By Shawn Stinson
FRANKLIN – It wasn’t easy, but Pendleton extended its winning streak to 10 games with victories against East Hardy and Moorefield.
The Wildcats needed to rally from a halftime-deficit to claim a 56-47 win against the Yellow Jackets on Feb. 5 in Moorefield. Clayton Kisamore scored a team-high 20 points and Cole Day chipped in with 14 in the come-from-behind victory.
Jacob Beachler and Tanner Townsend both netted 10 points in the win for Pendleton.
The Yellow Jackets were paced by Coleman Mongold, who netted a game-high 21 points. Ronny Griest added 14 points in the loss.
Moorefield jumped out to a 20-15 lead at the conclusion of the first quarter and extended its lead to 33-26 at halftime. Pendleton appeared to take the lead in the third quarter, but Mongold connected on one of his four 3-point field goals just before the buzzer to give Moorefield a 42-40 lead.
The Wildcats (11-2) limited the Yellow Jackets to five points in the final eight minutes to pull out the nine-point win.
“We just grinded it out,” Bodkin said. “We weren’t playing really well in the first half. In the locker room we reemphasized what we needed to do in the second half. “
In the junior varsity contest, Moorefield knocked off Pendleton, 37-28. Josiah Kimble scored a team-high 10 points for the Wildcats in the loss.
The duo of Kisamore and Townsend led the way for Pendleton in a 75-54 victory against East Hardy on Feb. 3 in Baker.
Kisamore and Townsend both netted 21 points to pace the Wildcats. Townsend drilled five 3-point field goals. Day and Beachler added 14 and 10 points, respectively in the win. Day connected on four 3-pointers in the contest.
Noah Lang scored a game-high 25 points for the Cougars. J.W. Teets chipped in with 10 in the loss.
Pendleton stormed out to a 20-15 lead at the conclusion of the first quarter. The Wildcats extended their advantage to 34-26 at halftime. Pendleton broke open the contest in the third quarter, outscoring East Hardy by 10 points to take a 57-39 lead into the final quarter.
Bodkin praised the effort of Beachler and Dusty Smith in the latest contests.
“Jacob probably had his best two games last week in the East Hardy game and the Moorefield game,” Bodkin said. “Dusty Smith had a really good game in the East Hardy game and the Pocahontas game. We’ve got guys stepping up now that we don’t have to always depend on Tanner, Clayton and Cole.”
Pendleton was slated to square off with Tucker County Feb. 8 in Franklin. The Mountain Lions downed the Wildcats 45-39 on Dec. 17 in Hambleton.
Pendleton was scheduled to return to action the following day by heading to Frankfort for a contest with Frankfort. The teams were scheduled to square off on Jan. 20 in Franklin, but officials were forced to cancel the contest due to inclement weather.
Pendleton will take on Tygarts Valley on Feb. 15 in Franklin. The Wildcats will attempt to avenge a 60-53 loss to the Bulldogs on Dec. 14 in Mill Creek. Pendleton will hit the road the next day and travel to Union for the lone matchup between the two schools this season.
“We’ve got eight games left,” Bodkin said. “This is the homestretch. You don’t want to peak until the end. We’ve got to be ready to play …
“We have the two toughest game we probably need to win at home. And that’s a positive for us because we have the crowd to have our back and we play well here.”