By Shawn Stinson
FRANKLIN – Pendleton coach Jeremy Bodkin understood the second matchup with Tygarts Valley was the key to attempting to secure home-court advantage in the Region II, Section 2 tournament.
Tygarts Valley earned a seven-point victory in the first clash on Dec. 14 in Mill Creek. The Wildcats needed a win on Feb. 15 in Franklin to even the season series. A Pendleton victory could be the difference in the minds of the region coaches to push the Wildcats to earn the higher seed and a chance to host the sectional championship contest.
It wasn’t easy, but Pendleton rallied from a three-point halftime deficit to post a 62-50 victory over Tygarts Valley. Tanner Townsend led the way for the Wildcats with a team-high 21 points. Clayton Kisamore netted 15 and Jacob Beachler chipped in with 13 points in the victory.
Garrett Gibson was the lone Tygarts Valley player to reach double figures in scoring, knocking in a game-high 22 points.
Pendleton jumped out to a 20-11 lead at the end of the first quarter. Tygarts Valley battled back to secure a 34-31 advantage at halftime. The Wildcats pulled in front and grabbed a 39-37 lead at the conclusion of the third quarter.
“The fourth quarter is when we just took over,” Bodkin said. “The kids have learned you just have to play all four quarters. We are starting to get where we need to be. We are starting to peak.”
Pendleton continued its winning ways the following night with a 67-33 victory against Union in Union.
Braden McClanahan paced a balanced-scoring attack for Pendleton with a game-leading 13 points. Cole Day had 10 points for the Wildcats. Pendleton had 11 players score in the contest.
Ryan Bennett netted nine points for Union in the loss.
Pendleton jumped out to a 16-7 lead at the end of the first quarter and extended the margin to 35-15 at halftime. The Wildcats stretched the advantage to 54-23 heading into the final period.
Day netted a game-high 18 points to lead Pendleton to a 67-41 victory over Petersburg on Feb. 21 in Petersburg. Townsend and Kisamore netted 15 and 13 points, respectively, in the win.
Slade Saville scored a team-high 12 points for Petersburg. Bumby Van Meter added 10 points in the loss.
The Wildcats sprinted out to a 26-8 lead at the end of the first quarter. Pendleton built the margin to 38-18 at halftime and extended the advantage to 57-29 heading into the fourth period.
“It was an all-around team game,” Bodkin said. “Jake didn’t score a lot, but Jake did some of the little things like blocking shots and keeping them inbounds and grabbing huge rebounds. We just kept going tonight. We were playing hard from the get-go. It was fun to watch and fun to coach.”
Pendleton (15-3) was scheduled to return to action Feb. 23 when it played host to Moorefield. Pendleton is slated to square off with Harman today in Franklin.
“We can see the end, we know what we need to do,” Bodkin said. “We win out and we are where we need to be.”