It was a week in which the Scott Skyhawks proved they can play with the best teams in Class AA boys high school basketball. But the lesson was a hard learning process, since part of it came by way of a week-opening loss to powerful Bluefield at Madison on Monday evening, February 17.
The 76-64 final score hardly reflects how close the game was against the Beavers.
The opening jump went to Bluefield and 14 seconds later, Anthony Eades put Bluefield on the board with a trey. Both teams were cold offensively before a bucket with 5:17 left made it 5-0 in favor of the visitors. Brandon Lafauci finally put Scott on the board with 5:03 flashing as he zipped a three-pointer. Corey Coppola answered with a basket before Anthony Sigmon made a layup to bring the count to 7-5.
Jordan Ponder responded with a trey and a bucket in close put the Beavers up, 12-5, with 3:47 showing. Logan Webb made a free throw to cut the margin to six and then Scott went on a run to tie the game at 12-12 with 2:43 left. Eric May started it with a layup, followed by a Webb driving layup, then Alex Ables stole the ball and put it in to the roar of the home crowd.
With two minutes on the first quarter clock, Webb put Scott ahead by making one of two free throws. The lead was short-lived as Lykel Collier drilled a three to put Bluefield up by two. Cody Brown cut the margin to one with a free throw before a long three try by Lafauci lodged in the backboard area. The alternate possession rule gave the ball to the Beavers with 1:04 on the clock. As the Beavers appeared to be holding for a final shot, Azir Price fired a trey that missed the mark but Collier stole the ball from Scott, made a bucket and converted a free throw to put Bluefield up, 18-14. That completed the first period scoring.
It was Scott’s ball to start the second quarter but the Skyhawks could not convert. With 7:21 on the clock, Jordan Huckleberry made a bucket and converted the associated foul shot to increase the lead to seven. Lafauci finally scored two free throws for Scott at the 7:14 spot and it was 21-16. Eades responded with a free throw before Huckleberry converted a layup and it was 24-16. A free throw by Collier stretched the lead to nine but Dylyn DeHart made a trey to make it 25-19 with 5:39 showing. Bluefield then lengthened the margin to ten with a layup and two free throws by Coppola.
With 4:23 remaining, Ables hit a bucket to cut the lead to eight. His free throw missed but Webb rebounded, put the ball in and was fouled. His made foul shot brought the counbt to 29-24. DeHart was called for a technical foul for unsportsmanlike conduct and Collier made one of two free throws on a foul call. Then, Eades made both technicals and it was 32-24 with 3:55 remaining in the half.
A floater by Eades stretched the lead to 34-24 before a driving layup by May made it 34-26. With Bluefield’s defensive pressure shaking up the Hawks, May hit a long three to cut the led to six. Eades followed with two free throws, then made a deuce and it was 38-28 with 1:28 flashing. A goal-tending call against Scott at the 53.8-second spot brought howls of protest from fans and staff. Then, Webb made a free throw and the lead was 11, where it remained at the half.
Bluefield got the ball to start the third frame but, after several misfires by both teams, Sigmon cut the lead to 40-31 at the 6:15 spot. Coppola and Ables traded buckets before a layup for Bluefield at the 5:04 mark. A Sigmon putback and a Beaver layup offset before an official signaled that Scott had requested a timeout. While Scott coaches argued that they had not called the break in action, the official finally admitted that he had actually not heard them call for a timeout. A problem with the backboard caused a further delay before action resumed.
With 4:28 left, two free throws by Ables cut the lead to 11. May followed with an underhand layup to make it 46-37. A jumper by Eades was answered by a Kirk Price breakaway layup. Then, Collier hit a bucket and was fouled to make it 51-39. A running layup by Price followed but Huckleberry made a layup and it was 53-41 with 1:58 left. Cody Brown unleashed a three-point bomb to bring the crowd alive and, with 56.6-seconds on the clock, Price made a jumper to make it 53-46. The crowd was on its feet at the end of the period as Brown drilled a three and Michael Yost missed one at the buzzer to leave the score at 53-49, Bluefield.
The Skyhawks took possession to start the final period but a steal and layup make it 55-49 with 7:49 showing. After a quick Scott timeout, a putback by Ables made it 55-51. With 6:39 on the clock, a layup by Eades brought the lead to 57-51. Then, Scott reeled off six straight to tie the game and bring the Hawks Nest crowd to its collective feet. Ables made a putback, Price hit a breakaway layup, then followed with a jumper and it was 57-57 with 5:38 left in the game.
A spinning layup by May put the Hawks up by two with 5:10 to go. But Bluefield was ready for the challenge. At the five-minute mark, Bluefield made a bucket and converted a free throw. Then, Eades hit a floater and it was 62-59, Beavers. After a Bluefield timeout, Ponder zipped a trey to make it 65-59 and Scott could feel the game slipping away. But there was fight left in the Hawks.
May made a free throw, missed the second and Webb grabbed the rebound and put it in to cut the lead to 65-62 with 3:20 remaining. A free throw by Coppola lengthened it to four as the teams battled scorelessly to the 49.4-second mark when a Bluefield layup made it 68-62. A floating answer by May cut the lead to four but Bluefield made its free throws down the stretch to secure the win. Eades made two as did Ponder before Eades finished with one in close for the 76-64 win.
The win lifted Bluefield to a 14-2 season record while Scott fell to 12-6.
May led Scott, with 13 points on the evening. Price, Webb and Ables added ten each; Brown, seven; Sigmon, six; Lafauci, five; and DeHart, three for the Skyhawks.
The Cardinal Conference Pioneers have shown vast improvement this year but did not have enough to get the win over Scott on Tuesday at Wayne.
Wayne did led, 29-23, after the first half, however. Scott came back in the second half, with a 27-13 margin in the third period and a 19-11 lead in the fourth.
Brown led the Hawks, with 15 points on the evening. Webb added 14; May and Ables scored ten each; Lafauci, eight; and Price, DeHart Sigmon, four apiece for Scott.
Scott-46; Mingo Central-42
It took one overtime and lots of effort, but the Hawks got their second win of the season over sectional rival Mingo Central.
It was senior night and Scott started its senior players. There was confusion about who Mingo Central Coach Brad Napier was starting and the mix-up led to a technical to start the game. According to the official scorekeeper, Napier changed the line-up with less than three minutes remaining on the pre-game scoreboard, calling for the technical. It was assessed to rousing boos from the Central crowd as Lafauci made one of two to make it 1-0 with no time gone off the clock.
A reverse layup a minute-and-25-seconds later by Ables brought it to 3-0. Both teams were tentative in the early going, a pace likely preferred by Central. With 5:09 to go, Brown made one of two free throws for a 4-0 margin. A minute-and-six-seconds later, Alex Lee made one in close. A putback and trey by Lafauci brought the home crowd alive at Madison for a 9-2 lead. Lee made a layup but Webb hit one and made the follow-up free throw to give Scott a 12-4 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Mingo got the ball to start the second frame but Brown hit a jumper to make it 14-4. A hook shot by Lee brought the lead to eight before May was called for walking, bringing jeers from the Scott student section. A layup by Stevie Hammond made it 14-8 before Price hit a jumper. Central came roaring back on a three-pointer by Dalton Hatfield and a layup by Julius Hatcher. A putback by Ables gave Scott the 18-13 lead with 2:41 left in the half. Two free throw completions in four tries by Webb brought it to 20-13. Mallie May followed with two free throws and the margin was five with 1:45 showing.
Brown made a bucket and free throw before Hatfield made two foul shots for Central to make it 23-17 with 1:20 left. A jump shot by Brown put the lead at eight but Central held for one shot and executed perfectly on a bucket by Chase Hatfield with 1.1-second showing to end the half at 25-19.
Scott had the ball to start the third canto. But a layup by Dikenbe Dixson cut the lead to four. With 6:36 showing, Dixson hit a bucket to make it 25-23 but Ables answered with a bucket. Dixson continued to dominate, though, making a layup to cut the lead to two. Hamnond tied the game at 27-27 with 5:44 left on a jumper before a putback by May put the Hawks back on top. A layup by Lee tied it again before Dixson hit a bucket but had it waved off due to an offensive foul. After a Central timeout, the Miners attempted to hold the ball until the close again. But Price banked one in with less than a second left to send Scott to the bench with a 31-29 lead.
Central got the ball but Chase Hatfield walked, giving it to Scott. The Hawks could not convert and, when Chase Hatfield sank a bucket with 6:58 left, it was tied again at 31. Brown and Dixson traded buckets to keep it knotted before a Mingo timeout. Dixson made a layup with 4:59 showing and the Miners led, 35-33. A minute later, Dixson was called for traveling to the delight of the Hawk fans. Two free throws by Brown tied it again before Dalton Hatfield made two foul shots. With 2:01 on the clock, Dixson made two free throws to make it 39-35 and the tension rose.
A jump shot at the 1:30 mark by Brown cut the lead to two. Timeout by Scott and Central followed, as possession switched hands without any scoring. Mingo’s May was fouled with 26.1-seconds left but missed the opening end of a one-and-one, causing Scott to call its final timeout. With four-seconds left, Brown missed a wild shot but Ables grabbed the ball and was fouled. He made both free throws with the clock at 3.9 seconds. Napier called his final timeout but the inbounds pass went to Dixson who heaved the ball nearly full-court as time expired with the game tied.
Each team had one timeout in overtime and the jump ball between Dixson and DeHart went to Lafauci who hit a layup on the run and was fouled. His completed free throw put Scott up by three with 3:58 flashing and there was really little doubt after that. Ables pounded a putback before Dixson made one free throw with 2:56 left and Scott led, 44-40. Dixson followed with two free throws to cut the lead to two with 2:27 remaining. After Brown and Dalton Hatfield misfired on three-point tries, Nick Kuhn made a free throw with 48.6 seconds remaining.
After Ables missed two free throws, he was fouled again at the 14.1-second spot. He made one free throw to make it 46-42, effectively putting the game out of reach for Mingo.
When Hatcher missed a trey, the game was history with Scott clinging to its four-point win.
As Scott prepares for the Region IV, Section 1 tournament at Logan next week, the Hawks close out the regular season this week with two games. On Tuesday, they were set to visit Nicholas County before traveling to Hamlin to meet Lincoln County in a make-up game, today (Wednesday, February 26).