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PCHS to host Webster in Section 1 semi-final

Pocahontas County High School senior Laila Calhoun joined the 1,000 Points Club February 19 during the game against Tygarts Valley High School. Calhoun received her commemorative ball from Jimmy Cutlip, the first Warrior to make 1,000 points. Holly Taylor photo

Calhoun’s week:  40 games and 1,004 career points

Bruce McKean
Contributing Writer

The Pocahontas County High School girls basketball teams ended their regular season with five games in three days. Last week, the PCHS  varsity was also voted the #1 seed of Class A Section 1 by the 11 head coaches in Region III. All games start at 7 p.m., and as long as PCHS keeps winning, all of their games will be played at PCHS.  #4 seed Webster County hosted #5 Richwood February 24, and #1 PCHS will host the winner of that game on Wednesday, February 26.  #2 Midland Trail will host #3 Charleston Catholic on Wednesday.  The two Section 1 Wednesday semi-final winners play in the Section 1 Championship at the higher seed on Friday, February 28. Both section final teams, win or lose, play in one of the two Region III semi-finals on Wednesday, March 5. The Section 1 and 2 champions host the runners-up of the other section, and the winners of the two games advance to States.  All eight Class A teams open play in four games on Thursday, March 12, in Charleston.  The seedings of Section 2 teams in Region III were: #1 seed Summers County, #2 Greenbrier West, #3 Greater Beckley Christian, #4 Montcalm, #5 Meadow Bridge and #6 Mount View.

PCHS Varsity, 54
Pendleton County Varsity, 34

PCHS hosted the Wildcats on Monday, February 17, in the annual Pink Out game, and for the second time this season, the Lady Warriors prevailed with a 54-34 win, versus a 62-29 victory at Franklin on December 5. PCHS took the first three quarters and led 44-23 after three. The Wildcats took the fourth 11-10, and with only one senior graduating, Katelyn Scott, the 9-11 Wildcats should improve next season.  Pocahontas (16-4) will move back to Region II next season and will be in section 2 with Pendleton, Harman and Tygarts Valley. East Hardy, Paw Paw, Tucker and Union will be in Section 1.

Laila Calhoun was game-high scorer with 18 points and eight rebounds, and Charity Warder was right behind with 17 points and nine rebounds. Sienna Bircher also grabbed nine rebounds. Katelyn Scott and freshman Arianna Young scored 10 and 11 points respectively for the Wildcats.

PCHS JV, 36
Tygarts Valley JV, 29

The PCHS JV also won twice, 36-29 on Monday and 31-25 early in the season, so both teams improved their scoring.  The high-scorers for each team, Macaden Taylor and Pendleton freshman Sierra Thompson, tied with 13 points each, and each had double-doubles of 11 and 12 rebounds respectively. The Lady Warriors JV improved to 9-8.

PCHS Varsity, 97
Richwood Varsity, 34

When Richwood visited PCHS on December 18, with only six varsity players, the Lady Warriors won that game 78-16. Richwood had actually improved when PCHS played at RHS on Tuesday, February 18, but PCHS played one of their best games of the season with four girls scoring in double digits. The PCHS press caused 38 RHS turn-overs, and the maroon and gold tallied 40 rebounds, 31 steals, 30 assists, 25 deflections and six threes.

Kira Bircher had the season’s first triple-double of 22 points, 17 steals, 10 deflections, eight assists and three blocks. Kierston Taylor came off the bench and compiled 16 points and nailed three treys. Charity Warder produced 10 points, seven rebounds and five assists.  

Laila Calhoun did something no Lady Warrior had ever done before when she scored 40 points in the game. Her scoring by quarter was:  11, 8, 10 and 11.  Her scoring included a three in the fourth quarter, and she made three of seven free throws in the game. 

Calhoun broke Assistant Coach Chloe Bland’s PCHS game points record of 38 points that Bland scored on December 22, 2011, versus James Monroe. The PCHS success on Tuesday frustrated Richwood, and they were called for 17 fouls versus only eight for PCHS (17-4). Four Lady Warriors scored in all four quarters, and that is also a first for this season. Richwood dropped to 7-14.

PCHS Varsity, 70
Tygarts Valley Varsity, 23

Laila Calhoun’s record-setting 40 points at Richwood on the next-to-last game of the regular season, moved her to within 19 points of scoring 1,000 career points. Jimmy Cutlip was alerted that another PCHS player could hit 1,000 points at the Tygarts Valley home game on February 19, the very next night and the last game of the regular season. In three quarters of play (did not play the last quarter), Calhoun had six assists, so she was being unselfish when someone had a better shot than her. PCHS dished out 17 assists in the first three quarters, and Calhoun scored her 11 baskets  (half of the 22 team baskets) all in the first three stanzas, so she was probably assisted on about half of her baskets by her teammates. Calhoun will add to her career scoring total in the post-season.

PCHS won every quarter, 14-4, 21-4, 17-9 and 18-6.  The Lady Bulldogs were forced into 30 turnovers versus 14 for PCHS. Kira Bircher was game high-scorer with 24 points, eight rebounds, six assists, six steals, four deflections and two threes. Calhoun was next with 23 points (for 1,004 career points), nine rebounds and one three. Charity Warder tallied seven points, nine rebounds, and four assists. TVHS senior 1000-point scorer Abby Lanham was held to 11 points and one three.

PCHS finished the regular season with an 18-4 record. The 18 wins tie with four other PCHS teams, 1993-94 (18-2), 2010-11 (18-2), 2011-12 (18-4) and 2018-19 (18-5), for the most regular season wins. The Lady Warriors have been ranked #3 in four different polls/rankings this season, and the 2010-11 team was ranked #3 in the AP Poll for the highest ever ranking until this year. The win over Summers County at PCHS last season and this season are the only two wins ever over Summers and Hinton. Hinton consolidated into Summers County in 1994 with Lincoln, Forest Hill, Sandstone and Talcott. Green Bank, Hillsboro and Marlinton consolidated into PCHS in 1970. The 47-45 win over Tucker County at PCHS on January 17, was the first since a 39-38 win at PCHS on January 4, 2013, and we lost 13 games to TCHS between those two wins.

PCHS JV, 39
Tygarts Valley JV, 30

TVHS beat PCHS at Mill Creek 55-22 on December 23, so many were surprised to see the Lady Warriors dominate the Bulldogs 14-0 in the first quarter. The Bulldogs ended up taking the second and fourth quarters, but PCHS prevailed with fewer turnovers, 18 vs 36.

Macaden Taylor was game high-scorer with 12 points, six steals and three blocks followed by Haley Spencer with 11 points. Allyson Alderman dished out nine assists. 

The Lady Warriors end their season with a 10-8 winning record.

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