The resurgence of the Logan High School girls’ basketball program can be attributed to many factors.
The Lady Cats’ talented youth with sophomore all-star guard Shayna Gore and freshman center Monica Mitchell have been well documented.
Logan’s senior class have also played a big part in the Lady Cats’ success the last three seasons.
Those 12th-grade players were honored on Thursday night at Logan’s Willie Akers Arena as Logan defeated county rival Chapmanville 61-30 as part of a boys/girls doubleheader with the Logan High School boys’ team.
Lady Cats seniors Katie Kirk, Rachelle Toppings, Kelsey Kirk, Hannah Tothe, Jenna Kimler and Amanda Williamson played on the Logan floor the second-to-last time and helped Logan make it a sweep over the Lady Tigers. Manager Paige Hicks was also recognized during the pregame Senior Night festivities.
The Logan girls made it a memorable one as the Lady Cats improved to 13-7 on the season just days before the start of next week’s Class AAA sectional tournament at Huntington.
Logan jumped out to a 17-4 lead after one quarter and held a 34-14 advantage at the half. The Lady Cats never looked back, leading 42-19 after three and holding a 31-point margin at the buzzer.
Chapmanville, which lost 66-36 earlier in the season at home to Logan, dropped to 11-10.
Mitchell led Logan with 19 points and 13 rebounds. Gore had 14 points, while Summer Collins came off the bench to score 10 points. Cline tallied six off the bench on a pair of 3-pointers. Ashton Spry had three, Kelsey Kirk, Katie Kirk and Taylor Napier had two each and Kimler, Williamson and Hannah Adkins all had one each.
Logan coach Kevin Gertz started five of his seniors — the Kirk twins, Kimler, Tothe and Toppings.
The Lady Cats held Chapmanville leading scorer Kristin DesRocher without a point. Chapmanville starters Katelynn Hall and Hillary Hainer were also scoreless. The Lady Tigers got seven each from Jessica Rideout and Autumn Baisden. Savannah Wiley had six, Katelynn Manns and Autumn Blankenship had three each and Chelcie Pritchard and NeNe Osborne tossed in two each.
Gertz said his team played good defense in holding DesRocher without a bucket.
“That’s awfully good,” he said. “Kristin is a big-time player for them. Hall is a good player, too, but Kristin in my opinion is a legit college player. We boxed-and-oned her all night. We switched extremely well when they tried to screen for her. We made it tough on her all night. Our defense has really picked up here lately.”
Gertz said his seniors have been fantastic to work with.
“I’m so proud of my six seniors,” he said. “I couldn’t start all six but I started the five that have been here the longest. A few nights ago we went to Lincoln County and we started Amanda Williamson that night. I really feel bad because I knew that I was going to start her that night and I forgot to tell one her parents so they could go and see her start. I feel awful about that. I had so much on my mind that day and I forgot about it. But they got to walk out with her tonight and she scored which is very important.”
Chapmanville coach David Williamson said it was just tough to get going on the offensive end of the court.
“Kristin is one of the top players in Double-A. She put a lot of pressure on herself tonight,” Williamson said. “Did Hall score? That’s our two leading scorers. DesRocher averages 18 points a game and Hall averages 10 or 11 a game. There’s 29 points and we got beat by 30. But that was a good job by Kevin and Logan. Mitchell is very tough inside. We really wanted no part of her tonight. We just let her come across. I think that we’re too nice sometimes on the boards. Monica played a heck of a game.”
After a 4-4 tie, Logan soon took control.
A Lady Cat bucket and a three-point play by Mitchell made it 9-4. Cline later drilled a 3-pointer from the corner and Mitchell scored inside the paint to make it 17-4 Logan after one quarter.
In the second, Logan’s lead increased to 24-6 after a pair of Mitchell free throws, a Gore putback in the lane and another 3 by Cline.
The Lady Tigers cut it to 24-12 with a 6-0 run but Logan countered with an 8-2 run to push the lead to 32-14. Gore fueled the run with three buckets on drives to the rack.
Collins then gave Logan a 34-14 halftime lead with a coast-to-coast fast break layup with eight seconds remaining.
The Lady Cats then put the game away in the third as Gore canned a trey to make it 42-16 with 2:32 left in the stanza.
Logan led 42-19 in the third and outscored CRHS 19-11 in the fourth.
Chapmanville won the preceding JV girls’ game, 34-32 over Logan.
The Lady Cats were slated to close out the regular season with Friday night’s home makeup game against Class AA defending state champion Westside.
Logan is set to play Huntington next Wednesday at 8 p.m. in the Class AAA sectional semifinals at Huntington High School. The Lady Cats, which beat Huntington 56-55 earlier in the season on the road, are the No. 3 seed. Huntington is No. 2. Top-seeded Spring Valley is the tournament favorite.
Chapmanville was scheduled to close out the regular season with Saturday night’s Senior Night game against Sissonville. The Lady Tigers are slated to face Scott next Wednesday at 8 p.m. in the Class AA sectional semifinals at Logan. Chapmanville, which went 0-2 this season against the Lady Hawks in a pair of close losses, are seeded third while Scott is second.
Top seed Tolsia is the tournament favorite.
No. 4 seed Mingo Central takes on No. 5 seed Wayne on Monday night in the sectional play-in game at Logan.
Class AA defending state champion and No. 1-ranked Westside came to Logan on Friday night and defeated the homestanding Logan High School girls’ basketball team, 61-48, in a makeup game.
Logan closed out the regular season with a 13-8 record.
Westside, which scored a recent 91-point win at Oak Hill and then won 91-18 over Independence, finished the regular season 20-1.
The Renegades never trailed Logan and led 19-9 after one quarter, 29-23 at the half and 44-38 after three.
Kristen Hash led Westside’s balanced scoring attack with 15 points. Faith Davis had 14, while Danielle Brown and Hope Lester had 13 each.
Logan was led by the double-double performance of Monica Mitchell, who had 19 points and 12 rebounds. Shayna Gore also had 19 points, while senior Hannah Tothe had nine points — all coming on three 3-pointers. Jenna Kimler chipped in with one point.
Logan made a game of it in the second half.
A 3-pointer by Tothe tied it up 31-31 with 4:57 left.
Westside then went up 40-33 with a putback by Hash.
Mitchell kept the Lady Cats in it with an old fashioned three-point play and a pair of free throws as Logan trailed by six after three quarters.
Logan pulled to within 49-43 with 4:09 left as Mitchell split from the free throw line as Lester fouled out and kicked the chair on the end of the Westside bench.
The Renegades, however, began to pull away.
Gore fouled out with 2:05 remaining and Logan down 55-43.
The Lady Cats would not be able to make another run as Westside won over Logan in the finale.