CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Before Jason Kingery left Scott to accept a coaching job in Berwick, Pa., some people regarded him as a miracle worker.
After all, he took a Skyhawks basketball program that went 66 years between state tournament trips and brought them to the big show twice in five years, including a spot in the Class AA championship game in 2011.
When Scott dipped to a 7-16 record last year in Kingery's absence, it looked like the program was starting all over again. Well, not exactly.
The Skyhawks are back at the Charleston Civic Center this week after knocking off state-ranked Poca in the Region 4 co-finals. Scott (15-10), the No. 7 seed, meets No. 2 Fairmont Senior (19-6) at 1 p.m. Thursday.
Along the way, the Skyhawks have navigated a bumpy road.
They shot out to an 8-0 start and in early January were ranked No. 1 in the state in the initial AA poll. Then followed separate losing streaks of four and three games and suddenly, 8-0 was standing at 11-9.
But the Hawks got it back together at the right time, revving it up again for the postseason.
"It feels good to prove all the doubters wrong,'' said senior guard Matt Dolan, the team's top scorer. "That's all I've got to say.
"It is a little bit [surprising]. But this team has been through so much this season, it's unbelievable.''
Few expected the Skyhawks to contend for a state tournament spot this season, not with three sophomores in the starting lineup and only one holdover from the 2011 title-game team in Dolan.
"We talked all week in practice before the [regional],'' said Scott coach Nick Cabell. "For everybody but Matt, this is the biggest game they've played in. Some were on the team [in 2011], but none of them saw any minutes. Matt started that year as a sophomore, and he's the only one that's had any experience.