\r\n[caption id="attachment_11717" align="alignleft" width="182"]<a href="http:\/\/pocahontastimes.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/sites\/25\/2016\/03\/Ladies-1.jpg"><img src="http:\/\/pocahontastimes.com\/wp-content\/uploads\/sites\/25\/2016\/03\/Ladies-1-182x300.jpg" alt="Lady WarriorS Melissa Murphy, Kayleigh Arbogast and Mary Kelley celebrate Arbogast\u2019s successful foul shot against the Pendleton County High School\u2008Lady Wildcats February 24. \u2008The Lady Warriors were victorious and advanced to sectionals, only to be defeated by East Hardy High School February 27. Photo courtesy of Samantha Collins"\r\nBruce McKean\r\nContributing Writer\r\n\r\nPCHS\t55\r\nPendleton County\t44\r\n\r\nBefore the Pocahontas County High School Lady Warriors could focus on trying to win their 15th straight sectional championship game, they had to host an improving Pendleton County squad in a Section 2 semi-final contest on Wed-nesday, February 24.\u00a0 \r\nSection 2 #4 seed Pendleton advanced to play at #1 seed Pocahontas by beating #5 seed Paw Paw 57-24 in one of two play-in games involving the four teams seeded the lowest of the six teams in the section.\u00a0 \r\nThe two schools from adjoining counties referred to as PCHS would be playing for the third time this season.\u00a0 The Warriors prevailed in their first match up on January 14 at their annual Pink-out Game by 41 points, 68-27. One month later at the Wildcats\u2019 senior night in Franklin, the Lady Warriors, up by only one point in the fourth quarter, had to go on a 10-2 run at the end of the game to win 48-39 with Melissa Murphy scoring eight of those 10 points.\r\nThis semi-final match-up on Wednesday, February 24, was almost a repeat of the PCHS previous fourth quarter surge at Franklin. Pocahontas mounted a 15-0 run at the end of the game to win 55-44 after Pendleton took the lead in the fourth quarter 44-40 after trailing most of the game. The Lady Warriors made 54 percent of their field goals, 6 of 11, in the fourth quarter rally. The Warriors averaged 37.5 percent field goal accuracy, 18 of 48, in the game.\r\nPocahontas senior point guard Melissa Murphy was game high scorer with 24 points that included making 10 of 17 foul shots, four defensive rebounds, four steals and four assists.\u00a0 \r\nJunior Mary Kelley scored 13 points, including hitting three treys and sinking two of two at the foul line, three steals, one block and one rebound.\u00a0 \r\nSenior Kaleigh Arbogast contributed seven points, six rebounds, three steals, and two deflections. Michelle Murphy tallied five rebounds, three points and one assist. \r\nSophomore Briana Mills added three rebounds, two steals, \u00a0two deflections, one assist and one block. Tiffany Hoover sank a three. Junior Sarah Ryder was called for two early fouls and then three in the second half resulting in her seeing limited playing time.\r\nPendleton junior Caylie Simmons scored 12 points including two treys and grabbed eight rebounds. \u00a0 6\u20192\u201d freshman Claire Heav- ner tallied 12 points and seven rebounds. The Wildcats finished their season at 7-14 with a 4-9 record versus PVC teams. The Warriors improved to 12-8 and 8-2 in the PVC and moved on to the Section 2 championship.\r\n\r\nPCHS\t38\r\nEast Hardy\t53\r\n\r\nEast Hardy advanced to the Section 2 championship game held on Saturday, February 27, at neutral site Petersburg High School, by defeating their rival Hardy County team, Moorefield, 59-37 for the third win over MHS this season. PCHS had beaten both Moorefield and East Hardy twice in the regular season. The PCHS victories over East Hardy were by eight points, 50-42, at EHHS on December 9 and by 19 points at PCHS on December 19.\r\nScores of games since December and scouting reports of East Hardy indicated that the Lady Cougars were improving.\u00a0 The 10 East Hardy girls who played in this game consisted of seven sophomores, one freshman, one junior and one senior, with three sophomores starting.\u00a0 \r\nWe all noticed last season that East Hardy had a large group of talented freshmen for a school with such a small population. By the time the game was over, East Hardy sophomores had accounted for 49 of their 53 points. Of the 38 points scored by PCHS, all but nine were scored by seniors. The future looks bright for the next two years for the Lady Cougars.\r\nThe Region II #3 seed and Section 2 #1 seed Lady Warriors did not get their 15th straight sectional championship Saturday, but under the second chance rule, they will still head to their 15th straight regional game, one of two Region II co-finals. \u00a0 \r\nPCHS has never needed to take advantage of the second chance rule until this season \u2013\u2002the rule only applies to losers of sectional championships. The #2 ranked (Coaches Poll) and #1 seed Tucker County squad, won the Section 1 title on Thursday with a victory over Clarksburg Notre Dame 44-36, and \u00a0will host PCHS on Wednesday, March 2 at 7 p.m. \r\nThe #2 seed in Section 2 East Hardy Lady Cougars upset PCHS 53-38 as EHHS steadily pulled away for the win after the first quarter ended in a 10-10 tie.\r\nEHHS sophomore Brooke Miller scored East Hardy\u2019s first eight points of the game too easily. A 10-0 EHHS run in the second quarter put the Cougars up by nine points and they never trailed again, and only Melissa Murphy scored for PCHS in the second canto versus five Cou-gars who scored. The half ended with PCHS down 17-24 after a 14-7 Cougar quarter.\r\nThe third quarter was closer, 11-14, but only Melissa Murphy was able to penetrate the Cougar defense. The quarter ended 38 to 28. The fourth quarter saw the Cougars increase their lead by five as they smelled the upset and the victory.\r\nMelissa Murphy led all scorers in the game again with 24 points, including connecting on 10 of 12 foul shots and tallying five steals \u2013 all in the fourth quarter \u2013 four deflections and three rebounds.\u00a0 Ryder again had foul troubles (four fouls) and was way below her double-double average for scoring and rebounds with seven points and four rebounds. Sophomore Briana Mills was PCHS high rebounder with five rebounds.\r\nMiller was EHHS high scorer with 16 points and seven rebounds. Sophomore Julia Hahn tallied 15 points including nine of 13 foul shots. Sophomore Maxine Cassell accumulated 11 points \u00a0and seven rebounds. Game high rebounder was junior Shannon Hahn with eight rebounds and six points.\r\nPCHS pressed most of the game and was called for 21 fouls versus 17 for EHHS. \r\nThe much taller Lady Cougars grabbed \u00a0six more rebounds, 30 versus 24 for PCHS. Pocahontas shot 30 percent in the first quarter, but that fell to a dismal 16 percent average for the last three quarters.\u00a0 \r\nCoach Kane felt our shorter team has had to battle taller and bigger girls all season, and many refs have allowed rougher play that is a disadvantage for his smaller players. Kane felt poor shooting has hurt the team recently, and the lack of practice due to winter storms set the team back. \u00a0 \u00a0\r\nPCHS dropped to 12-9 with the loss, while EHHS improved to 10-13 with the win. PCHS has advanced to states nine times with regional wins including the last two seasons.