CHARLESTON, W.Va. --South Charleston didn't get the opponent it had hoped, but it nearly got more than it bargained for Wednesday.
The state-ranked Black Eagles shot less than 30 percent from the floor and missed 14 free-throw attempts, but somehow found a way to win their 14th straight, getting past pesky Point Pleasant 48-41 in a Class AAA matchup on the final day of Shootout at the Big House at the Charleston Civic Center.
SC (18-1), which was second in this week's Associated Press poll, was scheduled to face Flora MacDonald of North Carolina, but Flora MacDonald backed out Tuesday and Point, which had won seven of its last eight, filled in admirably.
"Got a great test,'' said SC coach Vic Herbert. "[Point Pleasant is] just a good team. They've improved. We were looking forward to playing Flora MacDonald. It was a letdown, but that's no excuse.''
The Black Eagles didn't pull away until late when they started to get more physical under the basket and controlled the boards for easy putbacks.
Point outscored SC in the third and fourth quarters by matching 13-12 margins. The Black Eagles stretched their edge to 40-28, their largest of the game, on junior A.D. Cunningham's rebound followed by junior Shawn Cunningham's putback early in the fourth.
"We found the right combination,'' said Herbert. "That's what kind of got us the win. We were small, but that group seemed to click. That's why we went so long with them until one or two of them were gassed and needed to come out.''
Senior swingman Wade Martin hit back-to-back 3-pointers to pull the Big Blacks within nine points (45-36) with 3:48 left in the game. SC, though, relied on its cushion and a few fouls shots to maintain distance.
A.D. Cunningham was the only player in double figures for SC with 22 points. Black Eagles sophomore guard Brandon Knapper, who was averaging 21.0 points, only had nine.
"We won ugly,'' said Herbert, whose team hasn't lost since a 72-71 setback in overtime at Capital on Jan. 9. "Defensively you've got to say we played pretty good, but offensively we missed shots. It was just pitiful ugly.
"That's why you've got practice days and try to work on things and get ready for [Woodrow Wilson in the Mountain State Athletic Conference championship game].
"I'll tell you what, if we go out there on Saturday night against Woodrow and play a game close to how we played out here [Wednesday] we'll get our doors blown off. You can mark that down.''
Martin netted 23 points behind five 3s for Point (12-8).
Here's a look at Wednesday's earlier games:
Wyoming East 69, Morgantown 59: Seniors Austin Canada and Christian Hedinger scored 24 points apiece to pace the Class AA Warriors over the Class AAA Mohigans.