Isaac McKneely Reflects On Junior Season, Talks Virginia, AAU, & More

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Within the past week, Poca High School (W.V.) junior guard Isaac McKneely has hit the game-winning 3-pointer to boost his team into the Class AA state championship game, helped his team rally from a 19-point halftime deficit only to fall short of winning the state title, and became the first player in Poca history to capture the Bill Evans Award, an honor given to the state’s top player.

How is the future Virginia Cavalier faring after a memorable week and season?

“There have been a lot of ups and downs this year,” said McKneely, who averaged 21.8 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game his junior campaign. “Through the season I battled injuries, our starting point guard left the team four games into the year, dealing with COVID … it was an up-and-down year. Going into every game, it was almost like you never knew what was going to happen. Unfortunately we didn’t win the state championship. We had our chances to win. That’s basketball. I’m just thankful to have a season.”

Heading into halftime of the 2021 Class AA state championship game, Poca trailed Williamstown 28-9. McKneely struggled from the field, making four of 22 shots for 12 points, but contributed in other ways like dishing out nine assists. He hit some shots too as the Dots closed within one possession several times before Williamstown put the game away from the foul line.

The day before, McKneely scored 25 points (7-of-17 shooting) and helped the Dots overcome a 10-point fourth quarter deficit to beat Charleston Catholic, 42-40, in memorable fashion. The 6’4” junior drained two 3s in the final minute, including the game winner with one second remaining to put Poca in the state title contest.

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