Bruce McKean
Contributing Writer

PCHS Varsity, 41
Elkins Varsity, 34

The Fighting Tigers of Class AA Elkins High School did not play like a team with a 5-12 record when Pocahontas County High School visited Elkins February 4, 2020. Laila Calhoun, PCHS high scorer this season with 233 points before this game, hit the first basket of the game for a 2-0 lead, and she would be stopped from making another basket until the fourth quarter. Jerica Reed put the Lady Warriors up 5-2 with a three. The game was tied four times in the first, and EHS took the quarter 12-11. Kierstin Taylor came off the bench in the low-scoring second period and made the only PCHS basket – a three. EHS took the second 7-3 for a 19-14 lead at the half.

Elkins head coach Matt Davis was quoted in the Elkins Inter-Mountain, saying: “We played with a lot of effort, and in the first half we played very smart basketball. In the second half they applied a little pressure, and we reverted back to some old habits that cost us.”

The maroon and gold had their best scoring period in the third with 14 points and  mounted an 8-0 run to tie the game at 22-22, but the orange and black hung in there with a 5-0 run finishing with 10 points. Elkins ended the third ahead by one point 29-28, and Alexa Taylor hit four of four foul shots to help the comeback.  

Charity Warder opened the fourth with a layup that put PCHS up 30-29. Alexa Taylor hit her second of two free throws to tie the game for the last time in the final frame at 31-31 with 4:26 to go. PCHS then mounted another 6-0 run to take the lead 37-31 as Coach Mike Kane called regular time-outs to make sure his team was “on track.” At the 19.8 seconds mark, PCHS was only up 38-34. Alexa Taylor nailed one of two foul shots with 11.6 seconds in the game, and Kierstin Taylor swished two foul shots to end the scoring at 41-34. Pocahontas would shoot 14 foul shots in the fourth and make six. #4 (AP Poll) PCHS (14-4) would hit 11 of 18 foul shots (61%) on 11 fouls, and EHS (5-13) made 4 of 7 (57%) on 14 fouls.

Game high scorer was Warder with 11 points. Calhoun tallied 14 rebounds, five blocks, five points, four assists and four deflections. Alexa Taylor contributed eight points, six of 10 foul shots, five deflections, four assists, and three steals. Kira  Bircher tallied six deflections, four points, four rebounds, four steals and two blocks. Kierstin Taylor accounted for eight points and one three. Jerica Reed made the other three. EHS senior Madison Holland and sophomore Anna Belan each scored 10 points, and Belan fouled out with 3:32 to go in the game. Junior Lyllian Bradberry grabbed nine rebounds. Elkins cancelled the junior varsity game due to illness and injuries. 

The Warriors will host Pendleton County in the rescheduled annual Pink Out Games on Monday, February 17 (JV – 5:45 p.m., V – 7 p.m.). PCHS hosts Tygarts Valley on senior night, Wednesday, February 19 (JV – 5:45 p.m., V – 7 p.m.).  PCHS will travel to Richwood for a rescheduled varsity game, Friday, February 21, at 6 p.m.

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