By Shawn Stinson
FRANKLIN – Pendleton needed a player to step up when leading scorer Ana Young was held in check against East Hardy.
Avery Townsend stepped forward to fill the scoring and netted a game-high 18 points to pace the Lady Wildcats to a 51-41 victory against the Lady Cougars on Feb. 3 in Baker. The win snapped Pendleton’s four-game losing streak.
Townsend scored 13 of her points in the second half, including eight in the third quarter. Young chipped in with 10 points in the victory. Young hit Pendleton’s lone 3-point field goal of the contest. Lizzie Alt and Kinley Hartman both added six points for the Lady Wildcats.
The victory improved Pendleton to 5-8 on the season.
Pendleton coach Micah Bailey said his team did the little things to pull out the win and end its losing skid. Bailey highlighted limiting the turnovers, rebounding the basketball and talking on defense.
“We just did things we haven’t been doing, took care of the ball, eliminated second-chance opportunities, and communicated,” Bailey said. “We’re still not there, not where we need to be, at least where I would like us to be in communication, but we’re getting there.”
Pendleton raced out to a 10-6 lead at the end of the first quarter and stretched its advantage to 23-10 at halftime. The Lady Wildcats grabbed a 37-22 lead at the end of the third quarter before the Lady Cougars attempted to rally in the final period.
East Hardy was led in scoring by Brooklyn Tinnell, who netted a team-high 17 points. Tinnell connected on two 3-point field goals in the loss. Chloe Miller added 12 points in the loss. Miller, like Tinnell, hit two 3-point field goals.
Pendleton was scheduled to return to action Feb. 9 against Moorefield in Franklin. The Lady Yellow Jackets defeated the Lady Wildcats in the teams’ previous two meetings this season.
Pendleton is set to square off with Union today in Franklin. The Lady Wildcats knocked off the Lady Tigers 43-34 on Dec. 11 in Union.
Pendleton will close out the week by heading to Dunmore on Saturday for a contest with Pocahontas County. Earlier this season, Pendleton rolled to a 40-21 victory against Pocahontas on Dec. 2 in Franklin.
Pendleton will hit the road to Webster County for a contest on Feb. 15 in Upper Glade. The Lady Highlanders cruised to a 69-46 victory against the Lady Wildcats on Jan. 26 in Franklin.
Bailey believes scheduling three games this week will assist his players in getting into a groove heading into the final two weeks of the regular season.
“That’s my hope, but we haven’t been able to get into a rhythm just because of cancellations,” he said. “Three games, three practices this week. Next week we have two practices, three games. Hopefully that kind of gets us geared and ready to go for the end of the season because it is two weeks and then sectionals is right after that. It’s literally right there.”