FALLING ROCK, W.Va. -- Herbert Hoover played a practically perfect first half Tuesday night, but it nearly wasn't enough.
The Huskies developed an untimely rash of turnovers against Scott's manic pressure defense in the second half, but managed to hold on for a 55-47 Cardinal Conference victory.
Cody Morris, a versatile 6-foot-6 senior, helped right Hoover's ship as it began to take on all sorts of water. He finished with 17 points, 10 rebounds, five assists and three blocked shots.
Aaron Burdette scored a dozen points for the Huskies (7-3, 3-2) and Joey Forbes nearly added another double-double (10 points, nine rebounds).
It was the third straight loss for the Skyhawks (8-3, 5-3), who started last week as the No. 1 team in Class AA, but have since dropped to No. 3.
"I'm proud of the effort our kids gave tonight,'' said Hoover coach Jeff Gandee. "We tell them everything else will fall into place if you have the effort.''
Everything was clicking for the Huskies at the outset. They built a 34-18 lead at halftime with impeccable basketball, shooting 71 percent (15 of 21), committing only two turnovers and two fouls and outrebounding Scott 12-10.
"We've been focusing on defense the last two practices before this game,'' said Scott coach Nick Cabell, "but we didn't play defense in the first half. We gave them way too much space and got nothing from the help side. They knocked down just about everything they put up.''
The lead even grew as high as 18 to start the third quarter as Hoover again hit its first two shots. But then it got dicey for the home side as the Skyhawks' relentless defense began to force mistake after mistake.
Hoover turned it over seven times in the third quarter and 11 more times in the fourth for a total of 20.
The Skyhawks shaved that deficit all the way back to a two-possession game at 49-43 on an Eric May jumper from the foul line with three minutes left and 51-45 on two May free throws with 1:25 to go. Scott stole another inbound pass right after that, but missed two good looks at the basket.