Pocahontas wins AMR Championship
Hot Springs, Virginia – The Pocahontas Warriors are the 2011 Allegheny Mountain Radio Basketball Tournament Champions. The Warriors defeated the Bath County Chargers, 61-49 in the championship game Thursday night.
Pocahontas fired a barrage of three-pointers in the first period, seizing a 21-9 first-period advantage.
Warriors coach Bob Sheets says the Chargers initially focused on containing Dillon Kelley and Jed Sheets, the high scorers in a December 19 game at Pocahontas. But PCHS guard Steve Halterman stepped up with an incredible display of shooting skill.
“They tried to take away Dillon Kelley and Jed [Sheets] because they scored points for us the other night, in their triangle two and they left Steve open,” he said. “And Steve can shoot. So, Steve just walked into his normal spot and hits five threes there in the first half.”
Sheets says Chargers coach Steve Shaver adjusted his defense well and created problems for the Warriors in the final three periods.
“They finally went to a man-to-man and, with their size, that gave us a little bit of difficulty, because we were having difficulty getting entry passes,” he said.
Sheets says the Warrior defense complimented its high octane offense.
“We were playing pretty good defense, too,” he said. “We held them to single digits twice. We held them to nine in the first quarter and nine in the third quarter. That was huge for us.”
The Chargers played with intensity and battled the Warriors to a stalemate for the final three periods, ultimately falling by the 12-point deficit they suffered in the first period.
Chargers coach Steve Shaver says he changed his defense after Halterman’s third three-pointer.
“Playing Pocahontas, they shoot the outside shot and it’s really hard to stop when you have more than two or three shooters,” he said. “Tonight, the plan we had was to stop the two who hurt us so much in the first game. Then, another three-point shooter stepped up and, when he hit the third one, I said, ‘all right, let’s change it up, guys.'”
The Chargers defeated a young, talented and well-coached Faith Christian team in the first round Wednesday night and played a solid game against a strong Pocahontas team in the championship round.
Shaver says he’s focusing on the positives from the Charger’s tournament performance as the team heads into a stretch of 10 straight Pioneer District games.
“At the end of every game, I want to find the positives, that we can take to next week,” he said. “One of them is the intensity that we played with, again, tonight. I think it will bode well for us going into district play, which starts next week.”
In the third place trophy game Thursday night, the Highland Rams and Faith Christian Warriors played an exciting game that thrilled the crowd right up to the buzzer. Coach Curt Gutshall and the Rams took home the third-place trophy with a 51-46 victory over a young Warrior squad coached by Pete Alterio.
Coaches awarded certificates for outstanding athletic performance to two players from each team at the conclusion of Thursday night’s games. Senior Joseph Wampler and freshman Isaac Elliot from Faith Christian received awards, along with: senior Travis Simmons and junior Luke Jones for Highland; seniors Aaron Newmarker and Ryan Plecker for Bath County and seniors Steve Halterman and Jed Sheets for Pocahontas.