FRANKLIN – Coaches want their teams to be peaking at the end of the season and the Pendleton girls basketball team could be hitting their stride at the right time.
Pendleton raced out to score a season-high in points to cruise to a 65-29 victory against Tygarts Valley in the Class A Region II Section 2 title contest Feb. 25 in Franklin.
Ana Young netted a season-high 35 points to lead the way for the Lady Wildcats. Young scored the game’s first nine points. She connected on two 3-point field goals and added an old-fashioned three-point play in the opening moments. Pendleton scored a season-high 26 points in the first quarter.
Pendleton coach Micah Bailey said his players were taking shots within the offense and not forcing or hurrying shots.
“I think the big difference was we were shooting good looks, as opposed to just getting looks,” Bailey said. “Ana shot very well and she stayed within her wheelhouse.”
Avery Townsend chipped in with eight points in the victory. Lizzie Alt and Kinley Hartman both added six points for Pendleton.
Landrie Lanham was the lone Tygarts Valley player to reach double figures, scoring 14 points.
Pendleton jumped out to a 26-4 advantage at the end of the first quarter. The Lady Wildcats maintained their 22-point cushion at halftime, leading 30-8. Pendleton extended its margin to 57-19 heading into the final quarter.
Bailey added the victory against Tygarts Valley was the team’s best effort on both ends of the court this season.
“If I had to say it was our first complete game of the season,” Bailey said. “If you are going to have a complete game this is when you want to have it. The offense just rolled smoothly, took great looks.
“Defensively, we communicated, we limited them to one shot. Still fouled too much, but it’s something we have to eliminate or cut down on. I think it was our first complete game, we took care of the ball and really didn’t have any turnovers.”
Pendleton (8-11) was scheduled to square off with Union on March 2 in Franklin with a berth in the state’s Elite Eight in Charleston on the line. It would be the fourth meeting between the two schools this season. Union defeated Pendleton in the season opener 55-48 on Dec. 1 in Union. Pendleton responded with a 43-34 victory on Dec. 11 in Petersburg in the consolation contest of the annual holiday tournament. Union edged Pendleton 38-34 in the last matchup on Feb. 10 in Franklin.
It is the second consecutive season Pendleton and Union have battled for the Region II co-championship. Bailey said if his players have a repeat performance like they did against Tygarts Valley, they will return to Charleston for the second consecutive year.
“If they do all little stuff and they hit the details,” he said. “All the little stuff is what adds up.”
Bailey added the little things are limiting the second-chance opportunities for the opposition, rebounding, limiting turnovers and “all the other little stuff.”
“It will be an intense game,” Bailey said. “We will be intense and I’m sure they will be as well.”