Pendleton’s Cole Day looks for room against Moorefield’s Silas Inskeep. Day scored a season-high 29 points in the Wildcats’ victory.
By Shawn Stinson
FRANKLIN – Two of the three contests between the bitter rivals this season have been decided by one possession.
The latest matchup between Pendleton and Moorefield didn’t appear to be headed that way until the fourth quarter. The Wildcats turned back a furious comeback by the Yellow Jackets to hold on for a 70-67 victory Feb. 23 in Franklin.
Pendleton jumped out to a 19-9 lead at the end of the first quarter and held a 34-20 lead at halftime. Moorefield slowly started to inch its way back into the contest by trimming the deficit to 10 points heading into the final quarter. The Yellow Jackets outscored the Wildcats 27-20 in the final eight minutes.
Pendleton coach Jeremy Bodkin praised his team’s effort in the first half in building a double-digit advantage. He also had positive things to say about the way Moorefield battled back in the second half.
“We played really well in the first half,” Bodkin said. “Moorefield came out in the second half and hit shots. It didn’t matter if they were contested or wide-open shots.”
Cole Day led the way for the Wildcats with a season-high 29 points. Clayton Kisamore added 18 points, Tanner Townsend knocked in 11 and Jacob Beachler had 10 in the victory. Kisamore grabbed 11 rebounds to finish with a double-double.
Coleman Mongold paced the Yellow Jackets with 30 points. Dean Keplinger scored 16. They were the only Moorefield players to reach double figures.
Pendleton was scheduled to square off with Pocahontas County on March 1 in Franklin in the first round of the Class A Region II, Section 2 playoffs. The winner will advance to face with the victor of the Harman-Tygarts Valley contest at 7 p.m. Friday at the site of the higher seed. The losers of both first-round contests will have their seasons come to an end.
The Wildcats earned victories in both matchups with the Warriors this season. Pendleton secured a 73-56 win on Jan. 8 at Pocahontas. The Wildcats downed the Warriors 75-62 on Jan. 31 in Franklin.
Bodkin said it will be difficult to defeat a team three times in one season. He added Pocahontas has improved during the season and will be tough out.
“They’ve gotten better and we’ve gotten better,” Bodkin said.
He added Pendleton must defend against Ethan Armstrong and Jamie Vandevender. The duo combined to score 47 points in the loss in Franklin. Vandevender netted 26 points that night and Armstrong added 21.
Townsend scored 24 points in the win and Kisamore added 20 to pace Pendleton. Day had 18 points for the Wildcats.
In the earlier defeat, Armstrong scored 13 points. Sean Beverage paced Pocahontas with 20 points. David Gibb chipped in with 13 points in the loss.
Kisamore netted a team-high 19 points to lead Pendleton. Beachler, Braden McClanahan and Townsend notched 12 for the Wildcats.
“We will try to get it into the post into Cole and Jake,” Bodkin said. “We have to play solid defense. We will have to play our butts off.”