Lady Warriors burn the nets for 82 points at Pendleton County

Bruce McKean
Contributing Writer

PCHS Varsity, 82
Pendleton County Varsity, 24

Pocahontas County High School girls basketball coaches Mike Kane, Alan Taylor and Chloe Bland had a big task last season to replace three PCHS starters who graduated.  That 2017-18 team was also the youngest team that I could ever remember and had a schedule that included three top-10 teams. 

Everyone is back at PCHS this year, so no seniors have to be replaced this season, and the Lady Warriors now have only one senior, starter Brianna Hefner, to have to replace next season. This #8 (AP Pre-season poll, 51 schools in Class A) PCHS team will play Class A #5 Tucker, #7 Summers, #10 Charleston Catholic, #13 Midland Trail and will play in #14 Ritchie County’s tournament.  Class AA Lincoln County, Elkins and Philip Barbour are new opponents this year, and there may be other ranked teams in two tournaments and the post-season. 

PCHS opened its 2018-19 season at Pendleton County November 30, and the Lady Warriors scored 82 points, which was more scored than in any game last season.  The most points scored last season was 72.  The Lady Warriors finished last season with a 16-8 record and made it to the Region III Co-final, losing at Summers 33-58,  just one win from making it to states.
Pendleton was held to 24 points on Friday, and that matched their points last season in the same game.  PCHS improved their point total to 82 in this game from 50 points last season with good defense and offense and a total team effort.  The Warriors forced 42 turnovers and grabbed 28 steals while scoring an even 22, 20, 20 and 20 points respectively in the four quarters.  PCHS improved their quarter field goal shooting percentage as the game progressed:  1 – 47%, 2 – 44%, 3 – 60%, 4 – 67% and the complete game – 54%.

Three PCHS  junior starters were in double-digits:  Laila Calhoun – 19 points, five of five free throws, four steals and four assists and three rebounds; Charity Warder – 16 points, three blocks and three rebounds; and Kira Bircher – 15 points, seven rebounds, and seven steals.  Senior starter Brianna Hefner contributed nine points, eight rebounds and six steals.  Juniors Jerica Reed – eight points and three steals, and “team general” Alexa Taylor – seven points, four steals, three deflections, three assists and excelled at point guard. Junior Sage McLaughlin finished with four points, three deflections and three assists, while sophomore Kierstin Taylor put up four points and three assists.  C. Heavner (nine points and four rebounds) and K. Scott (six points) were high scorers for the Wildcats.

PCHS (1-0) next hosts Greenbrier West at PCHS on Thursday, December 6.
JV 5:45 p.m. and V 7:30 p.m.

Pendleton County JV, 34

The first PCHS JV basketball game of the season, a 26-34 loss, was a low-scoring game.  The Lady Warriors only made five of their 28 foul shots, while the Wildcats hit nine of 19.  Pendleton out-rebounded PCHS 49 to 25, while PCHS only had 30 turnovers to 41 for Pendleton.  The Lady Warriors only made two of 23 field goals (nine percent) in the first quarter and finished the game with 10 of 66 (15 percent).

Game high scorer was Pendleton player Emily Hedrick with a double-double of 17 points and 23 rebounds.  PCHS sophomore Destiny Vandevender was PCHS high scorer with 12 points and five rebounds.  Junior Jessica Reed accumulated six points, three rebounds, three steals and four deflections in two quarters of play.  Sophomore Sienna Bircher added four points, six rebounds and three deflections.  Sophomore Kierstin Taylor also had three steals and three deflections in two quarters of play.

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