Lady Warriors win 13th straight sectional title

ladies sectional champssm
Back row, l-r: Coach Mike Kane, Mary Kelley, Jensen Dean, Tristin Day, Bobbie McNabb, Megan Galford, Olivia Knisely, Assistant Coach Phillip Anderson, and Assistant Coach Mike Murphy. Front row: Kayleigh Arbogast, Melissa Murphy, Lorena Rose, Bethany Arbogast, Sarah Ryder and Natalie Hartzell. Mali Minter photo.

Bruce McKean
Contributing Writer

Feb. 26 Sectional: East Hardy 32 @ PCHS 60

The PCHS girls basketball team won their thirteenth straight trip to a sectional championship game by beating East Hardy for the third time this season with a 60-32 win at home in round two of Class A Region II Section 2 play. The Lady Warriors never trailed in the game and took every quarter.

East Hardy finishes their season at 5-15, and PCHS improves to 14-7 and 9-2 vs PVC opponents. EHHS committed 24 turnovers to 13 for PCHS, while PCHS grabbed 30 rebounds to 23 for the Lady Cougars. The other two games with EHHS were wins by 26 and 37 points.

PCHS was called for seven fouls versus 15 for EHHS. Hardy made six of seven foul shots for 86 percent accuracy while PCHS made 13 of 21 for 62 percent. Pocahontas made 43 percent of second half field goals and averaged 34 percent in the game.

The top three scorers in the game were the three tops scorers this season for PCHS. Junior all-stater Tristin Day scored 19 points including three treys, five deflections, four steals and two rebounds. Junior all-stater Bobbie McNabb tallied 17 points including two treys, nine rebounds, five deflections, three assists and 1 steal. Sophomore Melissa Murphy hauled in 13 points, five steals, five deflections, two rebounds and one assist. Freshman Sarah Ryder contributed nine points, eight rebounds, four steals and one block. Senior co-captain Lorena Rose grabbed four rebounds, two steals, two points and one deflection.

Senior Ruby Fridley of East Hardy tallied 13 points including three treys and three rebounds to lead her team. Senior Marilyn Cassell ended a great career with a double-double of 10 points and 12 rebounds. Ally Dyer put in nine points and grabbed two rebounds.

Mar. 1 Sectional Championship: PCHS 61 Pendleton County 42 @ Petersburg HS

Pocahontas County (15-7) (number-6/number-7 in Coaches/AP polls) won their thirteenth straight sectional championship game by a score of 61-42, and for the second straight year over Pendleton County.

Melissa Murphy made the first two points of the game, and the Lady Wildcats quickly tied the game at 2-2. Rose, Day, Ryder and Murphy took turns scoring and dishing out assists and playing good defense and almost flawless ball in a 21-0 PCHS run. The Lady Warriors would never trail and finished the first quarter with a 30-7 lead, and the 30 points was the most points scored in one quarter this season. By the half and with McNabb joining the scoring explosion, PCHS upped their lead to 29 points at 45-16.

The Lady Warriors made 13 of 15 shots in the super first quarter for an amazing 87 percent accuracy. By game’s end the PCHS game percentage had fallen to a still good 44 percent. The PCHS faithful would give the performance of the Lady Warriors multiple standing ovations throughout the first half and after the game at the championship plaque presentation, celebration, music and net cutting.

The biggest Warrior lead of the game would grow to 31 points at 38-7. Pendleton gradually got their game going and took the second half 26-16, but it was too little and too late.

Day was the game high scorer with 21 points including four threes, six rebounds and 4 steals. Murphy was next with 18 points including four of five foul shots, six rebounds and six assists. Ryder was also in double digits with 10 points, all in the first half, and four rebounds. McNabb put in six points including four of five foul shots, six rebounds, two assists, two deflections and one steal. Rose added four points, four rebounds, five assists and two blocks.

Leading the way for the Wildcats was senior Kaylee Edwards with 17 points and junior Michaela Raines with seven points.

Pocahontas out-rebounded their PVC foe 28-23, and Pendleton had fewer turnovers 12 to 17. The Wildcats were called for 19 fouls versus 14 for the Warriors, and 59 versus 44 total in their three contests this season.

The play got heated in the fourth quarter, and junior Seara Mallow was driving fast down the sideline and crashed into defender Bobbie McNabb at mid court. The back of Mallow’s head hit the floor hard, and she laid on the gym floor for a long time as the fans went silent with concern. At the 4:44 mark Ryder rolled an ankle and laid in pain on the floor while being attended to by coaches and others. Both girls had to be helped or carried off the floor, and both players were reported to be much better on Sunday.

Pocahontas beat Pendleton in regular season 56-41 at Franklin and 70-44 at home. Last year’s sectional championship also with Pendleton ended with a three-point come-from-ten-down overtime Lady Warriors win.

The number-6 (Coaches Poll) Lady Warriors will now host the Irish of Clarksburg Notre Dame at PCHS, and all eight Class A regional games are Wednesday, March 5, at 7 PM. Pendleton must now travel to number-3 Tucker County. The other six games are: number-9 Trinity @ number-5 Wheeling Central, number-8 Magnolia @ number-2 St. Marys, Fayetteville @ Sherman, Tug Valley @ Midland Trail, number-7 Charleston Catholic @ number-10 Williamstown and number-4 Gilmer County @ number-1 St. Joseph. The eight winners will advance to the state tournament to begin play on Thursday, March 13.

A PCHS win would result in their eighth state tournament appearance in school history. 2002 was the first year ever that the John Snyder, Tim McClung and Kenny Lehman coached Lady Warriors made it to states with a huge upset in Elkins over then number-2 Gilmer County who had two 6’5″ players.

All sixteen coaches in the eight Class A regional games will have voted on seeding for the tournament earlier this week. The four Class A games in Charleston on Thursday are scheduled to start at 9:30 AM (seed 3 vs 6), 1:00 PM (2 vs 7), 5:30 PM (1 vs 8) and 9 PM (4 vs 5).

Make plans to follow the Lady Warriors in what could be four more games leading to a state championship.


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