POCA, W.Va. - Allen Osborne won't tell you his second-ranked Poca Dots aren't the most artistic 13-1 team in high school basketball.
But after slugging out another tough Cardinal Conference win, 36-32 over Herbert Hoover Saturday night, there is one thing certain: The Dots are getting results.
Any way they can.
"Hoover's pretty good defensively and we just didn't get good looks at the basket. We were fortunate to win the game," Osborne said. "We made them work to score, also. I was pleased with that.
"Eight for 17 from the line, had a couple of turnovers, wasn't one of our better performances. We just found a way to win; that's what this team's been good at this year."
The Dots didn't shoot well from anywhere, making an even 30 percent from the field and 4 of 21 from 3-point range. The Huskies shot a seemingly dominant 55.6 percent from the floor.
So how did the Dots overcome a 13-5 first-quarter deficit, take a 28-21 lead after three quarters and hang on at the end?
First, they forced Hoover (8-5) into 15 turnovers. Second, while Hoover won the rebounding battle 26-16 overall, the Dots had a 6-1 advantage on the offensive boards through three quarters. Those two factors allowed Poca 13 more field goal attempts, 40 to 27.
And then there was the advantage at the free-throw line, one that the Dots nearly squandered with that 8 of 17. Hoover had two free throws in the first quarter and three in the fourth, hitting just two.
Despite all that, the Huskies stayed alive deep into the final minute.
Six-foot-6 Cody Morris, who led Hoover with 11 points, hit three quick baskets to open the final period on a tap-in, a turnaround jumper and a smooth hook shot. Suddenly it was 28-27 and the game was on.
By the grace of the officiating crew, neither Osborne nor Hoover coach Jeff Gandee were "T'd up" in this one. Noah Frampton scored two of his game-high 14 points to make it 30-27 and the Huskies were called for a foul after the shot.
Gandee, perhaps initially thinking Frampton's jumper was a 3-pointer and a four-point play was in the offing, yelled, "Get the fire hose on! Make it easy to blow me out of here!"