By Stephen Smoot
After a long layoff, Donnie Kopp’s Wildcats made the trip up U.S. Route 220 to play a familiar opponent. They took on Moorefield, who eked out a one-point win in their last match up.
One important note of difference from the nailbiter at Moorefield last week is that although the Wildcats carried a full complement of players, much of the team has been hamstrung lately by illness.
The Yellow Jackets came ready to battle.
Moorefield took the opening tip, but Pendleton County took the opening points as Julia Mongold hit a 10-foot baseline shot. Moorefield quickly responded to tie the game up.
Points came slowly for both teams at first. With a few seconds less than six minutes to go in the first, Avery Townsend took an offensive rebound and laid it in to give her team the lead again at 4 to 5, but the Yellow Jackets answered with a three to seize it right back.
That three kicked off a 13 to nothing run to give them a 15 to 4 advantage. The quarter’s last seconds saw Townsend driving in for a finger roll layup and a foul. She converted the old fashioned three-point play, setting the score at 16 to 9.
Jenna Smith hit the first basket of the second quarter, a 10-foot jumper after an offensive rebound with 6:15 remaining in the half. Moorefield then went on another long run, this time 17 to six, over the remainder of the half. Jameigh Miller scored off of a pull up jump shot and Gabby DePue had a blocked shot, but overall, Wildcat shots were not falling as usual.
The Yellow Jackets opened the second half with a 31 to 17 advantage. They hit a three in the opening 10 seconds to extend that. Susan Vincell, however, asserted herself underneath for the Wildcats, grabbing offensive rebounds and getting scoring opportunities. This helped to fuel a Pendleton County run that cut the lead to 40 to 30. A Townsend steal led to a called foul that put her on the line toward the end of the quarter. She hit both shots to put the score at 42 to 32.
Moorefield, unfortunately, followed with a buzzer beater three to take a 13-point lead with one quarter to play.
Neither team lit up the scoreboard in the fourth. Mongold hit a running one hander with a little more than five minutes in the game and Olivia Gonshor hit a 17-footer. The Wildcat defense held Moorefield to only five points, but the game ended with a 50 to 36 Yellow Jacket win.
One area in which Pendleton County shone was at the foul line. They hit 12 of 16 from the line.