Old Man Winter – 3, TCHS – 1 and PCHS – 0
PCHS Sectional and Regional dates announced
Old Man Winter took three of the four Pocahontas County High School Lady Warriors’ scheduled games last week. Thursday’s home game versus Tygarts Valley will not be rescheduled. Friday’s Pink-out/Senior Night home game with Pendleton County will now be played this Friday, February 21 (JV game starts at 5:45 with varsity to follow). Saturday’s trip to Charleston Catholic for a varsity game only will now tip-off at 2 p.m. Saturday, February 22.
I reported last week that the Lady Warriors girls basketball team scored their most points of the season, 83, in a 51-point win over Moorefield that was also their biggest victory margin of the season. This week PCHS entertained number four ranked Tucker County on Monday, February 10, and scored their fewest points all season in a 34-46 first loss at home. A 12- point loss is not much for most teams but for the now number five ranked in both polls Lady Warriors (11-5), it was the biggest loss of their five close losses this season. The four other losses were to Class AA number six Clay County (16-3) by four points, to Class AA Tosia (5-13), who plays a brutal schedule, by eight points, to Tucker (12-4) previously by nine points, and to Class A number three Gilmer County (15-4) by eleven points.
Coach Mike Kane’s analysis of the loss was that Tucker’s height advantage and bench strength resulted in our key players getting tired late in the game. Our three tallest girls all start and range from 5’7″ to 5’9″, so they need to play more versus a taller team. Tucker starts four girls who range from 5’7″ to 6’1″, and their bench averages four more inches per player while their starters average two more.
The game was a defensive battle and tied 12-12 after one quarter of play. Tucker led 23-20 at the half and 32-25 after three. PCHS hit five, two, one and four field goals in the four quarters, while TCHS hit five, five, four and five. Pocahontas was five of eight from the foul line and Tucker was three of four, and PCHS was called for one less foul 9-10.
In both match-ups the Lady Mountain Lions pulled away in the fourth quarter taking that quarter 14-5 at Tucker and 14-9 in this game. PCHS did control Tucker’s two tallest players Monday when 6’1″ Savannah Ambrose and 5’11” Aiyanna Kachmarek were held to only six points and three rebounds combined after getting 23 points in the first contest, almost all in the second half. But Tucker also held our highest scorer, Tristin Day, to three points versus 10 in the first match up. Bench points were 17-2 and 13-3 in Tucker’s favor in the two games with different high scorers coming off the bench for TCHS both times.
Melissa Murphy was game high scorer with 12 points and six combined stats. Bobbie McNabb, Day and Sarah Ryder each grabbed seven rebounds. McNabb had 13 combined stats plus eight points. Rose put in five points, and Olivia Knisely and Ryder scored three points each.
TCHS 5’8″ freshman Elizabeth Nicholas came off-the-bench and was team high scorer with 11 points followed by 5’8″ senior Bekah Simmons – 10 points and 5’7″ junior Madison Mullenax – 10 points and 9 rebounds. 5’10″senior Stephanie Betler was close behind with nine points and six assists.
A big improvement for the Lady Warriors was their 28-28 rebounding tie versus Tucker’s 44-24 advantage in the last game, and Tucker had a 5-16 turnover advantage versus 11-32 last time. Other TCHS advantages were 14-8 assists and 10-8 steals. PCHS made seven of 36 two-point attempts for 19 percent accuracy (season average is 31 percent) and five of 15 three-point attempts for 33 percent, their season average.
Tucker head coach Jim Ambrose was quoted in the Elkins Inter-Mountain newspaper after the game: “Pocahontas is a nice team. They are very well coached. We came into a big crowd and a hostile environment and executed. We shot the ball better than we have been.”
PCHS had their biggest crowd of the season, and the student body and cheerleaders were spirited and really enjoying cheering on the Lady Warriors. An even bigger crowd is expected for Wednesday’s Charleston Catholic game and the very special Pink-out/Senior Night game on Friday.
The even bigger and taller Tucker JV team (11-0) remained undefeated with a 60-48 win over PCHS (8-3) who suffered their first loss to a Class A team this season. The only PCHS JV losses previously were both at Class AA power Summers County the first two games of the season by scores of 28-35 and 34-35.
The JV game high scorer was freshman 5’2″ guard Mary Kelley with 21 points and four steals. Three Tucker girls scored in double-digits: sophomores Leslie Nestor – 18, Lydia Mullenax – 14, and Lily Nestor – 13. PCHS other top scorers were sophomores Kayleigh Arbogast – seven points and Megan Galford – six points and seven rebounds plus freshman Brittany Sharp – six points. Freshman Tiffany Hoover dished out four assists.
PCHS girls post-season dates announced:
The Lady Warriors will open play in Class A Region II Section 2 post-season play at home on Wednesday, February 28, at 7 p.m. versus the winner of a play-in game played earlier that week between Paw Paw and East Hardy. PCHS received the number one seed of the five teams in Section 2. The winner of Wednesday’s game will advance to play in the Section 2 Championship game at Petersburg High School on Saturday, March 1, at 1 p.m. versus the winner of the Moorefield at Pendleton County game. Note the 1 p.m. start time is earlier due to the Petersburg gym having another game scheduled that evening.
All eight Class A regional championship games will be played on Wednesday, March 5. The loser of the Section 1 championship game will advance to play at the winner of the Section 2 championship game. The loser of the Section 2 championship game will advance to play at the winner of the Section 1 championship game. The six schools in Section 1 are: Tucker County, Tygarts Valley, Clarksburg Notre Dame, Union Grant, South Harrison and Harman. Eight total winners state-wide of the two regional championship games in each of the four Class A regions will advance to Charleston to play on Thursday, March 13, in four Class A first round games. Winners on Thursday will advance to play in the semi-finals on Friday, and the three state championship games are played on Saturday. Mark your calendars for these important dates.