Wins have been hard to come by for Herbert Hoover in recent weeks, so the Huskies probably didn't care how unusual Friday's victory looked.
Hoover went scoreless for more than six minutes to start the fourth quarter, but was never in any real trouble as it registered a 52-34 Senior Night victory against visiting Cardinal Conference rival Poca. It marked the sixth straight loss for the Dots (10-10).
Senior guard Charlton Gandee dropped in 23 points to pace the Huskies (11-9) in scoring, and 6-foot-6 junior Cody Morris grabbed 11 rebounds as Hoover held a 27-15 edge off the glass.
"We haven't been shooting the ball very well,'' Gandee said, "and we shot the ball well tonight. That was our first home game in about a month, and it was an all-around better effort.''
The Huskies shot 62 percent for the game, but they had to endure a bizarre start to the fourth quarter to protect their lead.
Hoover held Poca to 1-of-10 shooting in the third quarter to take a 42-26 lead, and opted to run clock with a weaving offense to start the final period. However, the first six possessions resulted in turnovers and the Huskies didn't attempt a single field goal or free throw until just 1:54 remained in the game.
Poca didn't manage to cut into that disadvantage much, though. It made just 1-of-6 shots and two free throws with one turnover and only came as close as 42-32 on a Clinton Parsons drive at the 2:56 mark.
Joey Forbes ended the dry spell for Hoover with a layup and a 44-32 lead with 1:54 left, and the Huskies iced it by sinking 8-of-11 free throws in the last 1:10.
"That's two good, full basketball games back-to-back at both ends,'' said Hoover coach Jeff Gandee, father of Charlton Gandee. The Huskies also won at Point Pleasant Tuesday and again looked like the team that began the season 7-2 and jumped into the Class AA state rankings.
"A lot of things are finally starting to come together that we've struggled with all year. We showed good patience on offense tonight, and that was the big thing. We had a 16-point lead going in [to the fourth quarter] and were running some time off the clock, but we weren't doing what we wanted to do on offense. They got careless, for lack of a better word. Of course, [Poca] stepped up their defensive pressure - they had to - and we gave two of our starters breaks. We were able to weather that storm and went back to an offensive set.''
The first half was close and well-played, with 12 lead changes and each team shooting better than 50 percent. Hoover led 27-24 at the break.