Host Logan, 9-3 and ranked No. 8 in the state in Class AAA, is scheduled to play Pinewood Prep (S.C.) on Friday at 7:30 p.m. in the tourney opener. The Wildcats then take on in-state Class AAA team Robert C. Byrd on Saturday at 6 p.m.
Logan, coming off an 85-76 overtime loss at Class AA No. 3 Tug Valley on Tuesday night at Naugatuck, has played Pinewood Prep twice before, losing to the South Carolinians 64-55 a few years ago in the Chick-fil-A Classic in Columbia, S.C., and then coming back to score an 81-69 win in the King Coal Classic during Logan’s 2009-10 state championship season.
Five games are scheduled for Saturday in the Logan tourney beginning at noon with the Pinewood Prep vs. Capital game.
Then at 2 p.m., Huntington Prep takes on Flora MacDonald (N.C.) before a 4 p.m. WVIAC college game between Fairmont State and Bluefield State.
After the Logan-RCB game at 6, the Logan High School girls’ basketball team closes out the day’s action with an 8 p.m. contest against Westside.
Logan coach Mark Hatcher said he’s impressed with the King Coal Classic field and is looking forward to hosting the event. There will also be a very special guest with a scheduled appearance by Logan native and “America’s Got Talent” winner Landau Eugene Murphy Jr.
“It is a great field,” Hatcher said. “We’re going to have a lot of give-aways and also Landau Eugene Murphy Jr. is going to be there to sing some songs. We’re going to make it a great day and hopefully we can play some good basketball both nights but we want to treat our basketball fans to some good things and this is one way to do it. We’re real excited about it.”
Logan’s opponent on Friday, Pinewood Prep, comes into the King Coal Classic with a 12-5 record. The Panthers, which are based in Summerville, S.C., are currently ranked by maxpreps.com as the 46th-best team in the Palmetto State.
Pinewood Prep has won seven straight games, most recently winning 98-55 over Hilton Head Prep (S.C.) last Friday night. The Panthers got off to a rough start to the season with a 5-5 record, losing three straight games to Upper Room Christian, Fla. (73-65), Potomac Bullis, Md. (81-52) and Don Bosco Prep, N.J. (54-49).
Pinewood Prep went 22-12 last season and won the South Carolina independent schools state championship five years in a row from 2006-10.
Class AAA No. 11 Robert C. Byrd has a 9-3 record and is set to play at Winfield on Friday before taking on the Wildcats on Saturday night in the KCC.
The RCB Eagles are led by 5-foot-10 senior guard Robert Secret, who averages 13.2 points per game. Secret is 31-for-90 from 3-point land this season.
The Eagles also have 6-1 junior guard Iziah Hill, who averages 11.9 points per contest and is a threat from 3-point range having netted 14 treys on the season. Hill also leads the Eagles in rebounding at 4.3 a game.
Freshman Devonti Birch, a 6-1 forward, averages 9.3 points a game, while 5-10 freshman guard Cameron Carvelli checks in at 6.3 points per game.
Hatcher said Pinewood Prep and Robert C. Byrd are both very good.
“Pinewood Prep is loaded. They are very good and they are very solid,” he said. “It’s going to be a tough game for us. We’re going to have to try and find a way to get back into the win column. On Saturday, we play Robert C. Byrd. They’re a northern team and they have a winning record. They have a really good shooter, Secret. He really can play. They were in the state tournament last year and they have a lot of guys back. We’ve got our hands full with two really tough games coming up.”
Logan is also pleased to host a college game between Fairmont State and Bluefield State. LHS recently installed shot clocks in the field house to accommodate the college game and are putting down the college 3-point arc, which is 20 feet 9 inches as opposed to the 19 feet 9 inches at the high school level.
“We’ve got the shot clocks in and the college stripes should be going down,” Hatcher said.
Fairmont State comes into Saturday night’s game 6-10 overall and 4-8 in the WVIAC. Bluefield State is 1-15, 0-12 and last place in the WVIAC.
Logan High School’s Stevie Browning, a 6-3 guard and the team’s leading scorer, has signed to play at Fairmont State.
Capital, coached by Carl Clark, comes into Saturday’s King Coal Classic with an 8-6 record.
Huntington Prep, coached by Rob Fulford, is 14-1. The Express are led by 6-7 Andrew Wiggins, who averages 25 points a game. Javontae Hawkins (17.5 ppg.), Evan Payne (16.3), Xavier Rathan-Mayes (14.0), Elijah Macon (11.3) and 6-7 Negus Webster-Chan (11.0) are other top Huntington Prep players. Hawkins stands 6-5, while Macon is 6-8.
The Express also have on their roster 7-2, 320-pound Tanveer Bhullar and 6-10 Stefan Jankovic.
Huntington Prep beat Northland (Ohio), 71-62, earlier in the season on the road. Logan played at Northland this season and lost to the Vikings 73-49.
Flora MacDonald, nicknamed the Cougars, are 8-3 heading into the King Coal Classic and are rated 36th overall in the Tar Heel State. The school is located in Red Springs, N.C.
The Logan High School girls, coached by Kevin Gertz, are 5-10. The Lady Cats are scheduled to play at county rival Chapmanville Regional tonight before taking on Westside on Saturday night in the KCC. Westside is undefeated at 13-0. The Renegades are set to play at Man tonight before heading to Logan.
The Logan boys are led by Browning and 6-4 sophomore point guard Da’jon Streeter.
Browning netted 34 points in the loss at Tug Valley on Tuesday night and averages 24.8 points per game.
Streeter averages 16.8 points a game, while Keaton Johnson checks in at 10.2. Johnson has made a team-best 22 3-pointers on the season. Browning has 19 and Streeter 17.
Officials at the King Coal Classic will also be accepting donations for the Ronald McDonald House of Huntington and the Wounded Warrior Project.
“We’ll be accepting donations all day long and on Friday night,” Hatcher said. “We’ve got two great charities that we’re going to be splitting up with the donations. Last year, we raised $1,000 for each. Richard Ojeda will be there and will accept for the Wounded Warrior Project.”
For the first time in four years, Princeton Day Academy (Md.), located in suburban Washington D.C., will not take part in the King Coal Classic. The school went 2-1 against Logan in three years.