Fans tickled pink by Pink Out performance

The Tribe Spirit was in full force Thursday night, dancing and cheering at the Lady Warriors Pink Out game. At left, Brittney Sharp gets off a shot over the head of Pendleton County junior Cheyenne Pitsenbarger. Photos courtesy of Samantha Collins
The Tribe Spirit was in full force Thursday night, dancing and cheering at the Lady Warriors Pink Out game. At left, Brittney Sharp gets off a shot over the head of Pendleton County junior Cheyenne Pitsenbarger. Photos courtesy of Samantha Collins

Melissa Murphy matches second best rebounding effort in school history

Bruce McKean
Contributing Writer

PCHS Varsity 68
Pendleton County 27

The biggest crowd this season turned out for the annual Pink Out game to support Breast Cancer Awareness complete with pink balloons, T-shirts, silk scarfs, cake, cupcakes and lemonade, plus items auctioned by Bob Sheets, music by the Pocahontas County High School pep band, along with the Tribe spirit club and cheerleaders at their best. 
The most moving tribute of the night was the recognition of cancer survivors including Pink Out coordinator Karen Murphy.  Murphy and her many volunteers outdo themselves each year.
The PCHS girls basketball team was obviously moved by the support as they started and ended the first quarter with 6-0 runs and finished with a 17-8 lead over visiting Pendleton County.  Three Lady Warriors – Sara Ryder, Melissa Murphy and Mary Kelly – all finished the game with double-digit scoring, and started strong with eight, six and five  points respectively in the first frame.    Pendleton committed only four turnovers in that opening period, and the home team had only one miscue.
The Pocahontas press soon frustrated the Lady Wildcats who turned the ball over 13 times in the second canto to only three times for the Lady Warriors. The Warriors also stole the ball eight times versus only three times in the starting quarter.  Kelley got hot and made 11 points in the second that ended with  her team up by 25 points, 38-13, at the half.  The Lady Warriors ended the quarter with a 19-0 run.
Both teams scored fewer points in the last two periods as both coaches played every player.  The home team would score 30 points versus 38 in the first half.  The visiting squad would tally 14 points versus 13 also in the first half.  Brittney Sharp, off the bench for Pocahontas, led all scorers  in the final frame with five points.  The Lady Warriors would never trail and took the win 68-27.  The 68-point effort was the best of the season and matched the effort in the Tygarts Valley game in late December. Pendleton’s biggest loss until this match up was by  27 points to a very good Class AA Petersburg squad. The Lady Wildcats were without the services of 5’10” senior Alexis Turner, who shares top rebounding honors this season with Caylie Simmons and is third in scoring. Their one regular season match up last season in Franklin was a Warrior win 61-50.  
For the second time this season,  a Lady Warrior matched a game record that ranked second in school history.  Senior first-team All-PVC point guard Melissa Murphy stole the ball 12 times and matched the record of Christina Holstine set in the 1998-99 season. Holstine’s record was broken by point guard Madeline Jerome on December 27, 2008, at Clarksburg Notre Dame with 15 steals and still holds.
Melissa finished with a double-double of 12 steals, 10 points, six assists, four rebounds and  three deflections for a stellar night.  Game high scorer honors were shared by juniors Sarah Ryder and Mary Kelley with 20 points each.  Kelley left the game before the end of the third quarter to get her knee iced and did not return.  Ryder pulled down eight rebounds, and Kelley had three of her team’s 24 steals, the best total this season.  Nine of the eleven Warriors and six of the nine Wildcats scored. High scorers for Pendleton were both juniors, Simmons with nine points and Cheyenne Pitsenbarger with eight.
Pendleton, now 6-5 and 4-3 PVC, won the rebounding tally 26-24, and is #28 of 47 Class A teams in the ratings.  Pocahontas, now 8-5, 5-1 PVC, is ranked #10 in the Metro News Index, #11 in the Coaches Poll, #12 in the AP Poll,  and #16 in the ratings.  The Warriors had fewer turnovers, eight to 31.  Both squads are in Section 2 of Region II and will meet again at Franklin. In the last 10 seasons our only loss to the Wildcats was on January 11, 2013 at Franklin, 48-45, but there have been several close games.
It is a busy week of tough games for both girls and boys. 
The January 16 PCHS girls varsity game at Charleston Catholic, that was postponed due to weather, is to be rescheduled.
The #12 (Metro) PCHS boys (7-5) travel to #3 ( Tucker County (9-1) on Wednesday, January 20, (JV at 5:45 p.m.; V at 7:30 p.m.). 
The PCHS girls travel to #2 ranked (Coaches and Metro) Tucker County (10-2) on Thursday, January 21, (JV at 5:45 p.m.; V at 7:30 p.m.). 
On Friday, January 22, the PCHS girls JV will host Harman V at 5:45 p.m., and the PCHS boys V will host Harman V at 7:15 p.m. 
The #7 (Metro and AP) Clarksburg Notre Dame girls (9-5) travel to PCHS on Saturday, January 23, for a girls varsity game at 2 p.m., and the #3 (AP) Notre Dame boys (9-1) varsity plays at 4 p.m.  The PCHS boys host East Hardy on Tuesday, January 26, (JV at 5:45 p.m.; V at 7:30 p.m.).

Pendleton County 20

The Pocahontas County Lady Warriors JV girls basketball team stormed out to a 23-8 first quarter lead over the Pendleton County Lady Wildcats, and went on to  take every quarter for the 49-20 victory.  PCHS junior Brittney Sharp was the only player in the game to score in every quarter.  Sharp was game high scorer with 16 points, seven steals, five deflections and hit six of eight foul shots.  Freshman Aliza Carr tallied 12 points, seven rebounds and three steals.  Freshman Briana Hefner  contributed eight points and six rebounds.  Kaylee Woodward and Kayla Halterman led the Lady Wildcats with seven and six points respectively.    The home team tallied more boards 30-19, 17 steals and committed 12 turnovers versus 22 for Pendleton.   Pocahontas improves to 5-2 and 3-1 in the PVC.

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