But as it stands now, Logan will still be playing Chapmanville in a home-and-home series next season.
However, the longtime series with the Man Hillbillies has been discontinued.
Logan, which won the Class AAA state championship last season and went 25-3, had reportedly wanted out of the Chapmanville series. The Wildcats swept the Tigers in two meetings last season and have beaten Chapmanville 20 straight since the series was resumed in 2002.
In fact, Chapmanville has not beaten Logan since the late 1950s.
CRHS, however, wanted to keep the rivalry alive, citing high attendance numbers and gate receipts and fan enthusiam.
The Wildcats beat Chapmanville 96-91 in last year’s memorable clash at Logan’s Willie Akers Arena before a packed house of nearly 3,000. Logan rallied to win the game with a late flury of points in the final two minutes. The game, however, was marred by an on-court scuffle between Logan and Chapmanville players. Several players from each team were suspended for two games by the WVSSAC for leaving the bench area.
Then in the return game at Chapmanville, the Noah Cottrill-led Wildcats buried the Tigers 108-75. All 1,800 seats were sold at the CRHS gym and several people were turned away at the door with nowhere left to seat them.
The series had a lot of storylines.
The most intriguing one was Harts native and Logan junior player Paul Williamson going against Chapmanville first-year coach Harry Kirk, who had coached him at Harts Middle School.
Logan coach Mark Hatcher, who teaches at Chapmanville, said it would have been best to discontinue the series.
“It’s a very emotional game,” Hatcher said, while taking a break at his Runnin’ Wildcat Basketball Camp earlier this week. “There’s a lot of drama involved in that game. There was the fight last year and that’s two times in the last four or five years. It’s just one of those games, to be honest with you, that you don’t even know if it’s worth it. There’s been fighting and friends are going to be mad at friends. I don’t know if it’s worth it.”
Kirk, however, was enthusiastic about keeping the series with Logan alive and led the push.
“It is on,” Kirk said earlier with week during a break at the ‘Lil Tigers Basketball Camp. “It is on as we speak. We wanted to keep it going. I understand where Mark is coming from his point of view. He teaches at Chapmanville and it’s not ideal for him to be there as big of a rivalry that it is. That makes it kind of personally tough on him. I know that he tries to play as big a schedule as he can. I understand that but my take on it was how could you not play the game with the atmosphere that we had even up there? Then when they came down here we had people in the parking lot tailgating at 3 o’clock in the day like they would at a football game. Even our JV team had the opportunity to play in front of 1,000 people.”
With the excitement generated by last year’s two meetings Kirk said it only made sense to keep the series alive.
“How could you not play this game?” he said. “That’s what I tried to convince Mark about it. We had a couple of meetings and talked it out, so were on. We’re on for this winter.”
The Logan-Man basketball series, however, is dead.
The two teams had played a home-and-home series for years and years and usually opened up the hoop season against one another.
Logan, however, has dominated the series and since Man is now a Single-A school both schools felt killing the series was the best option at this point. The Hillbillies are instead scheduled to open the season on Dec. 14 at Riverview, a newly consolidated school formed from the old Iaeger and Big Creek high schools.
Logan clobbered Man twice last season by scores of 103-71 and 107-59.
“We both agreed not to play each other,” Hatcher said. “Things are different now when you are talking about seeding your sectional and seeding for the state tournament. The seedings for the sectional tournament goes on wins and losses and not necessarily who you play. You really have to watch that. I think more coaches are paying attention to this. With Man it was mutual. (Man) Coach (Harvey) Arms and I talked about it after the game last year and it was best right now. But if they would go back up to Double-A or we would go back down to Double-A and if we were just one class away I think you would have to re-enter the thoughts about bringing it back.”
Hatcher said his 2010-11 schedule is almost finalized.
“Almost,” he said. “We’ve still got a few things that we need to iron out and a few contracts that we need to get signed.”
For the first time in two years, the Wildcats will be heading back to South Carolina for a tournament.
Logan is slated to take part in a post-Christmas tourney in Spartanburg, S.C. – the Upward Classic. Two years ago, Logan played in the Chick-fil-A Classic in Columbia, S.C. In last year’s Upward Classic, teams from South Carolina, North Carolina, Kentucky, Georgia, Tennessee and Florida took park.
“We’re going to a tournament again in South Carolina,” Hatcher said. “It’s called the Upward Classic. It will be played in the week after Christmas. It’s going to be played in Spartansburg. The high school that is hosting it is Dorman High School. They have some really good teams that are going down there. It’s a newer tournament. It’s only been going on for two or three years but we were invited.”
Also back on Logan’s schedule is the third-annual King Coal Classic at Willie Akers Arena.
Last year, Logan won the tourney with wins over Princeton (Md.) and Pinewood Prep (S.C.).
“We’ve got the King Coal Classic for the third year,” Hatcher said. “These games are not set yet but it’s looking like Huntington Prep is going to come. We’re trying to get Mountain State Academy to come, too.”
Logan is also slated to play in Scott High School’s tourney for the second straight year. Last year, Logan destroyed Class AAA sectional rival Lincoln County, 123-59, in the Scott tourney.
“We’re also playing in the tournament again at Scott early in the season,” Hatcher said. “We’re going to play Brooke Point, Virginia in that.”
In addition, Hatcher said Logan is playing 3A rival Capital in the Hoops Classic at the Charleston Civic Center in a rematch of last year’s state tourney semifinal game. Logan will also play the Cougars a second time during the season.
Logan will also play again at Beckley’s Big Atlantic Classic and have home-and-homes with Winfield and Wheeling Park again. Logan beat Wheeling Park 63-48 in last year’s 3A state championship game to claim the school’s first Triple-A state crown since 1991.
Also on Logan’s schedule are games against 3A sectional foes Cabell Midland and Huntington, a game with 3A Parkersburg and a late season meeting against George Washington at the Charleston Civic Center.
Hatcher said Logan is also trying to schedule a home-and-home series with Kentucky state power Scott County.
Logan played Scott County two years ago in a preseason game at the Fast Lanes Tipoff Classic at Sheldon Clark High School in Inez, Ky. Last year, Logan played eventual 2010 Kentucky state champion Shelby Valley in the preseason game at Sheldon Clark.
The Wildcats return many players from last year’s state title team along with all-stater Williamson.
Deyonta Coleman is also back, along with several role players, including Stevie Browning, 6-7 Gary Miller and 6-5 transfer Alex Webb from Wyoming East.