Boys basketball: Dots have eyes on postseason
Poca boys basketball coach Allen Osborne went into last week's game at Scott still unsure of the Class AA Region 4, Section 1 schedule.
A day after most sections across the state had been set in stone, the five teams in the Dots' section still hadn't settled their business.
"We know we have the number one seed, and we're playing at home," Osborne said via cell phone Dec. 19 from the Dots locker room just minutes before fourth-ranked Poca took the floor in what became a 39-35 loss to the Skyhawks.
The Dots' game had no bearing on this week's schedule. What was unclear in the moment was who would be playing where in the preliminary rounds.
"We had agreed that we would go by head-to-head record within the section, but then I think there was some confusion because one of the principals pointed out there was still some games that needed to be played before it was figured out," Osborne said.
After Sissonville's home win over Nicholas County (11-10) that night, the field was finally set. The fifth seed, Clay County (11-11), will play at Sissonville (8-14) tonight in a play-in game, with the winner playing at top-seeded Poca (16-6) on Tuesday.
The Grizzlies lost their chance at a home game with the loss to Sissonville, and will travel to Herbert Hoover (13-9) in the other semifinal Tuesday.
The Dots have struggled to win games down the stretch, having lost four of their last five and five of their last eight after a 14-1 start. Sophomore Noah Frampton remains the team's scoring leader at 14.3 points per game.
Though the Dots have been losing more frequently lately, they have been competitive in each game. The largest margin of defeat since Jan. 29 has been a 48-42 loss at Tolsia that was the team's second loss of the season, and second to the Rebels. However, Poca fell 45-43 to Nitro on Feb. 12, lost 46-45 at Hoover on Feb. 15 and finished the regular season Saturday with a 38-37 loss at Charleston Catholic.
Sissonville senior Zach Null is the section's top scorer, finishing the regular season with a 17.6 scoring average.
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CAPITAL'S TWO-GAME winning streak to end the regular season ended a stretch in which the Cougars lost eight of their last 10 games dating to Jan. 12.
The team, led in scoring by sophomore guard Carrington Morris' 20 points-per-game average, plays host to Ripley tonight in the opening game of the Class AAA Region 3, Section 1 tournament. The winner advances to play at top-seeded and third-ranked South Charleston (20-2) on Wednesday.
Capital (8-14) lost to the Vikings (7-15) at home, 65-62, the last time the teams met, on Jan. 30.
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ONE OTHER sectional with Kanawha Valley ties gets started tonight, as St. Albans travels to Point Pleasant in a play-in game for the Class AAA Region 4, Section 1 tournament.
The Big Blacks (12-10) are in their first season in Class AAA after spending the previous eight years in Class AA. They began the season by losing eight of their first nine, but their 52-51 home loss to Nitro on Saturday was their first loss since a 10-point loss at No. 5 Parkersburg South on Feb. 2.
St. Albans, meanwhile, has gone in the opposite direction. The Red Dragons (4-18) have not won a game since beating Ripley on Jan. 10, a stretch of 14 consecutive losses. Point Pleasant beat SA on the Dragons' floor, 55-45, on Jan. 26.
The winner of tonight's game travels to top-seeded Hurricane (17-5) on Wednesday.
Contact Preps Editor Derek Taylor at firstname.lastname@example.org or 304-348-5170. Follow him on Twitter @ItsreallyDT