Lady Warriors hold off young Moorefield squad

Bruce McKean
Contributing Writer

PCHS – 55
Moorefield – 43

Veteran Moorefield High School head girls basketball coach Paul Kiplinger lost five seniors to graduation, including 1,000-point scorer Tara George and two other starters from last season.  His young squad came into Friday’s contest at Pocahontas County High School with a 4-4 record versus PCHS’ 3-4 record, and MHS was ranked four places higher in the latest BasketballNight.com power rankings.  

Last season MHS finished with a 10-13 record versus the Lady Warriors’ 12-10 results.  Last year the Lady Warriors won by 10 points at Moorefield and by 32 at Dunmore.  Going back to the 2006-07 season PCHS has won every match up in that time period.  

Coach Kane expected a tough game this year considering the Yellow Jackets had beaten East Hardy by eight points, and lost at Tucker County by only 28 points.  PCHS lost at both EHHS by 16 points and at Tucker by 39 points.  The Lady Cougars also beat both Class AA Berkeley Springs and Pendleton County by six points and Strasburg, Virginia by eight. MHS also lost two games to #13 ranked Union (8-2) but only by three points in their most recent contest.

Senior season high-scorers Mary Kelley and Sarah Ryder started strong, scoring all 10 PCHS points in the 10-10 first quarter marked by four ties and three lead changes.  MHS starts three freshmen, one sophomore and one junior, and four of the starters scored all 10 MHS points.

Five Warriors scored in the 21-9 PCHS second frame upping the PCHS lead to 31-19 at the half.  Joining the scoring off the bench were senior Brittney Sharp and freshman Laila Calhoun each making their two foul shots.  Senior Lindsey Hartzell, Ryder and Kelley each hit a trey to add to the lead.

MHS game and season high-scorer freshman Lindsey Rinker hit two threes in the third quarter, and junior Nautica Croscro also nailed a three as the Yellow Jackets took the third 15-10, cutting the PCHS lead to 41-34.  An 8-0 run by MHS mid-quarter cut the PCHS lead to three points 35-32.

A 6-0 PCHS run to start the final frame sealed the 55-43 win, and the 12-point margin of victory equaled the PCHS lead at the half.  Ryder with 23 points, nine rebounds, four deflections and one block, and Kelley with 21 points, four boards, six steals and three assists were the game high scorers.  Freshman off-the-bench Laila Calhoun grabbed nine rebounds and scored six points.  Freshman Alexa Taylor led the team with five deflections and one block.

Rinker put up 10 points   to lead eight MHS scorers,  Freshmen Anna Riggleman, Gianna Fair and Madison McGregor combined for 19 of the 29 freshmen points.  Crisco added six more points, and Riggleman pulled down eight rebounds.

MHS drops to 4-5 and 2-4 in the PVC.  PCHS, now 4-4 and 1-2 in the PVC, was out-rebounded 31 to 28 and committed 24 turnovers vs 22 for MHS.  Pocahontas hit 71 percent of their foul shots, 10 of 14, while Moorefield hit two of six for 33 percent.  

Head Coach Mike Kane commented that his team has been shooting better since the previous game and playing better defense and going after loose balls more often.  He wants the girls to continue to improve each game with more players scoring.  PCHS shot 44 percent of their field goals in the first period, 33 percent in both the second and third while finishing with 37 percent in the last canto.

Tygarts Valley and Greater Beckley Christian do not have JV teams, so there will be only varsity games at PCHS January 11 and at GBCHS in Beckley Saturday, January 14, at 2 p.m. 

As of press time, none of the three cancelled ball games had been rescheduled.

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