Poca goes dry, loses tough one to Scott 39-35
MADISON, W.Va. - Early in the third quarter, it looked like Poca's recent misfortunes were a distant memory.
The Dots had vaulted into a 10-point lead at Scott and seemed ready to get back on the winning track.
Then the bottom fell out.
State-ranked Poca went nearly 13 minutes without scoring Tuesday night, allowing the Skyhawks to work their way back into the game and capture a 39-35 Cardinal Conference victory.
Dylyn Brown's rebound goal with 4:46 remaining gave Scott a 34-33 edge and Cody Brown's leap-of-faith 3-pointer with 31 seconds left iced it.
The Class AA No. 4 Dots (15-5), who lost their third straight in agonizing fashion, went from about the five-minute mark of the third quarter until Cameron Cottrill's rebound goal with 0.5 seconds left in the game without scoring.
"Give Scott credit,'' said Dots coach Allen Osborne. "They battled back and got on the boards and hurt us on the boards.
"We quit being aggressive offensively. We didn't cut to score, we didn't screen to score or attack the rim like we did early in the game.''
Scott coach Nick Cabell credited the bench play of Dylyn Brown and Kirk Price with helping pull off the crazy comeback.
"We gave up way too many offensive rebounds in the first half and things didn't go too well,'' Cabell said, "and then we started the third quarter and they got a couple quick buckets and we were right back in the same situation we were in the first half.
"We brought some different guys in off the bench and they gave us a spark. Kirk Price brought ball pressure and Dylyn Brown got on the offensive and defensive boards. Without those two, we probably wouldn't have won this game. Their effort and spark and toughness were the reasons we were able to get back in and eventually win.''
The shooting of Noah Frampton (who finished with 15 points) and Cottrill (11) helped put Poca into a 28-21 halftime lead, and that grew to 33-23 early in the third period.
Frampton was also playing solid defense against Scott's top scorer, Matt Dolan, holding him to four points on 2-of-12 shooting for the game.
But it didn't help that the Dots missed 13 straight shots in their extended dry spell and finished with six turnovers after having just one at halftime.
Suddenly, it brought to mind Poca's two losses last week - 45-43 at Nitro and 46-45 in overtime at Herbert Hoover - with last-second short shots both times knocking off the Dots.
Scott (13-9) whittled a lot of time off the clock after it got the 34-33 lead late, but Poca regained possession on a Cameron Morrison steal with 1:49 to go. However, Cottrill missed a good look at a 3 at the 1:30 mark and the Skyhawks rebounded and took a timeout.
The Hawks seemed intent on running out the remaining time, but Cody Brown inexplicably hoisted a 3 from the left wing after his team had run about a minute off the clock.
"I think if I was two steps closer,'' Cabell said, "I could have reached out and strangled him. But when it went in . . . any time you make it, it's always OK.
"Before the game, he told me he'd found his shot again. So at least he had some confidence before the game. When he took that shot, I immediately knew he had the confidence to make it.''
After that, Cottrill missed a leaner in the lane for Poca and the Dots fouled Logan Webb on the rebound and he cashed in two free throws with 13 seconds to go for a 39-33 lead. Webb finished with a team-high 10 points.
Dylyn Brown ended with nine points, hitting all four of his field goal tries, and his eight rebounds paced the Skyhawks to a 32-20 advantage off the boards. Price contributed two steals.
Osborne hopes the recent reversal of fortune teaches a lesson to his youthful squad.
"It's tough,'' Osborne said, "but the thing that's disappointing is that you get to where you're two, three possessions from winning the game - and you don't finish the game.
"You go on the road, you've got to take the game. You're playing good teams - Nitro, Hoover and Scott. They're not going to give it to you. We're young and we haven't learned how to do it. But you figure when you get smacked about three times, you'd figure it out.''
Reach Rick Ryan at 304-348-5175 or firstname.lastname@example.org.