A near capacity crowd turned out to watch the No. 2-ranked Wildcats bounce back to beat No. 13 Poca 66-51.
Logan’s coaching staff was worried how the Cats would respond to Tuesday’s 69-66 loss at home to Class AA sectional rival Tolsia.
Logan responded well as the Wildcats improved to 6-1 overall and 3-0 in the Cardinal Conference. LHS sits atop the league in first pace.
The Dots, led by freshman phenom Noah Cottrill, were tough to beat.
Logan didn’t pull away from Poca until the final four minutes of the ballgame.
It was a quality win by the Wildcats over a quality opponent. It was, indeed, a good atmosphere for a high school basketball game.
“Poca’s a very good team. We’re happy with this win,” Logan coach Mark Hatcher said. “We had to see how we were going to come back from that loss. I thought that we did a good job with that. We came out and played a little bit more relaxed in the second half and took care of the ball. I was really happy of the way we took care of the ball and worked in the second half. I’m real proud of the guys. They have done a real good job in accepting their roles. We’re 6-1 and 3-0 in the conference and we’re real happy with that. I’m just so proud of all of them and I’m proud of all the fans who turned out. The crowd was great.”
For most of the night, Friday’s contest was a battle between Cottrill and Logan’s 5-10 sophomore guard Brett Sorrell. Cottrill paced Poca with 20 points and sank four 3-pointers. Sorrell led Logan with 24 points, including five makes from 3-point land.
Since Sorrell and Cottrill are so young the two will be battling it out against each other for two more years.
“That’s going to be a great matchup in the next couple of years,” Hatcher said. “Noah’s a very special player. I just have a lot of respect for the kid. I think they played really well. They did some things that hurt us. I think that they are going to have a great team in the next three or four years.”
Logan also got good games from 6-2 sophomore guard Brantz O’Briant and 6-7 sophomore center Jonathan Bevins. O’Briant had 13 points, while Bevins neared a triple-double with 12 points, 22 rebounds and seven blocked shots.
“I think that was probably the best game that Brantz has played,” Hatcher said. “He took care of the ball well and played good defense. He had six or seven rebounds, too, in the second half. I was real happy for him because he needed a good offensive game, too. “He (Jonathan) struggled a little bit early but he had 12 points, 22 rebounds and seven blocked shots. He’s just a sophomore and he’s still got a lot of work to do. He had a chance tonight to knock down a couple more shots early.”
Logan seemed to use its depth to wear down the thinner Dots down the stretch.
“I think that helped some but we didn’t use as much bench tonight. We used mostly guards because they had a small lineup,” Hatcher said.
The Cats also got nine points from Jacob Long and four each from Billy Tomblin and Greg Adams.
Logan was 17-of-21 from the free throw line.
Josh Jenkins contributed 10 points for Poca. Seth Martin added nine, Matt Orcutt eight, Josh Null three and Ryan Strain one.
Poca led 20-17 after one quarter but a 16-11 second by Logan pushed the Wildcats on top 33-31 at halftime. Both teams netted 12 points in the third period as Logan led 45-43. The Wildcats then turned it up in the fourth quarter by dominating Poca 21-8 to set the final score.
Trailing by two after three quarters, Poca went on a 4-0 run to begin the fourth. Cottrill’s old-fashioned three-point play made it 47-45 Poca.
It would be the Dots’ final lead of the evening.
With 7:11 to go in the game, Sorrell hit a 3-pointer to put Logan on top for good, 48-47.
The Logan lead increased to 56-49 with 3:52 left after a layup by Tomblin.
Then at 3:07 Bevins powered his way into the lane for two and it was 58-49 Logan, forcing Poca coach Allen Osborne to call timeout.
It was too late, though.
Logan put the game away with a reverse putback by Bevins under the hoop at 2:27 to make it 62-51. O’Briant added two free throws and Tomblin added a lay-in to put the final nails in Poca’s coffin.
Logan had started the game out with an 8-4 lead after back-to-back treys by Sorrell.
But then Poca outscored Logan 14-6 over the next four and a half minutes to take an 18-14 lead. Two 3s in a row by Cottrill and a Martin 3 fueled the rally. Logan regained the lead at 28-27 with 2:32 to go until the break on a layup by Sorrell.
Sorrell’s trifecta from the corner with six seconds left gave the Cats the 33-31 halftime advantage.
The game then see-sawed in the early minutes of the third quarter. But Logan was able to go on a mini-run to go ahead 45-39 with 2:52 showing on the clock. Sorrell’s three-point play gave Logan the six-point margin.
Logan was then able to put the game away in the final eight minutes.
LHS was scheduled to play at No. 1-ranked Wyoming East on Saturday night. No score or statistics were available as of presstime last night. Look for results and coverage of the game in Monday’s sports. This week, plays Tuesday at Class AA sectional and Cardinal Conference rival Wayne. On Friday, Logan plays a league game at Winfield.
LHS returns to Willie Akers Arena on Jan. 22 with a contest against Westside.