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PCHS earns first victory over Tucker since 2012

Bruce McKean
Contributing Writer

PCHS Varsity, 66
Midland Trail Varsity, 46

The West Virginia Class A #4 ranked (Associated Press Poll 1/13/20) Pocahontas County High School girls basketball team traveled to Hico in Fayette County on January 14 to play Region III Section 1 foe, the #12 Class A Midland Trail Patriots. Trail lost to PCHS by 17 points, 66-49, at PCHS just 10 days earlier.  

All five PCHS senior starters scored in the 13-13 first quarter in this second encounter. The score was tied four times, 2-2, 9-9, 11-11 and 13-13 in the first, and Trail only led once at 13-11. 

The second quarter was also close with two ties, 16-16 and 18-18. Trail led once at 18-16 and PCHS led by seven mid-quarter. Sisters Sienna and Kira Bircher hit the last two baskets of the half to up the quarter win to 16-11, and the half ended 29-24.

Laila Calhoun scored nine in the third to lead PCHS to a 17-10 third stanza and 46-34 lead going into the fourth. The Lady Warriors had one seven-point run that upped their lead from only three points to a 42-32 advantage.

PCHS made 70% of their field goals in the final frame after shooting only 44% up to the end of three quarters of play. MTHS senior Taylor Herald made seven of her team-high 17 points in the fourth (double-double of 10 rebounds). Kira Bircher made 10 of her game high 25 points and Charity Warder eight of her 12 game points, both in the fourth. PCHS doubled their lead in the fourth frame and took it 20-12 for the 66-46 victory.

Kira Bircher also tallied six deflections, three rebounds and three assists.  Warder just missed a double-double with nine rebounds, three assists and two blocks. Calhoun was the third Warrior with double digit scoring of 14 points, eight rebounds, seven steals, five assists and four deflections. Alexa Taylor compiled seven assists, four points, three steals and three deflections. Kierstin Taylor finished with five points, the only PCHS trey and three assists. Sienna Bircher produced four points in one quarter off the bench. Jerica Reed accounted for three steals, great defense and two points.

Midland Trail JV, 29

PCHS won the first three quarters 10-6 (4 of 18 field goal attempts – 22%), 19-9 (8 of 19 – 42%) and 12-5 (6 of 11 – 55%) while losing the final frame 7-9 (3 of 12 – 25%). PCHS made two of 10 foul shots (20%), while TCHS made four of ten (40%).

Co-game high scorers for PCHS with 10 points each were Macaden Taylor (three rebounds) and Allyson Alderman (five assists and three steals). Talisa Arbogast was next with nine points (three steals). Rayna Taylor and Sarah Stull grabbed seven and six rebounds respectively. The PCHS JV improves to 5-5. 

PCHS Varsity, 47
Tucker County Varsity, 45

The #4 ranked Lady Warriors, who were undefeated at home (5-0) when they hosted Class A #8 Tucker County January 17, were supported by the largest crowd of the season. The last time that PCHS beat the Mountain Lions was 2012, at Elkins in the Potomac Valley Conference Class A Night of Champions. Pocahontas won in overtime 55-52, and assistant coach Chloe Bland was high scorer. Since that 2012 victory, Tucker had won 14 straight games against the Lady Warriors.

PCHS started strong Friday with their five senior starters producing a 6-0 run versus Tucker’s starters that included one senior, three sophomores and one freshman.  TCHS senior Terra Kuhn was coming off a 22-point game that she only played in the second half, and those points resulted in her getting exactly 1,000 career points. By the end of the first period Friday, PCHS led 13-8 after an 8-8 tie and a nine-point Laila Calhoun effort. TCHS sophomore Kadie Colebank only made one of her seven foul shots in the first. PCHS shot only one foul shot, and Calhoun sank it.

PCHS upped its lead to eight points in the second frame, but TCHS trimmed that to a 23-22 lead by the half with a 14-10 quarter by TCHS.  The PCHS half-time lead was helped by sophomore London Hood’s nine points that included making five of nine foul shots. PCHS got only one foul shot in the entire first half versus 18 awarded to TCHS. The home team was called for double the number of Tucker fouls, 12 to 6 in the first half. It is an understatement to say that the fans from both schools were not happy with some calls and the reversal of several calls.

The third quarter went back and forth and was marked by two ties, 27-27 and 29-29. At the end of three and a 13-9 PCHS effort, Pocahontas led 36-31 with a seven-point run after the 29-29 tie. Alexa Tarylor hit the only game three to end that run and the quarter.  

PCHS upped their lead to eight points late in the final frame, but Tucker was not done. At the 2.08 mark the PCHS lead was down to three, 44-41. Hood hit a two with 46 seconds to go and cut the PCHS lead to one, 44-43. Calhoun then upped the PCHS lead to three, 46-43. Sophomore Jessie Daniels hit a two for TCHS with 7.7 seconds left to cut the PCHS lead to one, 46-45.  Kuhn fouled Kira Bircher, and Kira hit the first of two to up the lead to 47-45. Tucker team high scorer with 20 points was given the ball with seconds on the clock, and it hit her foot and time expired before a last shot could be made. Calhoun scored the most points in the fourth with eight.

Calhoun finished with the game-high points of 23 and made three of five foul shots, nine rebounds and three assists. Alexa Taylor made the only three in the game and tallied nine points, three assists and three steals. Kira Bircher put up five points, five rebounds and three assists. Charity Warder totaled six assists, four points and three rebounds. Kierstin Taylor, off-the-bench, tallied four points and three rebounds.  

PCHS grabbed two fewer rebounds, 26 to 28, and committed four fewer turnovers, 21 to 25. Colebank had a double-double for Tucker with 13 points and 13 rebounds. Kuhn had six points and six rebounds, far below her average. In addition to her 20 points, Hood had six rebounds and hit eight of 12 foul shots while handling the ball well for the whole game. 

PCHS (11-3) will play Tucker County again on their mountain Tuesday, January 28, (JV – 5:45 p.m., V – 7 p.m.).  Plan ahead for the Region III Section 1 games that will all be played in Fayetteville February 24, 26 and 28.  

Tucker County JV, 34

PCHS lost both the first quarter 3-6 while making one of 12 field goal attempts (8%) and the fourth quarter 4-16 while making one of 29 (3%). The Warriors won both the second quarter 9-6 (three of 23 for 13%) and the third quarter 14-6 (six of 19 – 32%). PCHS made seven of 20 foul shots (35%), while TCHS made eight of 21 (38%).

Game high scorer for Tucker was freshman Jacey Davis with 14 points. Next with nine points each were PCHS Jazzlyn Teter (four rebounds and four steals) and TCHS freshman Katlyn Simmons. Scoring seven points each were PCHS Tessa Kiner (3 rebounds) and Macaden Taylor (eight rebounds and six steals). Allyson Alderman tallied five assists, four rebounds and four points.  Cloey Sharp had four rebounds and three points. The PCHS JV drops to 5-6.

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