For three years, Winfield had been an elusive team to beat for the Logan High School girls’ basketball team and head coach Kevin Gertz.
But not this time.
Not on this night.
The Lady Cats finally broke through the Winfield funk on Monday night as Logan routed the Generals 73-45 at Logan High School’s Willie Akers Arena.
Logan, just one week away from Class AAA sectional play, improved to 12-7 on the season with the win. Winfield had beaten the Lady Cats in a 57-55 heartbreaker earlier in the season at home.
There would be no drama this time as Logan had a superb inside/outside game and pounded on the Generals. The Lady Cats sank nine 3-pointers on the night and every one seemed to be like a dagger in Winfield’s hearts.
It was also the first win for Gertz against Winfield coach Tim Toler, a former Logan assistant and Chapmanville High School graduate. The Lady Cats bounced back from Saturday’s 66-62 loss at No. 1-ranked and unbeaten Greenbrier East.
“That’s four less 3-pointers than we made against Greenbrier East. We can shoot,” Gertz said. “That makes my first head coaching win against Timmy Toler. He was 5-0 as the girls’ coach at Winfield against us since I’ve been here.”
Logan was red hot from the field as the Lady Cats sank 29-for-43 shots for an amazing 67.4 percent. Winfield, which dropped to 10-11, was 16-for-40 for 40 percent. Behind the 3-point arc the Lady Cats were a sizzling 9-for-18 for 50 percent. The Generals were just 3-for-11.
“That was about as complete a game as we’ve played all year,” Gertz said. “We still made some silly mistakes but tonight we played a full game. We played three quarters against Chapmanville earlier in the season. Everything else we had played a half but tonight we played a good first, second, third and fourth.”
While Logan was raining down the 3s, freshman center Monica Mitchell was dominating the game down low on the blocks as she finished with 24 points. She was 11-for-15 from the floor and also pulled down nine rebounds.
“She’s a freshman and she didn’t have a good game at Greenbrier East,” Gertz said. “That was her worst game of the year offensively. I’ve seen six or seven of the top teams of the state but I think she’s the most dominating center in the state.”
Mitchell stands nearly 6-2 and could grow even taller. Along with sophomore sensation Shayna Gore, that’s a good tandem the Lady Cats will have for two more years.
“I think she will grow some more,” Gertz said of Mitchell. “She’s real close to 6-2 and she wears a size 13 shoe and she’s just 14 years old.”
Gore finished with 18 points, hitting two 3-pointers, dishing out nine assists and grabbing five rebounds. Senior guard Hannah Tothe was 5-for-6 from 3-point territory and had 14 points. Kyra Cline drilled a pair of treys and had eight points.
“Our outside people played outstanding,” Gertz said. “They passed the ball well and handled their pressure well. They played some more junk defense on us with the box-and-one. I think they were a lot more ready for it this time. They played real well.”
Summer Collins added five points for Logan. Jenna Kimler and Katie Kirk had two each.
Winfield was led by Haylea Roberson’s 15 points. She was the only Lady Gen to reach double figures in scoring.
Logan was 8-for-12 from the free throw line. Winfield was 8-for-10. Gore was a perfect 6-of-6 from the charity stripe.
The Lady Cats jumped ahead of Winfield 17-6 after one quarter as Mitchell scored on an old-fashioned three-point play with 4.5 ticks to go.
Logan then caught fire in the second with a pair of 3-pointers by Cline from each of the corners and a topside trey by Gore as the Lady Cats led 26-9 with 5:37 left until halftime.
Winfield countered with a 10-3 run, closing the gap to 26-19 but that would be just about it for the Generals.
Tothe and Collins each canned 3-balls to push the lead back out to 32-21 with 2:05 to go.
Gore then netted a pair of foul shots and Mitchell scored on a putback as Logan led 36-21 at the half.
The Lady Cats then poured it on in the third quarter.
Gore netted a 3-pointer with 3:30 left to make it 44-27. She then scored on a spin move down in the lane to up the margin to 46-27.
With 1:27 left in the third, Mitchell fed Kimler on a nice low-post pass for an easy score as Logan led 51-30.
Another bucket by Mitchell made it 55-34 Logan after three.
Logan’s lead continued to swell in the fourth period.
A Mitchell glasser, a Tothe 3 and a 7-footer by Katie Kirk pushed the advantage to 63-37 with 5:56 left in the game.
Logan led by as many as 32 points late in the contest.
The Lady Cats are scheduled to return to action on Thursday night at home against county rival Chapmanville. Game time is set for 7 p.m. The contest will be part of a boys/girls varsity doubleheader with the Logan boys’ basketball team which is scheduled to face Tolsia at 8:30 p.m. in the nightcap. It will also be Senior Night for the Lady Cats. The LHS girls’ JV game with Chapmanville is set for 5 p.m.
On Friday night, the Lady Cats have a home makeup game with Westside, the defending Class AA state champions.
Logan beat Chapmanville 66-36 on Jan. 30 at CRHS. The Lady Tigers come into the game with an 11-9 record.
The Lady Cats lost 64-48 earlier in the season at Class AA state power Westside. The Renegades are 17-1 on the season and scored an improbable 91-point win last Friday night at Oak Hill by a 97-6 score.
The only loss this season by Westside was a 57-46 setback at University on Jan. 31.
Next week, Logan is set to begin play in the Class AAA sectional tourney. The Lady Cats have a 3-1 record this season against sectional foes with a win over Huntington, two victories against Lincoln County and a loss at home to Spring Valley. LHS did not play Cabell Midland.
Sectional seedings were slated to be finalized on Tuesday.
Logan Lady Cats (12-7)
2012-13 Girls’ Basketball Schedule
Nov. 27: at Man, W 61-40
Nov. 29: South Charleston, L 48-50
Dec. 5: at Westside, L 48-64
Dec. 13: at Huntington, W 56-55
Dec. 15: Capital, W 49-31
Dec. 18: Tolsia, W 51-41
Jan. 4: Morgantown, W 64-61
Jan. 9: at South Charleston, W 47-36
Jan. 12: at Winfield, L 55-57
Jan. 14: at Tolsia, W 52-47
Jan. 17: Lincoln County, W 70-52
Jan. 25: Greenbrier East, L 52-56
Jan. 28: Man, W 72-52
Jan. 30: at Chapmanville, W 66-36
Feb. 2: at Morgantown, L 46-66
Feb. 4: Westside, ppd.
Feb. 6: Spring Valley, L 49-76
Feb. 8: at Lincoln County, W 69-42
Feb. 9: at Greenbrier East, L 62-66
Feb. 11: Winfield, W 73-45
Feb. 14: Chapmanville, 7:00 p.m.
Feb. 15: Westside, 7:30 p.m.