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Girls basketball: McGrew’s effort not enough for Poca in setback

POCA, W.Va. -- This year was supposed to be an easy one for Poca senior Madi McGrew.

She was the Daily Mail's Kanawha Valley Freshman of the Year the 2009-10 season. The Poca team she was a part of looked like it was developing into one of the top girls basketball teams and McGraw into one of the better players in Class AA.

Monday night, four games into her senior season, McGrew was still shaking off the rust from an unexpected and unwanted season off.

The 5-foot-10 forward scored 10 points, grabbed 15 rebounds and added four assists and three steals for good measure as Poca fell 51-36 to visiting Herbert Hoover.

When McGrew joined the team it looked like last year would be the Dots' season to shine making this season sort of a victory lap for McGrew as the lone returning starter. But somewhere along the way it all fell apart. Players transferred, did not come out or were injured.

Forget about a trip to the State Tournament. A mere six games into the season the remaining games were canceled.

"It was very disappointing," McGrew said. "But this year we are not looking back, we're just excited to have a team."

The Dots are now 1-3 after falling to a Huskies squad that hit 12 of 25 attempts from 3-point range.

"They came out and took it to us," first-year Coach Kenny Sayre said. "We missed a bunch of shots and turned the ball over way too much."

Poca committed 28 turnovers against Herbert Hoover's full-court pressure.

"Our effort tonight just wasn't what I thought it would be in the first half," Sayre said.

McGrew is still finding her shooting rhythm and hit just 3 of 11 shots from the floor but was a perfect 4-for-4 from the line.

"She's been averaging a double-double for us," Sayre said. "She's just been doing a great job."

Though they are focused on the upcoming game against Chapmanville, both Sayre and McGrew admit they are also looking a little further ahead..

"Progressing each game," McGrew said of her goal for the season. "And, as a team, understand what we did wrong."

Most of the teams they play are on the Dots' schedule twice so Sayre cannot help but sneak a peek ahead to the second half of the season when they will play the Huskies and others a second time.

"We'll see how we do," he said.

Sayre is happy with the way things are going so far.

"I haven't had anybody quit yet," he said only half jokingly. "I'm really thrilled with the middle school having 25 come out."

For now, McGrew and the Dots will continue to strive and make progress to compensate for what experience was lost last season.

"I'm just going to play my hardest every game," McGrew said. "And hope all the other girls do the same."

Caroline Thornburg paced Herbert Hoover with 12 points on four 3-pointers while Bethany Romine and Jordan Marshall each made three from beyond the arc to finish with nine points apiece.



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