GLEN HAYES, W.Va. - The Poca High School boys basketball team did everything it needed to do on Tuesday night at Tolsia to avenge its only loss of the season.
Until the final 5 minutes of the game.
Tolsia sharp-shooter Morgan Stacy hit a 3-pointer with 39 seconds left to cap a 10-2 run and the Rebels survived against the Cardinal Conference-leading Dots in a 48-42 verdict in front of a small, yet raucous crowd at Tolsia High School.
Coach Jason Hatfield's team finished off the victory with a steal and a layup and two free throws for its sixth victory in the last seven games.
It's also the fifth consecutive victory for Tolsia (10-6) over the Dots (13-2), dating to Jan. 11, 2011.
"As a team, we like playing Poca, it's good competition," said Stacy, who finished with 21 points - three over his season average. "It's probably the best defense we go against all year, in your face, man-to-man defense. Just something about the team, we always play well when we play them."
This one didn't come without some anxious moments from the coaches, both of whom were whistled for technical fouls. Hatfield's came with 5:05 left after he disputed the fourth foul being called on his 6-foot-3 senior, Austin Brewer.
Cam Cottrill hit the two foul shots and two technical free throws to give Poca its largest lead of the game, 40-34.
After Stacy's 3-pointer and a steal and a layup gave Tolsia a four-point lead with 12.9 seconds left, Poca Coach Allen Osborne was whistled for a technical foul.
"Every possession's important to us," Osborne said. "We have to take care of the ball. Give them credit, they made a couple big shots. I'm proud of my kids, they played hard. It's a shame how this thing ended up. It's disappointing."
The game also featured eight lead changes, three ties and a big second half for Stacy, the shooting heir apparent to last year's star, Jacob Copley.
Stacy, who averages 18 points per game - he averaged 11.7 last season when Tolsia reached the State Tournament semifinals - was just 2-of-6 from the floor in the first half.
However, after Poca senior Adam Sigman ended the first half with a three-point play to give the Dots a three-point lead, Stacy started his second with back-to-back buckets toward scoring 17 points in the last two quarters.
"You have to have confidence," said Stacy, who was hitting shots with a hand in his face most of the game. "If you don't have confidence, it's hard to make that shot."
He had eight points in the third quarter and nine in the fourth.
"If anybody knows what Morgan is capable of, it's Allen Osborne," Hatfield said. "When (Jason) Cuffee was up here, he (Morgan) put up 22 points in one quarter. He's capable of scoring like that."
The shot that gave Tolsia its final lead wasn't intended for him, but rather for Brewer. Poca had the ball and a one-point lead until Tolsia's Brandon Clark got a steal, leading to a timeout with 1:07 left.
"We had designed another play and we almost turned the ball over actually, and we got it back," Stacy said. "I hollered for our big man Austin to come set me a pick and I came off it and ... it felt pretty good when it left my hand."
The victory gives Tolsia nine consecutive victories against West Virginia schools in its quest to return to the State Tournament.
Tolsia's last loss to a state school this year was on Dec. 8 when it dropped a one-point decision to Mingo Central.
Last year, the Rebels reached the state semifinals by virtue of a three-overtime quarterfinal victory against Magnolia before a 16-point semifinal loss to Bluefield ended their season.
As for Poca, the Dots are seeking a return to the State Tournament for the first time since a semifinal trip in 2011. Last year their season was ended by Tolsia in a 67-36 loss in the Region 4 co-final - Poca's worst defeat of the season.
"We have a tough way to go," said Osborne, whose team was led by Matt Chandler and Noah Frampton with 10 points apiece. "We'll come back tomorrow, regroup and see what we can do better."
Contact Assistant Sports Editor Rich Stevens at richstev...@dailymail.com or 304-348-4837.
Poca (13-2) FG 3Pt FT Pts
Cam Cottrill 2-6 1-2 4-4 9
Noah Frampton 4-9 1-5 1-1 10
Jacob Payne 2-4 0-1 0-1 4