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Lady Warriors move on from special senior class

Stellar season in 2019-20 ended with no state tourney due to pandemic

Submitted photo Members of the 2020-21 Pocahontas County girls basketball team include front row, from left to right, Kynlee Wilfong, Hannah Burks, Makayla Ervine, TaLisa Arbogast, Kelsi Taylor, Sara Stull, Mileya Bircher and Olivia Vandevender; back row, Hailey Meeks, Haley Spencer, Macaden Taylor, Tessa Kiner, Sienna Bircher, Allyson Alderman, Rayna Smith, Andrea Alderman and Adelyn Warner. Not pictured: Makenzie Moyers and Jazzlyn Teter.

DUNMORE — Just hours before they were scheduled to take to the court last March in Class A state tournament play, the Pocahontas County girls basketball team heard the news nobody wanted to hear.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, action was halted in Charleston after just a handful of games were completed.

The tournament was never rescheduled, thus ending the careers of one of the most successful senior classes in Lady Warrior history.

Pocahontas County, which started five seniors last season, entered the tourney on a roll, winning nine straight games in advancing to Charleston for the first time since 2015.

The senior group was led by all-state second-team selection Laila Calhoun, who scored over 1,000 points in her career and finished among the top five in school history in three other categories.

The Inter-Mountain file photos Senior Sienna Bircher is one of the top returning players for Pocahontas County this season. Bircher averaged 5.9 rebounds last season in 24 games of action.

The school’s all-time leader in assists Alexa Taylor must also be replaced, along with Charity Warder (599 career rebounds) and Kira Bircher, who was one of the top defensive players for head coach Mike Kane.

The top returning player for the Lady Warriors is Sienna Bircher.

The 5-foot-10 senior forward-center played in 24 games last season, averaging 2.8 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.2 assists.

Others with varsity-game experience back include senior guard Tessa Kiner, junior forward Macaden Taylor, junior guard Makayla Ervine and junior guard Allyson Alderman.

The COVID-19-delayed 2020-21 high school basketball season in West Virginia will bring a change in classes.

Pocahontas County graduate Laila Calhoun ended her career as the fifth-leading career scorer in school history with 1,038 points. She ranked in the top five of four more categories.

There will be four classifications in place — Class AAAA, AAA, AA and A.

Pocahontas County will remain in single-A.

The Lady Warriors will be in Class A, Region II, Section 2 with Tygarts Valley and Pendleton County.

Region II, Section 1 schools include Tucker County, East Hardy, Union and Paw Paw.

The Lady Warriors open the season March 5 at home against James Monroe.

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