CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- It could wind up being a banner year for basketball in Putnam County.
All four of the county's boys basketball teams are enjoying winning seasons, and all four could make some waves once postseason play begins next month.
The quartet is led by Class AA Poca (14-1), which is riding a 12-game winning streak heading into Tuesday's home game against Cardinal Conference rival Chapmanville (12-4).
Hurricane (13-4) and Winfield (10-6) head the AAA contingent from Putnam, while Buffalo (9-6) remains a player in the Class A field.
Here's a breakdown of each squad as the regular season's stretch run is set to begin:
Then all they'd need is either one more Cardinal win or a league loss by Scott (9-3), which has already been swept in two games by Poca this season.
Probably the biggest obstacle in the way of the Dots in the postseason is their modest height. Skinny freshman Luke Frampton, at 6-foot-3, is the only starter taller than 6-1.
"Defensive rebounding is probably the thing we need to work on the most,'' Frampton said. "Every team we play, they're getting a lot of second chances. We're not boxing out. But we're lifting and stuff, getting strong, and it's helping us.''
Dots coach Allen Osborne points to the recent return of muscular 6-3, 215-pound senior Jake Payne, who has missed much of the season with a foot injury. Payne earned a few minutes of floor time in Friday's victory against Nicholas County.
"We've got two guys there,'' Osborne said. "Christian Buckley [a 6-3, 225-pound junior reserve] has got good size and Jake is getting stronger, getting back into the flow of things. That helps our starting inside guys. We do a lot of stuff with our defensive positioning. We try to keep the ball up tight.''
The toughest team Poca could face in Region 4 Section 1 is No. 9 Nicholas, while possible regional foes include No. 7 Chapmanville, Scott and Mingo Central.
The Miners received a boost when 6-7 Dikembe Dixson, a transfer from Kentucky and a possible Division I recruit, recently became eligible. He's averaged 17 points through three games.
The Dots figure to be battle tested come postseason time. They've beaten four ranked teams and their lone loss came to unbeaten and No. 1 Robert C. Byrd in the FCA Hoops Classic at the Civic Center.