But it has been a long time coming for the Scott Skyhawks who won the Region VI, Section I crown on Friday night with a victory over county-rival Sherman in overtime, 69-62.
Scott advanced to the title game with a win over six-time sectional champ Chapmanville on Tuesday by a score of 60-58.
This was only the third sectional win for Scott in 26 years.
The last time the Skyhawks won a sectional was in 1996; prior to that, it was all the way back in 1982.
“We are ecstatic,” said Scott head coach Jason Kingery. “To beat Sherman three times in one season is very hard; it’s even harder when it’s your rival. I really felt for the Sherman kids. They had a wonderful season. I’m sure it was hard for Coach Henderson (Sherman’s head coach), but he’s done a great job over there. And it wasn’t just tough for him; it was tough for the boys too.”
Tide head coach Jim Henderson echoed those same sentiments.
“It’s disappointing,” Henderson said. “The kids played real hard, but turnovers were a killer for us. We had 22 and they seemed to come at the most crucial times, in the fourth quarter and in the overtime. We had the lead for 33 of the 36 total minutes of the game. The only time we didn’t lead was the last minute of the fourth quarter and the final two minutes of overtime. And we had the perfect game plan. We had played Scott man-to-man in the previous two meetings, so this time we went with the zone. It just wasn’t our night.”
Sherman opened the contest getting on the scoreboard first when senior Brandon Treadway hit from inside the paint to put the Tide up 2-0.
Senior David Henderson (Coach Henderson’s son) followed with a basket to increase the lead to 4-0.
However, Scott then cut the lead to 4-3 as sophomore Carl Shaffer got the Hawks on the board with a three-point play.
The two teams then exchanged buckets (another by Henderson and one by Scott senior Donovan Pearson) to put the score at 6-5 in favor of the Tide.
Maroon and Gold senior Justin Treadway then hit a trey and the Sherman lead went to 9-5.
Shaffer and Brandon Treadway then exchanged two-pointers and Scott senior Timmy Hudson followed with two points to cut the Tide lead to 11-9.
But the Tide went on a 6-0 run to increase the advantage to 17-9 with just seconds remaining in the first quarter.
Hudson then ripped a three at the buzzer to make the score 17-12 at the end of the first eight minutes of play.
In the second quarter, Sherman built up a nine-point lead 21-12 with 6:48 left in the period as Henderson and Justin Treadway hit.
Scott came back to cut it to 21-16 on baskets by Pearson and junior post player Jared Jarrell.
Down the stretch, each team finished with six points for a 27-22 Tide lead at intermission.
The Skyhawks opened play in the third quarter on a three by Hudson, but midway through the third, Justin Treadway hit a two that put the Tide up 39-29.
Hawk point guard, sophomore Steven McComas and Tide point guard, senior Michael Kirk then traded baskets with Kirk’s being a three to give Sherman the lead at 42-31 late in the period.
Hudson then helped Scott when he connected for another trey (his second of the quarter) to cut the Tide lead to 42-34.
After Brandon Treadway converted one of two free throws for a 43-34 advantage, Sherman called time out with @1:14 left in the quarter.
“I called time out to tell the boys that we wanted to take one last shot in the quarter,” Henderson said. “At best, we’d still have the lead 43-34 going into the fourth quarter and if we happened to make the shot, then the lead would have been even more than that.”
However, things did not quite go the way Henderson had hoped.
The Tide turned the ball over three times and fouled Hudson as he made the shot. Hudson made good on the foul shot to complete the three-point play and the Tide’s lead going into the fourth quarter was now 43-37.
“I think we probably lost it (the game) there,” Henderson said. “We lost our composure. Scott scored three points in the last minute and 14 seconds to cut into our lead going into the last eight minutes.
And what a wild ride those last eight minutes would be.
Hudson started the fourth quarter with a bucket to make the score 43-39.
Kirk and Hudson traded baskets for a 45-41 Sherman lead.
Henderson and Brandon Treadway each connected to up the Tide advantage to 49-41 with 5:18 left to play in regulation.
But the Hawks came roaring back as McComas buried a three, and Hudson had a basket while Jarrell hit one from the charity stripe to bring Scott to within two points at 49-47.
Hudson then burned the Tide with a trey to give the Skyhawks their first lead of the contest at 50-49 with 2:41 left to play in the fourth quarter.
But Sherman wasn’t done yet either.
Henderson hit a bucket and was fouled on the play. The free throw attempt was no good, but the Tide had the lead back at 51-50 at the 2:30 mark.
Jarrell then put the Black and Gold back on top with 1:55 left, 52-51.
Following a Tide miss, Scott’s Pearson was fouled with 1:12 left to play in regulation.
He missed the first attempt, but hit the second for a 53-51 Skyhawk lead.
Sherman freshman Colby Treadway then hit a basket and was fouled on the play. He was unable to convert the free throw attempt, but the Big Coal Boys had knotted the score at 53 with :49.6 seconds left.
Scott had the ball and held for the last shot, however, McComas’ shot hit the rim. Pearson rebounded the ball but was unsuccessful with his put-back and Sherman ended up with the rebound as regulation time ran out.
With the score 53-53, the game went into overtime.
The Tide got the opening tip in the four-minute OT and Justin Treadway put Sherman up 55-53.
Henderson followed with another Tide basket to give Sherman a 57-53 advantage, but Hudson blistered a three to pull Scott back at 57-56.
Justin Treadway then blistered the nets with a three of his own to up Sherman’s lead to 60-56 with 2:32 left in OT.
It looked as if things were rolling with the Tide, but Hudson burned another trey at the 1:47 mark of the OT for a 60-59 Tide lead.
Shaffer’s three-point play put the Skyhawks up 62-60 with 1:37 left to play, but Sherman’s Brandon Treadway tied things up again at 62-62 with 1:12 to go.
However, that was all the Tide would get point-wise while Scott connected for seven more down the stretch (another three-point basket by Hudson - his third of the overtime, and four free throws by Jarrell) to close out the overtime with an impressive 16 points while holding the Tide to nine.
“It certainly was a team effort,” said Kingery. “Everyone stepped up and played big. It was not just McComas, Hudson, and Pearson. It was also kids like Dustin Moore, Shayne Butcher, and Kameron Akers who challenged them in practice. It was a total team effort.”
Henderson also praised the Scott effort.
“Timmy got exceptionally hot in the overtime, hitting three three’s,” he said. “He hit seven out of his last eight shots. Carl (Shaffer) had an excellent game and Stevie (McComas) played a good floor game and was good on defense. Jared (Jarrell) hit four foul shots in overtime. Scott out-rebounded us on the offensive end 21-11. That was made a difference in the game.”
Offensively for Scott, Hudson ended the evening with one of the best games of his career scoring 36 points. Also in double digits for the Skyhawks was Jarrell with 11 and Shaffer with 10.
McComas and Pearson added five points each and freshman Tyler Thompson netted a bucket.
Hudson was also the leader on the boards with seven; Pearson and Jarrell grabbed six each and Shaffer hauled in five.
McComas added seven assists and one steal; Shaffer recorded three assists; Jarrell and Thompson had two steals while junior Marcus Linville added one rebound, one assist, and one steal.
Junior point guard Trey Workman also contributed an assist.
For the Tide, the offensive leader was Henderson who finished the contest with 19 points. He just missed breaking 1,000 points in his career ending with 985 points in only three and one half years of play. He also added seven rebounds and four assists.
Justin Treadway tallied 17 points, including three three’s, three rebounds, one assist, and two steals; Kirk netted 11, grabbed seven rebounds, six assists, and four steals.
Brandon Treadway added nine points, 12 boards, and one assit; brother Colby Treadway finished with four points and one assist, and freshman Justin Maloskey had a basket, seven rebounds and four blocked shots.
This was the final game for Sherman seniors Henderson, Kirk, and the Treadways.
It was also the last game for Coach Henderson, who is retiring.
Henderson had this to say about the 21 years he spent coaching: “I have appreciated the comradarie that I’ve been subject to over the last 21 years. I would like to thank everyone from Scott and Chapmanville who came down and said something to me. Eveyone has been so good to me and David and I appreciate the Scott kids who came over and offered kind words to David after the game.”
Up next for the Skyhawks will be the Regional final against the Logan Wildcats on Wednesday. The contest will be played at Williamson.
“Logan has 12 good players which means they have a lot of depth,” Kingery said. “But we have won on hard work, dedication, and discipline and we hope to continue that on Wednesday night. We would also love for as many former Scott alumni players, fans, and students as possible to come out and watch us play. Tickets will be $7, but you will need to get there early because Logan will pack the place.”
Tipoff is set for 7:30 p.m.
Scott 60 Chapmanville 58
The Skyhawks reached the sectional championship game by downing the Chapmanville Tigers 60-58.
Shaffer paced the effort with 20 points.
The Hawks shut down Tiger post player Stephan Ball who finished the contest with 12 points. In the two regular season games, Ball burned Scott scoring 23 and 22 points respectively.
However, Pearson and Thompson rotated in and out most of the game and kept Ball at bay.
The Black and Gold led 18-12 after eight minutes of play and only 30-29 at intermission.
Chapmanville took the lead in the third period and held it at 44-42 going into the final eight minutes of play.
The fourth quarter was nip-and-tuck. With 2:20 left in the game, Jarrell had a put-back that put Scott up 57-55.
The Skyhawks increased the lead to 59-55 with :37.5 seconds left on free throws by Pearson and Hudson.
Jarrell added another foul shot and Chapmanville’s D. J. Manns hit a three at the buzzer for a 60-58 final score.