Dragons roll to 77-45 win over Warren East
When Warren Central is playing at the level it’s capable of, it’s hard to beat.
The Dragons were pretty close to that said level on Friday night.
Taking on Warren East in a District 14 matchup, Central executed from start to finish, played with much energy and didn’t make many mistakes en route to a dominating 77-45 win at Tim Riley Court.
“We got our best three practices of the season this week,” Warren Central head coach William Unseld said. “We had our best three days of practice this week because we just got back to the small stuff. I’m happy for the kids. They’re a great group of kids and they’ve been unbelievable.”
The Dragons (7-3 overall, 1-0 District 14) – who snapped a two-game losing streak – built a 25-17 lead after the opening quarter and stretched it to 47-22 at halftime. They continued to play at a high level throughout the second half, triggered the KHSAA state-mandated running clock and never allowed the Raiders to get into a consistent rhythm.
Three different players finished in double figures for Warren Central, led by Antonio Barbee’s 14 points. Along with Barbee, Kobe Brents and Dre Boyd each finished with 11 points, while Tre Pillow and Tegra Muleka each tallied eight to round out the Dragons’ stat sheet.
“We don’t really have one guy that’s going to score 20 a game,” Barbee said of the team’s balance. “Everybody just scores and plays hard. It’s really fun.”
Bryson Wallace carried Warren East (8-7, 0-2) with 12 points in its third straight loss.
Warren Central controlled things from the start.
The Dragons jumped out to a 14-8 lead at the 3:16 mark of the first quarter and soon led 25-17 after eight minutes of action. Barbee was already up to 10 points.
Central took total control in the second, outscoring Warren East 22-5 to build a comfortable advantage. Leading 33-19 at the 5:29 mark, the Dragons went on a commanding 14-3 run to take a 47-22 lead into the locker room at halftime.
“When you’re at home and it’s a district game, you’ve got a different kind of bounce in you,” Unseld said. “We got them in (practice) and worked and worked – and they want to get better. We’ve got some talented kids. I told them, ‘As soon as y’all start to play defense, the offense will come.’
“We did that.”
Barbee had 14 points after two complete periods, while Brents had scored 11 and Boyd was up to 8. Thomas Maxey was pacing the Raiders – who were outrebounded 22-9 in the half – with seven points, while Wallace had six.
Warren Central continued to light up the scoreboard in the second half.
Outscoring Warren East 21-9 in the third quarter, the Dragons took a commanding 68-31 advantage into the fourth and didn’t look back.
Warren Central returns to action Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at home against Barren County. Warren East will be back on the court Monday at Glasgow in the Kentucky 2A Sectional Tournament. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
“Tomorrow will be another big test for us,” said Unseld. “Coach (Warren) Cunningham does one of the best jobs in the region. Heck of a coach. We’ve got a challenge tomorrow, so it’ll be good to see how they respond.”
Warren East – 17 5 9 14 – 45
Warren Central – 25 22 21 9 – 77
WEHS – Bryson Wallace 12, Thomas Maxey 9, Adante Barber 6, Ryan Carter 4, Jordan Jones 4, Dawson Doyle 3, Kaleb Matlock 3, Jaxson Wilson 3, Jackson Harrell 1.
WCHS – Antonio Barbee 14, Kobe Brents 11, Dre Boyd 11, Tegra Muleka 8, Tre Pillow 8, Tayshaun Bibb 6, Kamden Lawrence 5, Jamale Barber 3, Geovonni Floyd 2.
Warren East girls beat Warren Central, 42-30
Lucy Patterson’s double-double of 13 points and 11 rebounds, along with a seven-point, 13 rebound performance from Caroline Forrester led the Warren East girls’ basketball team to a 42-30 win over Warren Central on Friday evening at Tim Riley Court.
The Lady Raiders (7-9 overall, 1-1 District 14) – who have won six out of their last eight games – trailed 8-1 after the opening quarter but rallied back in the second to lead 15-10 at halftime. Warren East continued to lead throughout the second half and never allowed the Lady Dragons to get back into it.
While Patterson and Forrester led the way, Hailey Hymer finished with seven points and Olivia Price added five to round out the Lady Raiders’ stat sheet.
Krisheana Johnson paced Warren Central (0-13, 0-1) with eight points.
Warren Central was the aggressor early, opening the game with a strong defensive intensity to hold Warren East to not a single field goal in the first quarter. While the Lady Dragons’ limited the Lady Raiders to just one free throw, Central made four shots to lead 8-1 after eight minutes of action.
Warren East fired back in the ensuing frame, putting together a quick 8-0 run to take a 13-10 lead at the 2:28 mark of the second. Patterson’s jumper just before the buzzer sent the Lady Raiders – who outscored Warren Central 14-2 in the period – into the locker room at halftime leading 15-10.
Patterson was leading all scorers with six points and had six rebounds at the break, while Hymer had scored four. Taelor Leach was pacing the Lady Dragons with 4 points of her own.
Warren East’s run continued into the second half.
Leading by five, seven more points from the Lady Raiders moved their advantage to 24-13 at the 2:59 mark of the third quarter. Patterson then completed an and-one, and Hymer made a free throw to make it 28-13 with just over a minute remaining in the period.
Back-to-back buckets from East sent it into the fourth up 34-15 – and the Lady Raiders remained in control throughout the final frame and recorded a district road victory.
Warren East – 1 14 19 8 – 42
Warren Central – 8 2 5 15 – 30
WEHS – Lucy Patterson 13, Hailey Hymer 7, Caroline Forrester 7, Olivia Price 5, Tanaya Bailey 4, Kelsey Sparks 2, Katelyn Joiner 2.
WCHS – Krisheana Johnson 8, La Aunhni Lewis 4, Taelor Leach 4, Kyleigh Ray 4, Aliyah Whitfield 4, Mytavia Graham 3, Alyssa Conner 1.