Coach Mike Kane took his number-seven-ranked Lady Warriors to the 23rd annual Rogers Oil Classic on December 13 and 14 at Summers County High School in Hinton. It was no surprise that PCHS would have to face the defending Classic champion Class AA number-five-ranked Clay County squad again. In Kane’s first season at PCHS last year, he had to open against Clay, a team that had no seniors and only two juniors. That experience was not fun for PCHS, and Clay handed our local girls their worst defeat, 30-67, of the 2012-13 season.
Clay County, last year’s number-four Class AA seed at the state tournament, had no seniors to lose for this season. It was probably a surprise that Class A number-seven Pocahontas County could match-up with the taller and more experienced Clay County team. The smaller Lady Warriors returned only two starters – juniors Tristin Day and Bobbie McNabb. But the younger, smaller PCHS team had a very successful off-season of tournaments and beat some of the best big schools in West Virginia and Virginia.
The Lady Warriors pressed the bigger team and took a first quarter 10-5 lead. Clay returned the favor of their press, and by the half, Clay led 17-15. Their size made a difference and Clay extended their lead to 32-22 going into the final canto. The final quarter was a battle, and Clay hung on for the 43-39 win. Clay’s Katelyn Horrocks, a junior, hit five threes and accounted for 23 points, more than half of their scoring. Horrocks and junior 5-8 point guard McKinzee Barker, one of the best point guards in West Virginia, both made the all-tournament team for Clay.
High scorer for Pocahontas was Day with 16 points, four treys and three deflections. Freshman Sarah Ryder, in the first game of her high school career, hit for 11 points and grabbed four rebounds. McNabb had seven points, nine rebounds, four assists and two blocks.
PCHS met a young Webster County team on Saturday in the consolation game. Webster rebounded from a slow first quarter that PCHS took 21-8. Webster edged the Warriors 19-18 in the second, but it was all Pocahontas in the second half. The final score was 76-40 PCHS.
McNabb had her career game of 29 points and tied the school record of four threes in a quarter in the first quarter. Bobbie had five treys in the game, five rebounds, three steals and two deflections. Senior forward and co-captain Lorena Rose had a double-double of ten points, ten rebounds, three steals, two assists and two deflections. Ryder also had a double-double of 14 points, 10 rebounds and 1 deflection. Day combined for 13 points, three treys, six assists, five steals and four rebounds. Sophomore point guard Melissa Murphy contributed nine points and frustrated both point guards with her speed.
The young PCHS JV squad, coached by Mike Murphy and Phillip Anderson, played Summers County twice and lost two close exciting games marked by multiple ties and lead changes.
Day and McNabb were voted to the all-tourney team. Class AA number-nine-ranked Summers County took the championship back from Clay County, 43-39, in two overtimes. It was apparent that either PCHS, Clay or Summers could have won the tournament on any given day. Next up for the Lady Warriors is a trip to Richwood on Thursday, December 19, and East Hardy visits PCHS on December 23. The JV games begin at 5:45.