Warrior Coliseum was rocking Tuesday night when the Pocahontas County High School Warriors basketball team staged an amazing, come-from-behind victory over the Pendleton County Wildcats.
The Warriors trailed for most of the game and were down by as much as 12 points in the first half. Down by 10 at the half, the Warriors fought their way out of the hole and took the lead for the first time (53-52) with just four minutes remaining in the game. The Warriors outscored the Wildcats 16-12 in the third period, but it would be the exciting, final period when Pocahontas turned up the heat, outscoring Pendleton 22-12 to secure a 63-59 victory.
Fans, including the rowdy student section, cheered loudly as the Warriors narrowed the gap in the final period. The Coliseum erupted in raucous celebration when the Warriors seized the lead and held on for the win.
Junior Jimmy Hensler led the Warriors with 20 points, including two three-pointers. Junior Dalton Irvine notched his second double-double of the season, scoring 10 points and snagging 10 rebounds – including clutch boards in the contentious final minutes. Senior speedster Cary Robertson sank 15 points for Pocahontas.
The victory was an important one for the resurgent Pocahontas squad. The win gave the team a morale boost as they started a 10-day break, and improved their record to 2-2.
Pendleton County, coming off a tough road loss at Moorefield on December 12, fell to 0-2.
Following the break, the Warriors travel to Upper Glade for the Webster County Holiday Tournament. Pocahontas will play AA Nicholas County in the first round on December 26 at 6 p.m. The winner of that game will advance to the Championship Game on December 27 and play the winner of a first-round contest between Richwood and Webster County. A consolation game for third place will also be played on December 27.
Nicholas County is currently 1-3, coming off a heartbreaking 61-60 loss at Midland Trail. The Grizzlies defeated Clay County on December 16 and lost their first two games of the season against Hoover and Sissonville.
Warriors Head Coach Tim McClung said Richwood is the “heads-on favorite” in the Webster County Tournament. The Lumberjacks are currently 2-1, with their only loss coming against preseason #8 Tug Valley.
Pocahontas Scoring: Hensler 20, Robertson 15, D. Irvine 11, Mick 6, Rider 6, A. Irvine 5
Pocahontas Rebounds: D. Irvine, Mick, 5; Hensler, 3; Robertson, 3; A. Irvine, 2; Rider, 2; Kimble, 2
Pocahontas Scoring: Hensler 20, Robertson 15, D. Irvine 11, S. Mick 6, B. Rider 6, A. Irvine 5