Lady Warriors win sectional final
Heather Snead matches her career game of 22 points
The Pocahontas County High School Lady Warriors 2012-13 basketball season was supposed to be a rebuilding year, but someone forgot to tell the players and coaches. After all, the team lost four starters to graduation, and two of those seniors combined for eight records in the Lady Warriors Basketball Hall of Fame Records. You then throw in the loss this season of three talented guards out with injuries. And just the pressure of looking back at eleven straight sectional championships (2002-2012), eleven straight regional appearances, seven total regional wins, including the last four, not to mention seven trips to states including the last four have to require a bottle of antacids within reach of new PCHS coaches Mike Kane, Mike Murphy and Jessica Hays.
The stage was set Saturday, February 23, for a great match up between two teams that were at this same point last season, but in two different regions. The WV Class A Region 2 Section 2 Pendleton County girls came into the game with the #2 seed and a 12-7 record (9-4 PVC) and a 48-45 win at home over #1 seed PCHS (16-5 and 7-2 PVC). The Lady Warriors, one month later, took their home game vs the Lady Wildcats by a score of 61-51.
PCHS opened the game strong with ties at 2-2 and 4-4 followed by an eight point run. Five Lady Warriors accounted for 14 points in the first frame that included five of six foul shots and one trey by senior all-stater Heather Snead. Snead who had obviously recovered from her head injury at Charleston Catholic. Senior co-captain Olivia Workman continued her good shooting with four points matched by freshman Melissa Murphy off-the-bench. Three Wildcats hit baskets for seven points in the first quarter that ended with the Warriors up 14-7. The Wildcats grabbed 10 rebounds to the Warriors’ nine, but PCHS had a 3-1 steals and a 0-4 foul call advantage.
The Lady Warriors were pressing to great advantage in the game, and by game’s end Pendleton had committed 22 turnovers vs a season low of six for Pocahontas. Five Wildcats scored in the second with junior Alena Mendoza hitting two threes for six while four scoring Warriors were led by Snead with eight points including two more treys. The quarter was a 17-17 tie. Pocahontas had an 11-point lead, the biggest of the game, at 23-12. Pendleton cut the lead to three at 25-22 on a seven-point run, but Pocahontas led by seven by the end of the third, 31-24.
The Warriors double-teamed junior season high scorer Hillary Ord to keep her from shooting, but Ord pulled down seven of her team’s 12 rebounds in the third. The only field goal the Warriors made in the third was a three by sophomore Bobbie McNabb, and she got six of the team’s nine points. Pendleton stayed constant with 17 points for the quarter, and senior Danielle Gray led with six points. The game was tied at 32-32, 34-34 and 38-38. By the end of the third the Warriors had lost their lead at 40-41.
Pendleton took its biggest lead of the game at 45-55 in the fourth with three straight goals by senior Nicole Hedrick. A three by Snead and one of two foul shots by Ord put the score at 48-56. At 3:31 to go senior Pendleton’s Raven Turner fouled out. Snead then made the front end of two pairs of foul shots and Murphy hit one of two to trim the lead to 54-56. Gray hit the back end of two foul shots followed by Murphy fouling out at 2:38 to go. Edwards hit the front end of two and McNabb scored to cut Pendleton’s lead to 56-58. Snead then hit a shot despite Pendleton’s student body trying everything they could to distract her. Snead’s shot tied the game at 58-58 with 1:07 to go. That score held and the game went into a four minute OT period with both squads having one time-out left.
Workman hit a two in OT, and Ord sank two foul shots to keep the score tied at 60-60. Junior Allison Jonese made her only goal of the game at just the right time to put the Warriors up 62-60. Gray missed two foul shots, and a Pendleton player walked with 1:12 to go. The Warriors missed a layup with 46 seconds to go. Pendleton threw the ball out-of-bounds, and Hedrick had to foul to stop the clock. Workman converted the second of two to ice the 63-60 win. The Pocahontas County fans recovered from their nervous breakdowns and wildly celebrated. With no PCHS cheerleaders in attendance, the adults in the crowd led cheers all night long to the dismay of the Pendleton faithful that included the entire boys basketball team wearing their sweats.
Snead matched her career high of 22 points that she tallied at Class AA James Monroe in the first game last season. Heather made five three-pointers while hitting three of four fourth quarter free throws, grabbing six rebounds and blocking one shot. Snead had a post-season tear in 2010 vs Midland Trail, Valley and Iaeger scoring 17,16 and 12 points, so we hope this continues. Three other Warriors were in double-digit scoring: Murphy - 12 points including six of eight FT, Workman - 10 points, six assists and five rebounds, and McNabb - 10 points and five of seven FT. Jonese had six rebounds, and Day had six points and four steals. Gray scored a team high 16 points for Pendleton followed by: Hedrick - 13 points, Ord - 17 rebounds and nine points, Seara Mallow - seven points and Edwards – nine rebounds. Pendleton out rebounded Pocahontas 40-30.
This game was the type of strong effort by both teams that would have made either team heartbroken to not win. Pendleton (12-8) will have to face the #1 seed in Section 1, Tucker County (#4 - AP Poll) in Region 2 play at Hambleton on Thursday DATE??? at 7 p.m.. Pocahontas (17-5) will host at Dunmore the #2 seed in Section 2 and #9 ranked (AP) Tygarts Valley at 7 p.m. Thursday. Tucker (18-5) beat Tygarts Valley (16-7) at A-B 53-22. Tygarts Valley and Pocahontas were only able to get in one regular season game at PCHS and PCHS won the game 41-39 on a last second shot by senior all-state player Snead.
If you would like to help the Lady Warriors basketball program with the costs of summer basketball camps and tournaments, transportation, food and lodging, shoes and warm-ups, balls and equipment and future trips to states, you may mail a check made payable to PCHS Girls Basketball or take it to PCHS. The address is: PCHS Girls Basketball, Rt. 1, Box 133, Dunmore WV 24934.