NITRO, W.Va. — Noah Luikart scored four points in the final ten seconds of the game as Poca rallied to defeat Nitro 62-59 in the Class AA, Region 4, Section 1 championship game.
Trailing 59-58 with 15 seconds left, Luikart rebounded a missed shot and the putback gave the Dots a one-point lead. As the Wildcats inbounded the ball, Bronson Skeens stole the pass and dished to Luikart for his second basket in a span of six seconds. Nitro was unable to attempt a shot the other way as the Dots capped a stirring second half comeback.
“Just like we planned,” said Poca head coach Allen Osborne.
Poca freshman Isaac McKneely scored a team-best 25 points for the Dots. Luikart scored a dozen and Skeens added eleven, Joel Sweat led the Wildcats with 25 points.
The game was tied at 14 after the first quarter. The Wildcats used a 9-0 run in the second frame to take an eleven point halftime lead, 34-23.
The Dots however closed the third quarter on a 17-3 run to take a 45-44 lead with eight minutes to play. Neither team led by more than two points in the fourth quarter until Poca’s final basket with six seconds remaining.
With the win, the Dots (18-6) earn the right to host Logan in the regional round on Wednesday. Nitro (16-8) will travel to face defending state champion Chapmanville. “Hopefully we can pull something off — pull another miracle off,” Osborne said.