Boys basketball: Dots get out of rut with overtime win
POCA, W.Va. -- The top-seeded basketball team in the Class AA Section 4, Section 1 tournament, sixth-ranked Poca entered postseason play having lost four of its last five regular season games, by an average of 1.8 points per loss.
It stood to reason the Dots developed a collective lump in their throat Tuesday night about the time Sissonville senior Austin Crawford banked in a 3-point shot at the fourth quarter buzzer to force overtime.
"I thought, 'Oh, no, not again.' He had to been praying for that thing to go in," Dots senior Adam Sigman said after his team shook its recent trend of losing close games by hanging on for a 66-60 win at home.
Crawford's shot tied the game at 58-58, but Sissonville scored again only a putback from senior Trent Stowers in the opening minute of overtime. Poca scored all of its overtime points from the foul line, finishing the win by going 22-of-30 from the stripe.
"Us and Sissonville have been in some battles," Poca Coach Allen Osborne said. "This one was no different, give them credit. I thought Cam Cottrill did a great job on Null, and Adam Sigman came off the bench and gave us some really good minutes all night."
Cottrill held Sissonville (9-15) senior guard Zach Null, the Indians' leading scorer this season who averages more than 17 points per game, to four points through three quarters. However, Sissonville was able to build a 30-17 lead midway through the second quarter as Stowers made five of his first six shots from 3-point range and Poca (17-6) sophomore scoring leader Noah Frampton struggled to find his touch.
Stowers had 19 points at halftime, but the Dots closed the half on a 15-2 run to pull to within 32-31 by the start of the second half. Sigman, who finished with 16 points and a game-high 10 rebounds, helped steady the Dots' offense until Frampton found his range in the second half.
Stowers, who along with Null finished his career with more than 1,000 points, didn't score again until overtime.
"Any time you get caught playing Poca's style and tempo, it's hard to get out of it," Sissonville Coach Rich Skeens said. "That's what happened to us. We couldn't get (Stowers) on the block, which is why we went to Bess there in the second half.
"Really, it was a typical Poca game."
Anthony Bess came off the bench in the third quarter and after Poca built a 41-34 lead, went to work in the paint to the tune of nine points. He finished with 13 points and two blocked shots, and helped Sissonville claw back to within striking distance. Though Poca led 57-52 with 22 seconds left in regulation after a pair of Cottrill free throws, a Ryan Kelley 3-pointer with 13 seconds left drew the Indians to within 57-55.
Sigman went to the line with 10 seconds left, but missed the first attempt of a two-shot opportunity that could have iced the win in regulation. He made the second, which set the stage for Crawford's last-ditch bank shot.
But Sissonville was already over its 10-foul limit before the overtime tipped off. The Dots took the lead for good when Frampton hit a pair of free throws with 1:19 left, making it 62-60.
He finished with 15 points, though he had just three before hitting a buzzer-beating 3 to end the first half. Cottrill led the Dots with 17 points and Matt Chandler added 14.
"I think it's one of those things where a senior had to step up," Sigman said of being able to carry the team's scoring load until its top gun found a rhythm.
"That's the great thing about this team: there's always somebody that can step up and get the job done," Sigman said.
The Dots play host to Herbert Hoover in the Region 4, Section 1 championship game at 7 p.m. Friday. The teams split regular-season meetings, with each winning on its home floor. The Huskies beat Poca 46-45 on a buzzer-beating shot by Joey Forbes in overtime on Feb. 15.
Herbert Hoover 52, Nicholas County 36 - The Huskies trailed after one quarter, but rallied at home to defeat the Grizzlies in the Class AA Region 4, Section 1 tournament.
Joey Forbes led Hoover (14-9) with 15 points, while Sam Schoolcraft added 11 points and Aaron Burdette 10.
For Nicholas County (11-11), Jared Tharp led the way with 15 points.
Hoover will visit face Poca (17-6) in the sectional championship game at 7 p.m. Friday.
The two teams split a pair of regular-season matchups, with Poca winning 36-32 at home on Jan. 26 and the Huskies earning a 46-45 win at Hoover on Feb. 15.
Contact Preps Editor Derek Taylor at firstname.lastname@example.org or 304-348-5170. Follow him on Twitter @ItsreallyDT