Last season the Pocahontas County High School Lady Warriors beat Moorefield at home by 51 points, 83-32.
The margin of victory this year was 55 points when the Yellow Jackets traveled to Dunmore January 9 for a girls varsity game preceding the boys varsity game. Behind the eight point effort of Melissa Murphy and a team field goal shooting percent of 62.5 in the first quarter, the now ranked #5 Lady Warriors ran out to a 22-4 lead and never trailed.
Although PCHS shot only 22 percent in the second quarter, Tristin Day’s eight points helped up the lead to 35-10 by the half. A strong second half with nine Lady Warriors scoring and shooting at a rate of 53 percent resulted in the final 77-22 win and 8-2 record.
PCHS improved their PVC record to 2-0 while Moorefield’s overall record dropped to 0-9 with four close losses.
Day was game high scorer with 21 points, six rebounds, four assists, three steals and was 3-for-3 at the foul line. Sarah Ryder put up 14 points, eight rebounds, three steals and three assists. Melissa Murphy accounted for 10 points, three steals and three assists. Bobbie McNabb tallied nine points, eight rebounds, four assists and four deflections. Mary Kelley played two quarters and put in nine points in the fourth quarter including one trey. Tiffany Hoover made six points including one three and had five assists and four steals.
PCHS had fewer turnovers 10 versus 23. Tara George paced the Yellow Jackets with seven points and seven rebounds.
The morning after the Moorefield game, the Lady Warriors began boarding their bus 8 a.m. to travel to Class AA East Fairmont High School at Pleasant Valley. This would be the first-ever regular season meeting between the two schools. The Lady Warriors did meet the Bees this past summer in a St. Albans tournament with no clock stops and won easily 44-19. Coach Mike Kane knew this game would be harder on the Bees’ home court.
Lady Warrior fans outnumbered the Fairmont fans about two-to-one or more, so that evened the advantage some. The Murphy twins, Natalie Hartzell and Olivia Knisely all have many family members in that area, and they were out in force.
Kane thinks Saturday’s come-from-behind win at the taller and bigger – in number and size – squad is the biggest win this season. After one quarter, the Lady Warriors went from being down 6-11 and shooting field goals at 17.6 percent to a 26-17 fourth quarter effort where they shot 67 percent and fought back in the fourth quarter from an 11-point game high deficit, 31-42, early in the final canto.
Kane was impressed that his five starters were able to play most of four quarters and press the Bees and gain steam every quarter.
Pocahontas tied the game twice in the second quarter that ended in a 15-15 tie. Only three players, Melissa Murphy, Ryder and McNabb scored in the first half. Hartzell and Day joined the scoring in the third quarter, but East sophomore Lauryn Antolock got hot and made seven points as East moved ahead 37-31 going into the final stanza. There were six more ties in the third quarter.
The Bees started a 14-0 run in the third when the score was 31-28 PCHS. McNabb got even hotter at that point, and hit her third trey to close the gap to eight. A two by Day narrowed it to six. East upped the gap to eight points. Ryder hit the first of two foul shots, and McNabb made her fourth three to close the margin to four at 40-44.
Another two by East followed by four of five missed PCHS foul shots closed the gap to five points. Junior Felicity Vangilder fouled out with 3:19 to go, and she had 11 points and 10 rebounds. A fifth three from McNabb cut the Bees lead to two points, and the PCHS fans went wild.
Two points by East was matched by two points from Ryder followed by two from McNabb that tied the game at 48-48. McNabb was fouled and she made her foul shot to give the lead back to PCHS 49-48. Two from East and two from Ryder made it 51-50 PCHS. East high scorer Antolock fouled out with 1:31 to go, and she had 19 points and 11 rebounds. Ryder made her foul shot to make the score 52-50 PCHS.
Kelsey Quinn made one of two foul shots to cut the lead to 52-51. Hartzell was open and surprised everyone with a quick, perfect three that brought the Warrior fans to their feet in celebration. And if that was not enough, Hartzell stole the ball on the very next play. Day hit two critical foul shots as PCHS held the ball, and the score was then 57-51. An East three cut the lead to 57-54 at the 3.8 second mark. Day held the ball, was fouled and missed both foul shots as time expired and the celebration and dancing in the stands began.
McNabb finished with 26 points, five rebounds, four steals and three blocks. Ryder tallied 13 points, nine rebounds and three steals. Melissa made six points and disrupted East with her speed and traps all game long. Day was never left unguarded, and she finished with seven points, six rebounds, four steals and three assists. Hartzell saved her best for last and had five points.
East won the fouling contest with 23 fouls versus only nine for PCHS. East won the boards with a 34-24 rebounds victory. East drops to 3-6 and are in the tough Big10 Conference and will play Buckhannon Friday.
Arch rival Tygarts Valley comes to town Wednesday, January 14, with the Varsity game following the 5:45 p.m. JV game. PCHS then travels to Pendleton County Friday where the JV game will begin at 6:15 p.m. with the varsity game to follow.
#6/#7 Charleston Catholic comes to town Saturday for one game – a 2 p.m. varsity game.