Blue Devils defeat Warriors in Charleston, 67-43
The St. Mary's Blue Devils defeated the Pocahontas County High School Warriors, 67-43, in the first round of the single A state tournament at the Charleston Civic Center Coliseum last week. The Warriors trailed the Blue Devils throughout most of the game, but heated up in the second half, even outscoring St. Mary's in the fourth quarter. St. Mary's was ranked as the #1 seed going into the tournament.
"I told the kids in the dressing room, I was really happy with their effort in the second half," said Warrior coach Bob Sheets. "We came out, ran offense, and we finally got some stuff to go into the rim."
Warrior Jed Sheets led the squad in scoring with 18 points, three of those from the three-point line. Sheets pulled in eight rebounds, blocked two shots and stole the ball once. Senior Dillon Kelley put 16 points on the scoreboard, also sinking a three-pointer and pulling in four rebounds for PCHS. Freshman Cary Robertson contributed five points, also sinking a three and snagging a rebound. Warrior Steve Halterman sank a bucket and led the team defensively with nine rebounds and two stuffed shots.
Senior Skylar Knisely and sophomore Brandon Hamons both sank a free throw for the Warriors. Defensively, Knisely snatched three rebounds and Hamons grabbed two.
According to Sheets, the squad just wasn't hitting its usual shots, especially from the three-point line.
"Tonight we made only three, normally we make seven or eight or nine," said Sheets. "I thought we had a good situation in the first half. We had really good looks, we just couldn't get them to go down. They [St. Mary's] scored the ball, they shot the ball well early. It comes down to shooting."
Warrior guard Jed Sheets and forward Dillon Kelley answered questions in a post-game interview. Sheets and Kelley agreed that differences in the Warrior's home-court and the civic center affected the squad's shooting.
"It's a little different from our floor, of course," said Sheets. "It's a little longer, and the baskets are just kind of sitting out there in the open."
"We just didn't make the shots that we usually make," Kelley told reporters.
Last week's showdown was the final game for long-time Warrior coach Bob Sheets. Sheets talked about his final game on the floor as head coach.
"Being able to finish here, with these guys, who I've been working with since they were in the fourth grade, is a real special thing," Sheets said. "I'm really looking forward to doing other things, and looking forward to seeing what these young men do. That's been real special, a lot of players have been coming back and talking to me. Like Scott Garber [Warrior assistant coach], young people that have gone out there and are doing very well, and started their lives and are being successful."
The winner of the single A tourney, St. Mary's, went on to play in the championship game of the tournament, losing to Charleston Catholic, 40-34.