CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- In the first half, Charleston Catholic threw a zone defense against Poca. In the second half, the Irish tried man-to-man. At the very end, they started an all-out parade to the foul line.
None of it worked.
Junior Matt Chandler matched his career-high with 21 points to lead a balanced effort Tuesday night as the Dots dodged all of those obstacles on their way to a 69-59 victory in a battle of state-ranked teams at the Charleston Catholic Athletic Complex.
It marked just the seventh loss in 113 home games since Catholic opened its facility in the 2004-05 season.
"I was feeling it tonight,'' Chandler said, "but anybody on this team can take the role of being the scorer.''
Freshmen Elijah Cuffee (15 points, six rebounds) and Luke Frampton (10 points, five rebounds) also hit double figures in scoring for Poca (9-1, ranked No. 4 in Class AA).
The Dots showed they could win at any speed or strategy against the Irish (8-3, No. 3 in Class A).
Catholic played zone for the first 21/2 quarters, an interesting move against a team that features five 3-point shooters. Poca's first six attempts all came from behind the arc, and all five starters hoisted at least one.
After the Dots knocked down seven 3s to gain a 35-26 lead less than three minutes into the third quarter, Catholic played more man-to-man defense. But Poca foiled that strategy, too, with sharp bounce passes to cutters in the lane, sparking an offense that made 9 of 16 second-half shots.
When all else failed and the Dots' lead grew as large as 15 points, Catholic opted for the foul game, and Poca was up to the challenge, netting 17 of 22 at the line in the final period to protect its lead.
"That's one good thing about our team,'' said Poca coach Allen Osborne. "We've got some guys who can handle it and can shoot it. That's what makes us pretty hard to guard.
"It was pretty important to come up here tonight and get a lead because they've been four-cornering everybody and spreading them out. We were able to get a lead and make them play. Which is good, because they're got a pretty good team.''