Bruce McKean
Contributing Writer

PCHS Varsity, 49
Charleston Catholic Varsity, 35

Last basketball season the Pocahontas County High School Lady Warriors started with a 9-2 run in  their one February match up vs #9 Charleston Catholic in Charleston and led 14-9 after one quarter. It was all downhill after that for PCHS, and the Irish took the contest 45-34.

Due to graduations, both squads are much younger this year, and Catholic is still small, fast, scrappy and good defenders. CCHS came into the January 6 game unranked, a rarity for the private school power, but their 2-5 record is deceiving, since they have losses to two undefeated top-10 Class A squads, #8 Sherman and #4 Parkersburg Catholic, one to Ohio power Bishop Rosecrans and one to Class AA #13 Lincoln High.

This year’s first quarter was marked by two ties and two lead changes, and the Irish took it 11-9. Kira Bircher and CCHS’s only senior, Jordan Keener, each scored five points to lead their teams in the first. The second period saw five lead changes and two ties, and Jerica Reed led all scorers with five points off the bench. Bircher hit a two at the half-time buzzer to put PCHS up for good at 21-20.

Reed led all scorers again in the third frame with seven points, and PCHS took the quarter 16-5 and led 37-25 by quarter’s end. PCHS also had their best shooting, 55 percent, in the third. Laila Calhoun led  all scorers in the fourth with eight points, including four of seven foul shooting.  Rebounding was a big factor in PCHS’s success in the second half, as the Warriors grabbed 20 of their 33 rebounds in the second. CCHS only tallied  nine of their 26 boards in the second half.  The final score was 49-35 PCHS, and the home team led by as much as 18 points in the fourth period.

These two teams have played 13 times and CCHS leads the series 9-4. Pocahontas last won at PCHS 44-42 in February 2016. The Lady Warriors won two games in the 2012-13 season 43-37 and 49-45. We faced the Irish twice at states in quarter-final games and lost a heart-breaker in 2010 by only one point, 39-40.  #10 (Coaches Poll) PCHS improves to 8-2, while CCHS drops to 2-6. 

Head Coach Mike Kane was happy to see his team hit four threes, the most this season, but he was not happy with 26 turnovers that included 12 bad passes.

Calhoun had her eighth double-digit scoring game this season and her fifth double-double with 13 game-high points, 10 rebounds, four steals, and two deflections. Reed had her career varsity game with 12 points, including two treys and four rebounds. Bircher made 67 percent of her field goals and tallied nine points, including one trey, seven assists, six rebounds and four steals.  Alexa Taylor connected for seven points including one trey. Charity Warder netted six rebounds and four points while also shooting 67 percent of her field goals. Scoring two points were Sage McLaughlin and Briana Hefner who also grabbed four rebounds.

High scorers and rebounders for CCHS were sophomore Olivia Corbett (eight points and five rebounds), freshman Harrah Rahin (seven points all in the fourth quarter and six rebounds) and sophomore Kaitlin Nester (six rebounds and three points).

The girls travel to #3 Tucker County (8-0) on Friday, January 12, (JV 5:45 p.m., V 7:30 p.m.) and to #9 Clarksburg Notre Dame (5-3) on Wednesday, January 17, (V 6 p.m.).