The Pocahontas County High School Warriors basketball team was hitting on all cylinders when they won four in a row in the middle part of the month, but rotten weather caused the cancellation of several games and the Warriors haven’t seen on-court combat for more than 10 days. Coach Tim McClung hopes the bad weather break doesn’t ice the Warriors’ hot streak.
“In the last couple or three weeks, we’ve had a lot of weather problems that have dominated and we’ve been missing games and missing practices and that takes its toll, as it continues. But overall, the team has progressed as the season’s gone along, especially that last week where we got four wins in a row. We beat Bath County; we beat Tygarts Valley; we beat Harman and we beat East Hardy – all pretty good teams.”
McClung thinks his team can overcome the interruptions with hard work.
“If we can just get in the gym and play and practice, I think we can have a fairly successful year,” he said. “We’re in a sort of a half-and-half mode, of being able to practice and not being able to practice. We have what we call volunteer practices. If a parent feels they can get their child there safely, then they can come. It’s perfectly okay if they can’t make it, we don’t hold it against the kid for not making practice. But we had a couple days there, when it was so cold and bad, that the principal wouldn’t even let us have voluntary practices. And that does affect us.”
The Warriors aggressive strategy requires continual practice and physical conditioning.
“Because of the type of team that we are, as far as a transition team that tries to push the ball up and down the floor and pressure all the time, it doesn’t take long to get out of shape, and it becomes harder to do things that are our strength,” said the coach.
With some cooperation from Mother Nature, the Warriors will play a Hometown Invitational Tournament game at Valley-Fayette on Friday, January 31. McClung is trying to reschedule an already-rescheduled afternoon game at Buckhannon-Upshur the following day.
“I don’t think we’re going to be able to meet that, due to the fact that we’re traveling to Valley-Fayette and we’ll just have too late a night to go up there and play Buckhannon at two o’clock on Saturday.”
Two months into the season, the Warriors have played nine of 23 scheduled games, compiled a 5-4 record, and missed six games due to weather. McClung said he wants to make up all of the missed games, except for Bath County.
The team is averaging 61 points per game, a very respectable offensive output. Junior Steven Mick leads the team with 97 points; junior Cary Robertson is second with 80 points, and sophomore Dalton Irvine is third with 78 points.
Mick also leads the team in rebounds with 66. Sophomore J.D. Hensler is second with 57 boards, and Dalton Irvine is third with 46 rebounds.