Knowledgeable fans of the Pocahontas County High School Warriors basketball team were not overly concerned when the team started its season with a record of 1-4, because the signs were there that the young team was about to round a corner. Objective observers, in their best effort to remain unbiased, predicted good things to come for the team and second-year Head Coach Tim McClung.
As it turns out, those well-informed fans were correct, because the Warriors have won four in a row and jumped above .500 with a record of 5-4. The Warriors won four out of five in an extended home stretch – with the only loss coming at the hands of state number-seven Tucker County, following a weather-induced break of 17 days.
The Warriors rebounded in fine fashion from the Tucker debacle and notched successive victories against Tygarts Valley, Harman, East Hardy and Bath County.
McClung said the Tygarts Valley game was a turnaround point for the team.
“We had that rough game against Tucker County,” he said. “We had not played since December 21st, so we had not played for 17 days and I think we only had two practices in the interim because of snow days and off days. We were rusty and had to play Tucker. Then we came in Monday against the Bulldogs and played well enough in the second half to win.
“We’re young, we’re still inexperienced and sometimes we don’t stay completely focused. But we got going in the Tygarts Valley game and that builds each game. I think that’s what helped us, we just got focused. Once the kids start getting after it and we pick up the intensity, things go better for us.”
The Warriors defeated their next-door neighbors and interstate rivals the Bath County Chargers on Monday to improve to 5-4. Following that game, McClung looked forward to a tough rematch at Tucker and another big challenge against Sherman in the first round of the Hometown Invitational.
“We just have to take it game by game and, hopefully, continue to play well,” he said. “If we could put together a complete four-quarter game, we’d be doing really well. I’d like to put together four good quarters to see just how good we really could be.”
At the halfway point in the season, junior Stephen Mick leads the team with 12 points per game.
“Coming into the season, I didn’t know who was going to be our leading scorer,” said McClung. “Stevie had one game where he got 21 points and another with 19, so he’s getting some baskets. Really, you don’t notice hat he’s getting so many points, it just shows up in the box score at the end of the game.”
McClung said referees commended Mick following a recent game.
“He’s a really good kid,” said the coach. “Referees commended him the other night for his demeanor and how polite he is out on the floor. You don’t get that too often.”
The Warriors are scheduled to play at Tucker on Wednesday night, but the game likely will be rescheduled due to snow. The Warriors are scheduled to play a first-round Hometown Invitational Tournament game at PCHS against Sherman on Friday, January 24 at 5:45 p.m.
Those knowledgeable Warriors fans, who were correct about the team’s turnaround, now say that our boys might not take Tucker this year but, with a good showing in Parsons, they can give the Mountain Lions an idea what to expect next year.