Lady Cats win on emotional night
Logan girls crush Winfield 88-57 ahead of sectional tourney
By Paul Adkins Sports Editor
It was a special night on Monday at Logan High School’s Willie Akers Arena.
Not only was it Senior Night for the Logan girls’ basketball team, the Lady Cats also looked back and honored its seniors players from last year — a group which led Logan to its historic run to the Class AAA state championship game.
The current Lady Cats didn’t disappoint either as the Logan girls torched the nets for 88 points and scorched the Winfield Lady Generals 88-57 in the regular season home finale.
Logan honored its only senior player, Hannah “Kolo” Kolovich, on what was playfully dubbed “Hannah Kolovich Night.”
Lady Cats’ coach Kevin Gertz grabbed the microphone before the game and thanked Kolovich for her service to the team and also recognized his seniors from last year’s team — Rachelle Toppings, Amanda Williamson, Katie Kirk, Kelsey Kirk, Jenna Kimler and Hannah Tothe.
Tothe, now an assistant coach with the Lady Cats, put her name in Logan High School basketball lore as she nailed a 3-pointer in the closing seconds of last year’s state tournament semifinals, lifting LHS to a memorable 52-49 victory over Spring Valley at the Charleston Civic Center.
A radio replay clip of Tothe’s shot was played over the P.A. system as the seniors from last year were recognized at midcourt before the game.
All were present except for Toppings, who was unable to attend. She is now a student at the University of Charleston and a member of UC’s women’s softball team.
The players received a memento from last year’s historic season as the girls were given framed jerseys.
It was not only an ode to the past to show just how far the Logan girls’ basketball program has come but also to look ahead to where the Lady Cats want to be.
Gertz reminded fans in attendance the Logan girls’ basketball team was last in the state in the MetroNews Power Index when he took over the program.
With last year’s accomplishments and this year’s potential it was a celebration of the Lady Cats’ program.
“Tonight was a special night,” Gertz said. “I asked Hannah Kolovich’s permission to recognize last year’s seniors. I told her that it was her night and I didn’t want to do anything to take away from her night. But what we did last year was so special and it may never been done again. Rachelle couldn’t be here tonight because of softball and college but it was very special to see these girls again tonight. They are still real close with all of the girls who are playing now.”
Gertz said his team is a tight-knit group.
“These kids have played together all their lives,” Gertz said. “They have played on the same team for the most part. They are all like sisters. It was important for the girls on this year’s team and Kolo. She grew up with them too. It was also important to me.”
The Lady Cats, ranked No. 10 in the state in this week’s Class AAA poll, had a relatively easy time with Winfield, which dropped to 8-11.
Logan jumped on top 19-12 after one quarter and led 36-24 at the half. The Lady Cats then poured it on in the second half, scoring 52 points and turning the game into a blowout.
LHS outscored Winfield 26-17 in the third to take a 62-41 lead. A 26-16 fourth by Logan then set the final score.
Logan, which hadn’t played a game in 13 days, led the Lady Generals by as many as 32 points.
Winfield is coached by Tim Toler, a Chapmanville High School graduate and former coach in the Logan area.
Summer Collins and Monica Mitchell both came off the bench to score 18 points to lead the Lady Cats.
Three other Logan players reached double digits in scoring as Shayna Gore had 16, Lexi Hines 14 and Kyra Cline 10.
Ashton Spry had four, Madi Trent three, Hannah Adkins two, Aarron Ward two and the senior Kolovich one.
Haylea Roberson led Winfield with 20 points. Kayley Rogers had 10.
Logan, just a week away from the Class AAA sectional tournament, swept the season series with the Lady Gens, also winning 74-60 earlier in the season at Winfield.
The Lady Cats jumped on top of Winfield, leading 9-4 after a Cline 3-pointer at the 4:56 mark of the first quarter.
It was later 15-6 Logan after a Gore layup.
Leading by seven after one, the Lady Cats expanded their lead to 28-18 at the 3:50 mark of the second quarter with Mitchell’s putback in the lane.
Hines then scored back-to-back layups to make it 34-20.
Logan held a 36-24 halftime lead and turned it up in the third quarter.
Back-to-back 3-balls by Collins pushed the lead to 52-38.
Two more buckets by Gore, a Collins hoop and two Collins free throws powered Logan to a 62-41 lead after three. Collins ended up scoring 12 points in the third stanza.
In the fourth, Logan blew the game wide open and coasted to victory.
“Our girls played super but we were very rusty in the first half,” Gertz said. “Some 3s fell for us in the second half.”
The Lady Cats were scheduled to return to action on Tuesday night against Class AAA No. 1 Huntington St. Joe in the Little General Stores Shootout at the Charleston Civic Center.
Logan then closes out the regular season on Wednesday night at Westside.
The Lady Cats are the No. 3 seed in their 3A sectional and are slated to play No. 2 seed Huntington on Feb. 26 at Huntington High School.
Spring Valley is the No. 1 seed and received a first-round bye. The finals are Feb. 28.
Gertz said he’s proud of his girls for having another successful season.
“I wouldn’t trade these girls for anyone,” Gertz said. “I feel that we have the best 10, 11 or 12. I think that we are that deep to play kids against anyone in the state. We have a lot of girls who can score and we have a lot of interchangeable parts. I think that we can play with anyone if these kids can stick together.”
Gertz said his team’s goal is to make it back to the state tourney.
“I need the kids to buy in and I think they have bought in,” he said. “I need everyone who supports them to buy in and not to tear this group apart because these kids have worked too hard for a common goal. This is a team game and we are going to try and win the state tournament as a team.”
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