POCA, W.Va. - Every high school boys team has one guy that takes just a little bit more grief than everyone else on the team.
Sophomore Matt Chandler has been that guy for the Poca basketball team, although after Friday's performance it's going to be a bit tougher for his teammates to justify the hazing.
Chandler hit 6 of 7 shots from the floor for 16 points, led Poca in rebounding with eight, provided steady offense throughout and got a standing ovation in the fourth quarter as Poca ran past Mingo Central 68-47 in a Cardinal Conference matchup.
The role as scapegoat is a needed one as a team deals with the rigors and stresses of a long season, and for Chandler, it's been something he's embraced.
"Ever since I've met them they've always done that to me and I've just been able to take it," Chandler said with a grin.
Coach Allen Osborne will sure take more performances like the one he got from Chandler on Friday.
"He's the silent assassin," Osborne said. "He does a good job. He's around the ball, he shoots the ball well, he really came on at the end of last year for us and he's done a great job all year. These other guys in here give him a lot of grief. I told him he ought to whip some of their butts."
It was the second win over Mingo in a week for Poca and the Dots weren't in any mood to waste time establishing a lead on Friday.
Poca made 10 of 13 shots in the first quarter en route to a 24-7 advantage and jumped out to a 12-0 lead from the get-go.
Meanwhile, the Miners (4-3 overall, 3-3 Cardinal Conference) found the net just 4 of 21 times in the first half and scored just 13 points in the first 16 minutes.
"When they shoot like that they're very hard to stop," Mingo Central coach Brad Napier said of the Dots. "They run their stuff so good that when they're knocking down shots like that they can beat anyone in the state."