Unlucky Friday the 13th began with an ominous turn for the Pocahontas County High School Warriors as game time changes were brought on by the threat of ice storms later that evening. The junior varsity game normally scheduled for 5:45 was cancelled, and the varsity game began instead at 5:30 p.m. to allow the visiting Tygart Valley Bulldogs plenty of time to return home before the storm.
The initial crowd was light but the gym kept filling up as the game progressed. But supporters of both teams were glad they came out as they got to witness the typical TVHS-PCHS white knuckle, down to the wire thriller.
The Warriors were led by senior Brady Jones early on with three inside buckets as PCHS took command of the first quarter by a 13 to 7 score. Tygarts Valley, led by senior Caleb Riggleman who finished with 17 points, found their shooting touch in the second quarter to keep it close with a half time score of 34 to 31.
The third quarter play was a little sloppy as both teams turned the ball over frequently, but the Warriors increased their lead to 54 to 46. Jones continued to control the boards inside on his way to an outstanding performance of 30 points and 10 rebounds.
TV clawed their way back and tied the score a couple of times in the second half but the Warriors held on to a four-point win with a final score of 65 to 61. TV had three shots in the last 18 seconds but could not close the gap. Garrett Swecker added 15 points to the TV column.
In addition to Jones’ fine effort, junior Briar Wilfong contributed 16 points, nine rebounds and five steals. Logan Dilley got dinged with a minor injury in the first quarter which slowed him down somewhat, but sophomore Hunter Shafer filled in capably with three rebounds, two steals and a couple of key buckets.
Earlier in the week, PCHS traveled to Franklin for a return match with Pendleton County High School and were soundly defeated as the Wildcats earned their revenge with a score of 60 to 43.
The Warriors now have a 9-2 record and will next play in the Martin Luther King Showcase January 16. PCHS will battle with the undefeated Fayetteville Pirates on the neutral floor in Webster Springs in what is sure to be a good match-up.
The Warriors will have a tough “row to hoe” with seven of the next eight games being on the road. The last home game will be February 4 against Summers County, not counting tournament or make-up games.