The winter doldrums have arrived in Pocahontas County and that always means lots of cancelled basketball games. On the other hand, the young Warrior basketball squad will be well-rested for the final eight games of the season.
Coach Tim McClung thinks his maturing squad is capable of winning out.
“We think we can win every one of those games,” he said. “There’s going to be some hard games. We have to go to Tygarts Valley, Moorefield, East Hardy and Van on the road. But we think we’re capable of winning all of those if we do the right things.”
The 8-6 Warriors have shown steady improvement through this season.
“We continue to improve,” said McClung. “We just need to put together four quarters. We’re putting together two or three quarters and taking a quarter off, for whatever reason. If we put four quarters together, there’s nobody left on our schedule who we shouldn’t beat.”
The coach is happy with his squad’s morale and teamwork.
“We’re getting a good team effort,” he said. “We’ve been winning the rebounding, the war on the boards in most of our games. We’ve done real well. We still need to improve on our three-point shooting. It’s not where we need it to be by any means. Two-point field goal percentage is not bad. We’re averaging up in the high 30’s. We can live with that if we’re at 39 or 40 percent. We’d like to get our three-point shooting somewhere near that range.”
Poor foul shooting cost the Warriors three games this season.
“Our foul shooting needs to be around 70 percent to beat the good teams,” said McClung. “We lost three games by two points, three points and four points. If we’d shot 70 percent from the free-throw line in those games, we would have won. But we’ve been doing a better job because we’ve been working on it hard in practice.”
The Moorefield Yellowjackets are probably the greatest obstacle to the Warriors winning out and finishing 16-6.
“We were very competitive with them at home,” said McClung. “We led them the majority of the game and ended up losing by 10. But we feel we can play with them. They beat East Hardy the other night by two points. Over here, we had East Hardy down by 20-some points.”
The Warriors are aligned in Region II, Section 2 for basketball, along with Paw Paw, Moorefield, East Hardy, Pendleton County and West Virginia School for the Deaf. With a strong finish to their season, the Warriors have the potential to host two sectional games in the post-season. If the Warriors win two sectional games, they will play in the sectional championship at Petersburg High School.