were coming off an opening defeat at the hands of the Hurricanes.

Both teams would look to strike the win column as the Greene County Tech Golden Eagles would make their way to Pioneer Gymnasium.

In opening action, the undefeated Lady Pioneers would take on the Lady Eagles as both teams entered the game one and zero in conference play.

The mantra of score seventy and play good defense would become the story of the ball game, as the Lady Pioneers smothered the Lady Eagles every time they possessed the ball, holding Greene County to just six points in the opening frame while accounting for 26 of their own and opening up a sizable advantage.

The onslaught would continue in the second as the Lady Pioneers would close the half leading by a staggering 44-10 advantage behind Izzy Higginbottom’s 22 first-half points.

The Lady Pioneers would cruise in the second half picking up the victory 72-25.

Leading the Lady Pioneers in scoring was Senior Izzy Higginbottom with 26, Senior Kaylee Clark with 11, and Sophomore Kayla Ward and Senior Riley Freeman with eight apiece.

The Lady Pioneers will now travel to Paragould to take on the Lady Rams Friday night at six in conference play.

The Pioneers would not have it as easy as the ladies in the nightcap.

A back and forth scrappy affair would see the lead toss around several times in the first quarter alone, as the Pioneers would lead 15-9 after the opening quarter.

They would stretch the lead to 28-19 at the half behind Freshmen Caden Giffin’s 13 points.

The Eagles would key on to Griffin in the second half as they clawed their way back into the game trailing by just five heading into the final quarter.

A wild last quarter would see three lead changes, momentum-shifting continuously, and when the dust settled, a tied ballgame.

In overtime, Caden Griffin would come back to life scoring the Pioneers’ first seven points in the extra frame, though the Eagles would answer back with several big three pointers.

Senior John Paul Morgan would show why he is a leader on this team adding five of the last six points in overtime including several very crucial free throws to put the game out of reach from the Golden Eagles as the Pioneers would pick up their first victory in conference play 62-58.

Griffin would lead the scoring with 20 points, Morgan would add 17 and the next closest Pioneers was Junior John Thomas Morgan with eight.

The Pioneers will not travel to Paragould with the Lady Pioneers as their game has been rescheduled to Jan. 25 and they will rejoin the Lady Pioneers next Tuesday in Pioneer Gymnasium to take on the Marion Patriots in conference action.

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