Lady Warriors notch six more wins

Bruce McKean
Contributing Writer

PCHS V, 53
Summers County V, 42

The Class A #7 (AP Poll) Pocahontas County High School’s girls basketball team upset the #6 Summers County powerhouse with an 11-point, 53 to 42,  first-ever win January 21 in a rare game held at PCHS between the two schools. 

The battle was supported by a big, cheering home crowd at PCHS. Earlier in the season SCHS beat PCHS by 11 points, 54-43 in the championship game of the Rogers Oil Classic. SCHS had just moved up last week from #8 to #6 in the Sport-writers AP Poll, and PCHS had fallen from #6 to #7.

This recent game on the 2019 Martin Luther King holiday was tied seven times, the last with 5:10 to go with the score at 38-38. PCHS then went on a first 7-0 run section of a total 15-4 end-of-game run. SCHS led 20-18 at the half when PCHS outscored their rare visitors, 35-22, in the second half. PCHS made history with their strong defense. Pocahontas improved to 11-2, and Summers dropped to 8-5.  

Summers had the longest West Virginia win streak of any basketball team, boys or girls, in history a few years back – 105 straight wins and were state champions for many years in both Class AA and then A. PCHS has been kept from going to states with losses to Summers and Hinton that included one such loss just last year.

Sophomore Taylor Issac of SCHS, MVP of their tournament this year, was game-high scorer with 17 points, while sophomore leading scorer Gavin Pivont was held to just nine points, 13 below her average scoring. SCHS senior Erica Merrill combined for eight points and nine rebounds.  

Laila Calhoun bucketed 16 points and tallied seven boards for the Lady Warriors. Brianna Hefner, 14 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks; and Charity Warder with 11 points, 11 rebounds and five deflections, both pocketed double-doubles.

PCHS JV, 60
Summers County JV, 31

PCHS won the JV game 60-31, their third win over Summers County this season.  PCHS was called for 19 fouls and made four of eight foul shots.  Summers was called for 10 fouls, and hit four of 22 free throws.  SCHS had 42 turnovers to 30 for PCHS.  Summers had 33 boards to 29 for PCHS.

Jerica Reed was game high scorer for PCHS with 15 points in two quarters of play, and Destiny Vandevender was next with 13 points and four assists. Cloey Sharp added nine points and seven rebounds in three quarters of play. Sienna Bircher blocked four shots and put up seven points, five rebounds and four steals in three quarters of play. Kierstin Taylor tallied six points with two threes, four assists and four deflections in three quarters of play.  All 12 players had stats in the game.

PCHS V, 54
Greenbrier West V, 30

PCHS traveled to Charmco January 24 and beat Greenbrier West by 24 points, 54-30, after beating them by 34 points at home on December 6, 65-31.  West came into the game with a 7-7 record, and West and PCHS are two of the seven schools in Region III Section 1.  PCHS took the first quarter 14-6, and West won the second frame 9-6 to close the gap with PCHS leading by only 20-15 at the half.  The Lady Warriors owned the second half 34-15 for the 54-30 win.

Three Lady Warriors were the three game-high scorers and in double digits:  Kira Bircher – 15 points, Hefner – double-double of 14 points and 10 rebounds, and Warder – double-double of 14 points and 10 rebounds.  Calhoun added nine points.  CWHS senior Amanda Church was team-high scorer with 10 points.  PCHS doubled the rebounds of West 32-16.

PCHS JV, 41
Greenbrier West JV, 17

PCHS won the JV game 41-17 via a 25-4 first half, and all 10 Lady Warriors scored, and all 12 had stats. The four quarter scores (PCHS – GWHS) were: 13-0, 12-4, 5-6 and 7-11 with the Warriors taking the first two quarters, and the Cavaliers taking the last two. PCHS hit 4 of 17 foul shots for 24%, on Thursday, and GWHS hit 3 of 17 for 23%.

Destiny Vandevender was high scorer with 11 points in two quarters of play.  Sharp added eight points to the cause in two quarters of play.  Ten Lady Warriors scored, and all 12 had stats.  PCHS grabbed 25 rebounds to 19 for West.

PCHS V, 51
Elkins V, 33

Class AA Elkins HS traveled to PCHS January 26, for the first two games ever between the two schools, according to Elkins third-year head coach Matt Davis.

PCHS started strong with a 10-0 run, and the first canto ended 12-4 Pocahontas. The second quarter was definitely a defensive battle, and Elkins took it 5-4, which cut the PCHS lead at the half to 16-9. Elkins had an early 6-0 run in the third quarter followed by a PCHS 10-0 run.  Going into the final frame, PCHS led 32-18. Twenty-four of 44 foul shots were attempted in the last quarter, and the Lady Warriors won the fourth 19-9 for the 51-33 victory. Elkins was called for 20 fouls and hit 13 of 22 (59%) free throws, while Pocahontas was whistled for 15 fouls and hit 14 of 22 (64%). PCHS grabbed 11 more rebounds and committed 12 fewer turnovers.

Four Lady Warriors scored, and all four were in double digit scoring: Calhoun – 15 points, 10 rebounds and five steals, Hefner – 12 points, five rebounds and five steals, Kira Bircher – 12 points, six rebounds and three blocks, and Alexa Taylor – 12 points, four steals and four assists. EHS seniors Sarah and Susan Riggleman led their team with 13 and nine points respectively. Elkins drops to 5-11 with the loss.  PCHS improves to 13-2 with the win.

PCHS head coach Mike Kane was interviewed on Saturday for the fourth edition of “High School Basketball Roundup” on wvmetronews.com due to an 11-2 start to the PCHS girls season. 

PCHS JV, 47
Elkins JV, 30

PCHS took the first three quarters, 19-2, 12-11 and 10-6, while Elkins ended strong with an 11-6 final frame.  Cloey Sharp played in all four quarters and finished with 15 points, nine rebounds and four steals.  Destiny Vandevender also played in all four quarters and scored eight points and tallied five steals and four rebounds.  Kierstin Taylor accumulated five points and five assists.  Eight players scored, and all 12 had stats.

PCHS out-rebounded EHS 34 to 26 and committed 33 turnovers to 34 for Elkins. The PCHS JV team’s record is now 11-2.

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