POCA – It was a difficult past week for the high-flying Scott Skyhawk boys basketball team as they suffered their first two defeats of the 2012-13 regular season.
After losing their first game to Tolsia earlier in the week, Coach Nick Cabell’s squad entered the arena at Cardinal Conference foe Poca ready to right the ship, Friday, January 11. In the end, though, it was the home-standing Dots who finished the night with a 40-39 win.
The winning goal came after officials had incorrectly put 1.5 seconds on the game clock for Poca’s last possession. This came after Matt Dolan swished a bucket with 1.1 seconds on the scoreboard clock to give the Skyhawks a 39-38 lead. As Scott fans celebrated in the stands, Poca was calling a timeout that appeared to occur with .7 of a second remaining.
After game officials conferred, however, they put 1.5 seconds on the clock, much to the chagrin of Scott coaches and fans. Nevertheless, the Skyhawks took a timeout to plan a defense of the full-court play Poca would have to orchestrate in order to win. They returned in a tight, man-to-man defense. But somehow, Poca’s clutch-shootiing Nick Frampton was wide-open for the long pass, pivoted and hit the game winner as the buzzer sounded.
The devastating loss was a difficult pill to swallow for the Scott coaches, team and supporters who slowly worked their way out of the Poca gymnasium on an extremely warm January evening in the Kanawha Valley.
After Poca took the opening tip and turned the ball over, Scott’s Brandon Lafauci connected on a three-point goal with 5:54 flashing on the clock. Two minutes and 11 seconds later, Dolan drilled a two-pointer and it was 5-0, Scott.
With 2:27 remaining in the first stanza, Frampton hit one in close to cut the lead to 5-2. After Logan Webb connected for Scott, Poca took charge of the final two minutes to score five point s and end the frame with the game tied at 7-7.
After the teams traded treys to start the second quarter, buckets by Cam Morrison and Cam Cottrill gave Poca a 14-10 advantage just inside six minutes to go in the half. At 5:24, a driving layup by Frampton stretched the lead to 16-10. When he stole the ball and put it in inside the four-minute spot, it looked like the home team might run away with the victory.
But Scott clawed its way back into the contest. A free throw by Brown followed by a three-point bucket by Dolan brought the count to 18-14 with 1:49 showing. After the teams traded buckets, a long bank shot with 47.5 seconds left put Poca up, 22-16, where the first half ended.
Scott got the ball to start the second half but Poca quickly tied up the ball to take possession. The first scoring of the third frame came at the 6:49 mark when Eric May made a jump shot. Matt Chandler came back to extend the lead to six with 6:08 flashing. The lead reached 26-18 when Jacob Payne connected with 5:33 on the clock.
Anthony Sigmon started a Scott rally with a putback with 5:15 remaining in the third. Webb added a bucket to cut the lead to four just inside the four-minute mark. The margin remained unchanged until Dolan made a jumper with 1:45 to go and it was 28-26. Then, a turnaround hook shot by Sigmon tied the score at 28-28, ending the third period.
Getting the ball to start the final frame, Chandler made one in close at the 7:35 mark to put Poca ahead, 30-28. The Dots continued on a roll as Cottrill completed an old-fashioned three-point play, making a shot and free throw. Poca continued its run as Frampton made a driving layup and it was 35-28 with 6:28 on the game clock.
With 5:51 showing, Dolan did his rendition of the old-fashioned three-pointer and it was 35-31. Following a Skyhawk timeout, the team returned to the floor in a full-court man-to-main pressure defense. Fifty-seven seconds later, Dolan stole the ball and put it in to cut the lead to two. A layup by Sigmon brought the Skyhawk partisans to their collective feet and tied the game at the 3:49 mark.
A free throw put Poca up by one but a Sigmon putback with 3:16 showing gave the Hawks a 37-36 edge. Several scoring opportunities went off center as the game headed to a finale with Poca missing three layup tries underneath the bucket near the two-minute mark. When Cottrill was fouled shooting with 1:04 left, the Poca fans thought their team had an advantage. But he missed both tries and Scott still led as the clock ticked down.
A putback by Brown at the 16.1 second spot gave the home fans a reason to cheer as the scoreboard showed the Dots up, 38-37. After a timeout, Dolan made the shot that put the Hawks ahead by one with less than a second remaining but, as noted, the officials placed the clock on 1.5 seconds, giving Frampton time to take the pass, pivot and score.
The loss dropped Scott’s season record to 8-2. This week, the Skyhawks are away at Herbert Hoover before hosting Wyoming East Wednesday, January 16, and Nicholas County, Friday. Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m.