The Warren Central boys’ basketball team held the top spot in District 14 entering Friday’s game, and wasn’t about to take any chances giving it up.

The Dragons wasted no time jumping ahead of Warren East and finished with 15 players in the scoring column to start a big weekend of basketball at Warren Central High School with an 82-35 victory over Warren East.

“We control whatever is going to happen from this point on, so we’ve got to come out and guard. We’re really starting to hit our stride right now,” Warren Central coach William Unseld said. “We’re really starting to guard and rebound the way we’ve been wanting to all year. The kids did a good job just staying out in front of them and just playing our game.”

Warren Central (18-6 overall, 6-1 District 14) is hosting the Wes Strader Schoolboy Classic on Saturday, which will feature games with some of the top players in the state. The Dragons will bring a seven-game winning streak into its 4 p.m. contest against Lafayette Jefferson (Ind.), the only out-of-state team coming to the event.

“Tomorrow is fun. We’ve got one true game left. It’s next Friday (against Greenwood),” Unseld said. “ ... The rest of the games are let’s just get better.

“We’re playing maybe the most talented team we’ve played all year. ... I like that. We’ll see where we’re at, but we’re just going to go have fun and enjoy it. It’s going to be a great day of basketball.”

Friday’s game against Warren East (4-17, 0-6) was all that mattered to the Dragons on Friday. Warren Central scored the final 12 points of the first quarter to take a 21-6 lead. The run was highlighted by back-to-back 3-pointers from Tayton Smith, who had eight of his 11 points in the frame, and Jaiden Lawrence, who also finished with 11 points.

Kobe Brents knocked down three 3-pointers in the second quarter and finished with a team-high 14 points. The Dragons used a 10-0 run in the frame to pull ahead 41-16 with 2:13 to go in the half, and Warren Central eventually took a 43-19 lead into the break.

“Just energy, man. Come out here and have energy,” Brents said. “Warmups, take it serious and just come out and be ready to play.”

Smith opened the third quarter with his third 3-pointer and Warren Central was off to the races again. The Dragons outscored Warren East 21-7 in the frame to go into the fourth quarter ahead 64-26 and with a running clock in place.

The point differential allowed Warren Central a chance to showcase some of its younger players and the Dragons ended up outscoring the Raiders 18-9 to cap off the 82-35 victory. In total, 15 Warren Central players scored.

“Those kids, to come off late in the game – that’s their moment. They practice really hard, so to see them to be able to get a chance to get out in front of a big crowd and have a good experience, it’s what you want,” Unseld said. “At the end of the day, it’s not about the wins and losses, it’s how you develop them and what type of character kids you’ve got, and those kids deserved that chance and they did a good job with it.”

Warren East was led by Kaleb Matlock’s eight points and Tatum Simmons had six. The Raiders will host South Warren on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.

WEHS 6 13 7 9 – 35

WCHS 21 22 21 18 – 82

WE – Matlock 8, Simmons 6, Yoakem 4, Williams 4, Andrews 3, Carter 3, Gott 3, Wheeler 2, Walker 2

WC – Brents 14, J. Lawrence 11, Smith 11, Boyd 8, Howard 5, Villafuerte 5, Glover 4, Garrett 4, Wright 4, Floyd 4, Muleka 4, Nishimwe 2, Barbee 2, Wilson 2, Gaines 2


Warren Central 56, Warren East 45

The third time was the charm for Warren Central against Warren East.

After dropping back-to-back games against the Lady Raiders in January, the Lady Dragons beat Warren East 56-45 on Friday.

“We reset this year from the summer. We knew that we were going to have a chance to have a good season,” Warren Central coach Joe Hood said. “All the girls were bought into the program through all the stuff that’s gone on over the last three years here ... but they never once batted an eye and we kind of brought them back down to earth a little bit telling them how far they’ve come, and just to keep going forward.

“Our statement tonight was, ‘Everything that we’ve done – good and bad – leading up to tonight is past us. We can only control what we can tonight as far as all of our attitudes coming out.’ “

Warren East (14-7 overall, 3-3 District 14) beat Warren Central (9-16, 3-4) 58-34 on Jan. 9 and again two days later in the Kentucky 2A Championship sectional tournament 48-38, but Friday, the Lady Dragons took a lead with a putback from Kenneddee Robinson at the end of the first quarter and never looked back. Warren Central also has a District 14 victory over South Warren, who beat them in the first meeting, and Greenwood.

“Our growth is really big right now. Everything is going well for us and our mindset is really good. We’re not down on each other,” Warren Central junior guard La Auhnni Lewis said. “It’s just coming together.”

The Lady Dragons took a 14-12 lead into the second quarter, where they held Warren East to just five points and built a 24-17 lead to take into halftime behind nine first half points from Lewis.

Lewis, who finished with a game-high 24 points, scored the first four points of the second half and Taelor Leach followed with a layup to make it a 6-0 Lady Dragons run to start the second half. Warren Central held the Lady Raiders without a field goal until the 4:36 mark in the period and took a 39-27 lead into the fourth.

“We communicated a lot, we got down the court and teamwork is always the key to the game,” Lewis said.

Warren East came back from 15 points down the week before at Greenwood, outscoring the Lady Gators 27-0 in the fourth quarter, and tried to mount another comeback Friday.

The Lady Raiders cut Warren Central’s lead to single digits at 48-39 on a 3-pointer from Lucy Patterson with 1:33 to play and Patterson added a steal and breakaway layup after a timeout to make it 48-41, but that was as close as Warren East would come. Patterson finished with a team-high 17 points and Caroline Forrester added 10.

Warren Central made 8 of 10 free throws from that point on to close out the 56-45 victory. Lewis had nine of the team’s 17 points in the final frame. Behind her 24 points were Krisheana Johnson with eight and Robinson with seven. Warren Central will host Daviess County on Monday at 7:30 p.m.

“We knew that we were going up against a really good team that’s got a winning culture going right now,” Hood said. “We knew going in – it was something that us and the staff talked about – what we needed to do to have a chance to get to the district tournament with the best opportunity, and we had to check this box tonight. The girls played good, everybody stepped up at some points and I liked to see us finish it at the free throw line.”

Warren East will host South Warren on Tuesday at 6 p.m.

WEHS 12 5 10 18 – 45

WCHS 14 10 15 17 – 56

WE – Patterson 17, Forrester 10, Bailey 7, Price 8, Sparks 3

WC – Lewis 24, Johnson 8, Robinson 7, Leach 6, Conner 6, Ray 5{&end}

– Follow sports reporter Jared MacDonald on Twitter @JMacDonaldSport or visit

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