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Lady Warriors are on a tear in 2019

Bruce McKean
Contributing Writer

The Pocahontas County High School girls basketball teams started 2019 by hosting rival Tygarts Valley January 2. The TVHS varsity came into the game at PCHS with a 6-0 record. The two PCHS squads then  traveled to Bath County, Virginia, January 3, and ended the week by hosting Region III Section 1 foe Midland Trail January 5. By week’s end, the PCHS Varsity added three wins for a 9-1 record and a five-game win streak. Their only loss was to Summers County in the Rogers Oil Classic championship, 43-54. After losing their first game of the season at Pend-leton County, 26-34, the PCHS JV added three more wins last week for a 7-1 season record and seven-game win steak.

The second edition of the BasketballNight.com Girls Power Ratings were released January 4, and PCHS (8-1 at the time of the ranking) is now ranked #4 in Class A after being ranked #7 in the first edition when their re-cord was 5-1. PCHS is ranked behind #1 Huntington St. Joe (9-1), #2 Parkersburg Catholic (8-1) and #3 Magnolia  of New Martinsville (8-1). Ranking is calculated based upon strength of schedule, record and points scored.

PCHS V, 72
Tygarts Valley V, 34

The Lady Warriors started the game with a 13-0 run and never looked back. Laila Calhoun sealed the win with eight points in the second quarter and 14 points in the third plus with her 75% field goal shooting, 12 of 16.  Calhoun finished with a double-double of 26 points, 13 rebounds, four steals, four deflections and all were game-high stats. Alexa Taylor was next with 12 points and game highs of six assists and 83% two-point shooting. Kira Bircher was third with 11 points, and she hit a game-high three treys with 100% accuracy. Nine of the 10 Lady Warriors scored in the game, and all 10 had stats. 

PCHS grabbed 38 rebounds versus 24 for TVHS, tallied 25 steals and forced 22 turnovers versus 12 PCHS turnovers. Courtney Haddix and Abby Harris led TVHS each with nine points.  TVHS dropped to 6-1 with the loss.

PCHS JV, 38
Tygarts Valley JV, 29

PCHS took the first half 26 to 10, and TVHS took the second half 19-12, but Makayla Ervine’s two third quarter threes (two of three treys for nine points) helped PCHS stay in the lead. Jerica Reed played two quarters and was game high scorer with 10 points that included hitting two treys. Seven Lady Warriors scored. Destiny Vandevender with seven rebounds, and Kierstin Taylor’s seven rebounds, six steals and five assists were all game-highs. Claire Smith was high scorer for TVHS with eight points.  

TVHS out-rebounded PCHS 34-26, and the Bulldogs forced 37 turnovers to PCHS forcing 33. The Bulldogs made 60% of their free throws (6 of 10), while we hit only 38% (3 of 8). Pocahontas did grab 16 steals and had 10 deflections while also dishing out 13 assists.  

PCHS V, 63
Bath County, VA V, 8
Brianna Hefner, the only PCHS senior, exploded for a triple-double of 13 points, 12 steals, 10 rebounds, four blocks and six assists! Kira Bircher electrified the gym being game high-scorer with 16 points, eight steals, five rebounds and five assists.  First off the bench Sage McLaughlin impressed with 14 points, five steals and four rebounds. Calhoun was everywhere with 10 points, six steals, four rebounds, four assists and three deflections. Sienna Bircher came off the bench for three rebounds, three steals, three deflections and two blocks.  Reed also dazzled off the bench with six points and three rebounds. Charity Warder tallied three steals and two blocks. 

PCHS tallied 41 steals and forced 51 turnovers. BCHS dropped to 4-6 with the loss.

PCHS JV, 54
Bath County, VA JV, 21

Game-high scorers were McCarty, with 14 points including two threes, and Ervine with 14 points, including three treys. Next was Vandevender with nine points. Hope May was high scorer for BCHS with six points. PCHS grabbed 24 rebounds and 23 steals, while Bath tallied 27 rebounds. PCHS committed 12 turn-overs versus 33 for Bath.

PCHS V, 58
Midland Trail V, 37

The biggest crowd of the season came out to the Lady Warrior Coliseum to see two of the top teams of the seven schools in Class A Region III Section 1 go at it at for better sectional seeding at the end of the regular season.  Calhoun led PCHS with 10 points to the 15-4 PCHS first quarter advantage. Two quick fouls caused PCHS head coach Mike Kane to let Calhoun sit out the second quarter. Trail took the second quarter 10-7, cutting the PCHS lead from 11 to eight points, 22-14 at the half. PCHS had leads of 13 points in each of the first two stanzas. Trail’s only lead in the game was 2-1 early in the first stanza. Hefner and Kira Bircher came to the rescue in the third quarter with eight and five points respectively for the 17-14 PCHS effort that increased the PCHS lead back to 11 points after three quarters, 39-28. Trail cut the PCHS lead to only four points twice early in the third quarter. The 19-9 fourth frame sealed the 58-37 win for Pocahontas as Calhoun, Warder, Hefner and Alexa Taylor scored in that quarter. The final score equalled the biggest PCHS lead in the game.

PCHS game high scorers were Calhoun with 21 points, six rebounds and four steals followed by Hefner with 15 points and nine rebounds. Alexa Taylor put up eight points, four steals and three assists. Kira Bircher tallied  six points, eight assists, four rebounds and four steals. Warder contributed four blocks, six rebounds, four points and three deflections. High scorers for Trail were junior Malerie Hendrick, 11 points, and senior Jenny Wilson, 10 points and seven rebounds.

The out-of-the-county officiating crew called 22 fouls on Trail and 13 on PCHS in a game that got rough at times. PCHS made 17 of 25 foul shots for 68% shooting, and MTHS hit 50%, five of 10. The Patriots record drops to 5-3 with the loss.

PCHS JV, 39
Midland Trail JV, 24

The JV game was not pretty with PCHS committing 45 turnovers and Trail committing 51. PCHS made an impressive 31 steals and 37 deflections in the game. Rebounds were close with PCHS grabbing three less, 25 to 28 for Trail.

The first half was a 12-12 draw with each school taking one quarter by the same 10-2 scores. Kierstin Taylor’s 11 points, including two treys, in the third quarter helped PCHS take the lead 31-20 after three periods. The 8-4 PCHS fourth quarter was icing on the cake. Kierstin Taylor was game high scorer with 13 points, seven steals, five rebounds, five deflections and three assists. Chloe Sharp finished with eight steals, six rebounds, five deflections, three assists and two blocks (tie) – four of which were game highs. Sienna Bircher tallied game highs of eight deflections and two blocks (tie) plus seven steals and six points.

The PCHS varsity travels to the Charleston Catholic Saturday, January 12, for a 2 p.m. game.  The CC Athletic Facility is located on a hill on the airport side of the interstate across the interstate from the Capitol and Laidley Field, not at CCHS. Take Exit 99  Greenbrier St./Airport off of I64/I77 to the Hillcrest Office Park. There are directions on the CCHS web site.

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