POCA, W.Va. - The Cardinal Conference might indeed be a solid boys basketball conference, but as Class AA No. 2 Poca showed Tuesday night, the race for the conference crown might be all over except for the shouting.
The Dots ran roughshod over No. 8 Chapmanville at Poca High School, holding the Tigers scoreless for 7:57 from midway through the second quarter until midway through the third in getting a 68-35 runaway victory.
"They shoot the ball well, they guard you, they pass the ball so well, they're not selfish," Chapmanville coach Allen Hatcher said after his team committed an uncharacteristic 19 turnovers and shot just 33.3 percent (12 of 36) from the floor.
"They've got all the intangibles to win a state championship," Hatcher said.
Poca took advantage of six Tiger turnovers in the first quarter to stake itself to a 15-4 lead. The cushion ballooned to 22-12 by the 3:50 mark of the second quarter, when Hatcher demanded a timeout.
The Dots had already begun their run by that point, having scored five consecutive points following a Joe Tackett 3-pointer for Chapmanville.
Hatcher's timeout, however, just gave Poca an opportunity to punch the gas. The Dots emerged from the break in a full-court press, and Hatcher's team didn't find the net again until 6:14 remained in the third quarter. By that point Poca led 34-14.
"I thought our defense was outstanding tonight. I thought we really did a good job," Poca coach Allen Osborne said. "We did a great job on the boards and we attacked their zone a little better than we did the last time we played in Chapmanville. We played pretty well."
Poca junior Noah Frampton, who led all players with 22 points, eight assists and six steals, said the Dots knew the time was right, coming out of the second-quarter timeout, to try to put the game away early.