The road to the state Class AA boys’ basketball tournament detours through Poca for the 2012-13 Scott Skyhawks.
That change in direction came Saturday evening after Tolsia downed the Hawks, 60-43, in the championship game of Region IV, Section 2 at the Logan Fieldhouse.
The defeat means Scott must travel to Poca tonight (Wednesday, March 6). A win over the Dots, with whom the Hawks split two games during the regular season, would send Coach Nick Cabell’s team on to next week’s state tournament at the Charleston Civic Center.
Under relatively new procedures, the runner-up team in each section must travel to the home of the other section’s winner in each region to advance to the big dance.
Thus, Herbert Hoover will visit Tolsia this evening as well. The losers in the regional championship games are eliminated from further post-season play, so it is a sudden death situation for two of the teams.
Scott earned a shot at the sectional title by defeating Mingo Central, 56-54, on Thursday, February 28.
While Cabell worried about the streaky play of his team, he said after the loss to Tolsia that he still feels confident his squad can make the state tourney field.
“We just don’t play with the physicality we need all the time,” he said. “We play hard and we never quit but sometimes the physicality is lacking.”
The coach said he hopes the intensity level will increase since his team knows it is do-or-die against the Dots. “I think we’ll come out to play,” Cabell said.
A large contingent of Skyhawk fans attended both games last week at Logan. Cabell is hoping for just as enthusiastic a turnout at Poca. After the Central win, the coach and his players were mobbed by cheering Hawk fans.
“I’m hoping for the same result at Poca,” he said.
Since the Dots defeated Hoover for their sectional title, they are hosts of the game.
In the sectional finale, tensions were high and game officials took steps to assure that things did not get out of hand early and often.
The game was just ready to tip when Tournament Director George Barker of Chapmanville Regional High rushed to the Scott student section and removed two barriers that he feared a fan might use as weapons.
After that and a scramble for the jump ball, Scott eventually took possession but Tolsia stole the ball.
After a missed trey by Morgan Williamson , a putback by Brandon Clark gave Tolsia a 2-0 lead with 7:01 flashing on the scoreboard.
After a missed shot by Scott’s star senior, Matt Dolan, he was fouled at the 5:30 mark. Two made free throws tied the contest. A driving layup 31 seconds later put the Rebels up, 4-2.
Logan Webb came back with one of two free throws to make it 4-3.
A jump shot by Jared Straud stretched the lead to three before Webb made two free throws to make it 6-5 with 1:32 left in the first frame.
A putback by Austin Brewer made it 8-5 as the Scott student section chanted “nuts and bolts …” in response to what they felt were poor calls.
Tolsia held the ball for the final 36 seconds without further scoring.
The enemic scoring performance continued in the second quarter as each team tallied just seven points to send them to intermission with the Rebels up, 15-12.
Anthony Sigmon’s putback at the 6:16 spot cut the lead to 8-7 but Clark answered with a bucket. The teams traded goals before Brandon Lafauci connected on a trey to tie the game at 12-12 with 4:26 remaining in the half.
As the crowd murmured, Tolsia went into a more-or-less stalling offense, with Morgan Stacy finally scoring a three-pointer with 3.1 seconds left for the three-point margin at the half.
Confustion reigned as the third quarter began. Clock and scoreboard errors caused long delays and conferences among the officials. For a while, a basket made by Scott was credited to Tolsia on the board. Eventually, the scoring was corrected and Scott trailed 16-14 after Webb made a bucket and Tolsia completed a free throw at the 7:06 mark.
Clark followed with a bucket to up the lead to 18-14. Brewer drilled a deuce to increase the margin to six. Dolan was hacked hard by Clark, making one of two foul shots.
With 4:58 showing in the third, Clark drilled a three and it was 23-15. Twenty seconds later, Eric May answered with a trey for Scott and the Tolsia lead was cut to five.
Just inside the four-minute mark, officials had to call law enforcement officers to the Tolsia student section where two fans were removed. One had apparently interfered with Scott as they attempted to inbound the ball and the other was shouting verbal abuse toward officials.
Erratic offensive performances by both teams followed as the tension within the building increased.
From that point forward, officials quickly separated opposing players when scrambles for the ball occurred.
With 1:46 remaining in the third, Sigmon put one in up close and it was 25-18.
When Tolsia took the ball just inside 45 seconds, they again went into a stall as the Scott fans hissed their disapproval. A powerful putback by Stacy at the 26.3 mark made it 27-18. After Scott was called for an offensive foul, Tolsia held the ball to the end with Stacy connecting on a three-pointer to make it 30-18 after three periods.
Squabbling between players and fans continued as the fourth quarter began, with referees immediately rushing in to separate players. After a call went against Scott, Cabell left the coach’s box to scream at officials. With 7:34 left and a foul called on the Hawks, Cabell drew a technical foul for his disagreement with the refs.
One official listened to the coach and ordered him to sit on the bench or face a second technical. Cabell immediately sat down.
Brewer stepped to the free throw line and calmly sank both free throws as well as the two technicals to bring the count to 34-18 and the game, for all intents and purposes, was over. That did not mean, however, that the Hawks gave up.
In fact, May got Scott going with three free throws after he was fouled on a trey try at the 6:33 mark. Straud answered with an old-fashioned three-point play to make it 37-21. Scott’s defensive intensity clearly increased after the Cabell technical as the defense swarmed all over the Rebels.
With 5:41 showing, Lafauci hit a layup and Scott called timeout.
Dolan then took charge, hitting a layup and stealing the ball for another driving layup at the 5:25 mark and it was 37-27.
After Stacy made one of two free throw attempts, Cody Brown made a three-pointer and it was 38-30 with 5:04 left. Brewer came back with a driving layup but a trey by Cody Brown kept the Scott crowd and the team fired up as it was 40-33.
Scott had several offensive opportunities that followed but they were unable to further cut the lead.
With four minutes left, Davis made a layup and Tolsia was ahead, 42-33. Still the Hawks kept the pressure on when a three-pointer cut it to 42-36.
The teams then traded two made free throws each.
An errant horn nearly gave Tolsia an easy score as Scott’s defense stopped and the Rebel offense continued to play. As the Scott bench protested, officials reset the clock and gave the ball out to the Rebs.
Six of eight made free throws stretched the lead to 50-38 with 2:24 to go in the game.
Dolan sank a three pointer as Cabell called timeout to direct his troops. Following a free throw by Davis, Dolan misfired on a three-point try. He rushed to the bucket and grabbed the rebound but also missed the putback try.
Clark made a free throw with 1:50 left but Dolan swished two free throws 22 seconds later and it was 52-43. Stacy followed with four made foul shots and Davis added two with 51.8 seconds twinkling. A breakaway layup by Davis brought the count to 60-43 with just 30.2 seconds left.
Tolsia then dribbled the ball as time expired on their victory.
Matt Dolan led the Hawk offense with 12 points. Lafauci added 10; Webb, eight; May, six; Cody Brown, five; and Sigmon, two for Scott.
Davis topped the game scoring with 18 points for Central. Stacy added 15 and Clark, 14 to complete the double-digit scorers for the Miners.
Scott-56; Mingo Central-54
Officials delayed the start of the Thursday evening game for a few minutes as Mingo Central stayed in their locker room after the pre-game clock had expired and the announcer said the game was getting underway. Eventually, Coach Brad Napier’s team emerged and it was a close contest throughout.
Webb scored the first bucket at the 7:36 mark but Alex Lee’s jumper tied it at 2-2. A trey by J. Hatcher offset a putback by Scott to give the Miners a 5-4 lead.
The Hawks got seven straight points on a trey by Cody Brown, a jump shot by Sigmon and a length-of-floor steal and layup by Matt Dolan to make it 11-5 with 3:44 on the clock.
S. Hammond made a free throw but Lafauci drilled a trey and it was 14-6.
A three-point bucket by May brought the count to 17-6 with 44.4 seconds left in the first. There was no further scoring in the first period.
The Miners got the second quarter started with a trey from Hatcher to make it 17-9.
Dolan was good on a putback at the 6:56 mark before M. Cunningham made one of two free throw tries. A soft layup by Webb brought it to 21-10 with 6:18 left in the half. Banks made a free throw but Webb followed with a deuce.
An acrobatic layup by Mally May was answered with a putback by Dylan Brown and a jumper by Cody Brown.
Quick layups by Banks and Hatcher cut the lead to 27-17 as Cabell signaled timeout with 2:43 left in the half. The Scott took another timeout at the 1:16 spot after Central cut the lead to 29-22. The break failed to settle the Hawks however, as Mingo Central closed the half with four points to cut the lead to 29-26.
Webb started the second half scoring after 27 seconds with a jump shot but a trey by Hatcher made it 31-29 with 7:03 showing. Scott then went on a tear with ten points by the 2:47 mark.
Two free throws and a layup by Matt Dolan followed by a May triple, another Dolan jumper and a free throw by Dylan Brown accounted for the scoring.
Two buckets by Central cut the lead before Matt Dolan made a free throw and it was 42-33 with 1:20 left in the third. A long trey by Banks cut it to 42-36. As time expired, a foul was called and two made free throws ended the period with Scott clinging to their 42-38 edge.
It was touch-and-go in the final period with the winner not being determined until the end.
Hatcher kicked it off with a trey to cut the margin to one. Matt Dolan answered with a three of his own and it was 45-41 with 6:53 on the clock. The triple parade continued as Hatcher connected on another and the lead was one.
Finally, with 6:11 on the game clock, Banks put Central up, 46-45. It took just 15 seconds for Cody Brown to put the Hawks back up. Two free throw tries by Cunningham spun around the rim and out, illustrating the frustration for Central.
With 5:11 showing, Banks’ jumper put the Miners up again, 48-47. Matt Dolan made one of two free throws and the game with tied eight seconds later. Cody Brown put the Hawks up with a trey, 51-48, with 4:13 remaining. Not to be outdone, Hatcher made a three for the Miners.
A driving layup by Dylyn Brown with 2:59 left put Scott back up and Cody Brown added to the lead with a layup a minute later. Two free throws by Banks were good as the Scott student section shouted its displeasure with a profanity chant and the score was 55-53 with 1:43 to go.
Mishandled throws and timeouts followed as the game wound to a close. With 41.1 seconds flashing, Matt Dolan sank one of two free throw tries to put Scott up, 56-53.
Banks made a free throw to end the scoring with 13.2 seconds left and Scott had their two-point win.
Dolan led Scott with 15 points and Cody Brown added 14. Webb tossed in 11; May, eight; Lafauci and Dylyn Brown, three each; and Sigmon, two for the Skyhawks.