#8 PCHS Varsity, 43
#7 Summers County Varsity, 54
The 2018 Summers County girls basketball team came into the Rogers Oil Classic this year having won 16 of the previous 27 tournaments. On paper, the Lady Bobcats and the Pocahontas County High School Lady Warriors appeared to be pretty equally matched this season.
SCHS head coach Chad Meador was quoted in the Beckley Register-Herald Hoops supplement: “I’ll say there are several teams in Region 3 (WV Class A) that are very good this year. Midland Trail and Pocahontas County may be the favorites right now.”
PCHS had to play SCHS at their gym last year in one of the two Class A Region 3 co-finals after Pocahontas lost a thriller to Charleston Catholic with a buzzer beater shot by Catholic. The SCHS Lady Bobcats took that game 58-33. Summers lost first-team all-stater Hannah Taylor and veteran guard Tiffani Cline to graduation this season, while PCHS returns everyone from last year. Going into this championship match-up, PCHS had beaten Greenbrier West 56-18 at PCHS, and SCHS beat West 49-16 on Friday to open the Classic.
This is the third time PCHS has made it to the championship game of this tourney. The first time was in 2003 when PCHS upset four-time defending “A” state champion Mercer Christian Academy 47-43 to advance, and #7 PCHS then lost to #5 SCHS 42-71 in the final game. The second time was in 2014 when PCHS lost 35-68.
December 15’s final game at Hinton, after a long day of middle school and JV contests and the consolation game, started with a basket by SCHS sophomore Gavin Pivont for the 2-0 Bobcat lead. Pretty quickly PCHS tied the game at 7-7 on two foul shots from junior Laila Calhoun. By the end of the first quarter, PCHS was down 9-12. In the second quarter PCHS would come within one at 15-16 and eventually tied the game at 20-20. PCHS went on an 8-0 run to start the third quarter that resulted in a 28-25 lead. The Lady Warriors would finally lead the game three times in the third quarter before being tied again at 30-30. With PCHS up late in the quarter 33-30, SCHS went on a 9-0 run that lasted into the final frame. The third stanza ended with our girls only down 35-33.
After PCHS made all five of its foul shots in the third quarter, nobody could hit one in the fourth, and PCHS missed all six critical foul shots. Head Coach Mike Kane also mentioned some missed easy layups during the game that could have made a difference in the outcome, as well. The hope of a first-ever win over this powerhouse after 10 losses over the years, the game ended 43-54, and the PCHS faithful gave the girls a standing ovation for a hard fought performance.
A PCHS record three Lady Warriors were voted to the all-tournament team: senior Brianna Hefner with nine rebounds, eight points and three assists, and for a second straight year, juniors Alexa Taylor (leads the offense at point guard) with four deflections and three assists and Laila Calhoun with 10 rebounds and nine points. MVP for the tournament was SCHS sophomore Taylor Isaac who scored 19 points, 14 of which were in the second half. Also all-tourney was game high scorer sophomore Pivont with 21 points and five rebounds. PCHS high scorer was junior Kira Bircher with 12 points. Seven Lady Warriors scored in the contest.
PCHS only made nine of 23 foul shots (39 %), and SCHS connected on 15 of 22 (68 %). Pocahontas out rebounded Summers 33 to 26 and committed fewer turnovers 19 to 26. These two teams will meet again at PCHS for a game on January 21, so do not miss that battle. PCHS drops to 3-1, and SCHS improves to 4-2. The SCHS losses were at Class AAA Greenbrier East 46-79 and at Class AA James Monroe 57-60.
Greenbrier West (3-4) looked like a different team as they won the consolation game 49-16 over Webster County (1-4).
PCHS Varsity, 68
Webster County Varsity, 15
PCHS played Webster County in the opening Rogers Oil Classic game on December 14. Webster freshman Holly Perrine made the first basket of the game for the 2-0 lead followed by a three from Kira Bircher, and the Lady Warriors never trailed again. Calhoun, Kira Bircher and Brianna Hefner were all in double digits with 14, 12 and 10 points respectively. and the three combined for 15 rebounds and 11 steals. Junior Charity Warder added seven points, five rebounds and five assists. Sophomores off the bench Destiny Vandevender and Sienna Bircher scored eight and six points respectively in the fourth quarter. Ten PCHS players scored, and the team grabbed 37 rebounds to 22 for Webster (now 1-4 with the loss to Greenbrier West in the consolation game), and PCHS committed 10 fewer turnovers, 27 versus 37.
PCHS JV 61
Summers County JV 34
The PCHS and Summers County JV teams played Friday, and sophomores Destiny Vandevender and Kierston Taylor plus junior Jerica Reed scored 15, 14 and 10 points respectively. Junior Cloey Sharp was high rebounder with eight, and next was freshman Macaden Taylor with six. The team grabbed 37 rebounds to 22 for Summers and committed only 27 to 37 turnovers for SCHS.
PCHS JV, 33
Summers County JV, 23
The second meeting between the PCHS and SCHS JV teams on Saturday saw both teams score fewer points, but PCHS still controlled the game enough to win it by only 10 points versus by 27 points in the first game. PCHS is now 3-1 and SCHS drops to 1-4. Cloey Sharp was the only player in the game to score in all four quarters for a double-double of 15 points and 11 rebounds. Macaden Taylor grabbed five steals in the game.
PCHS will play Tygarts Valley at PCHS on Friday, December 21, (JV 5:45 p.m.) (V 7:30 p.m.).