Story by Carl Holcomb
Pendleton County utilized a second half surge to ground the Yellow Jackets in Franklin last Wednesday 65-47 in the Class A Region II Section 2 semifinal.
“We got into a half-court trap. Moorefield did a good job in the first quarter and a half of playing their style of basketball which was to slow things down and they did a great job of it,” Pendleton County Coach Ryan Lambert stated.
“We were able to get into a half-court trap and play a little more of an uptempo game which is more our style of game and that was the turning point of the game. At the end of the second quarter to the start of the second half, being able to play our style versus Moorefield style which was a great game plan. We did a great job squaring the Moorefield kids up, making them shoot six footers and eight footers, and shots from the elbows rather than allowing them to get to the rim and get to the glass. That is what we practice and we call it limit it to one and run. That’s what we were able to do more successfully in the second half with our uptempo style of ball.”
Moorefield was patient in the first half with a solid defensive strategy enabling a close battle as the game was tied 14-all after the first quarter and the Wildcats held a slim 27-22 advantage entering halftime, but Pendleton County boosted the lead with Trey Cooper dropping a dozen points in the third quarter and scoring spread around in the second half.
Pendleton County is known for shooting perimeter shots and was limited to only two 3-pointers the entire game, however Trey Cooper’s offensive presence was felt in the first and third quarters enabling a game-high 27 points, yet the Yellow Jackets’ defensive maneuvers creating havoc otherwise.
Drake Baker and D.J. Zirk guided the Yellow Jackets with 16 points apiece in their final game as seniors, forging the attack from the start.
Baker netted eight points in the first quarter, while Zirk notched four markers and Garett Haggerty added two points.
Pendleton County countered with 11 points by Cooper and three points from Draven Roberts to keep things tied up.
Tyler Day hit a 3-pointer in the second period for the Wildcats and added a free throw later in the frame, while Cooper and Ridge Liggett contributed four points each and Roberts added another point off a foul shot.