Logan falls short in state title game
by Paul Adkins
CHARLESTON — The Logan High School girls’ basketball team’s Cinderella run in the state tournament ended on Saturday night as the unranked Lady Cats lost 58-34 to No. 6 Parkersburg South in the Class AAA state championship game at the Charleston Civic Center.
Third-seeded Parkersburg South (20-7), which advanced to the finals after knocking off Morgantown in Friday’s state semifinals, never trailed Logan, which closed out at 17-10.
Logan, the fifth seed, had advanced to the state title game with wins over Princeton (77-66) and top seeded Spring Valley (52-49).
The Lady Cats, though, fell short against the Patriots, which were led by Keya Bartlett, a sophomore guard, who poured in a game-high 26 points and connected on seven 3-point shots which tied a state tournament record. Her 14 made 3-point shots for the entire tournament ended up breaking the state record.
South led 14-10 after one quarter, 24-16 at the half and then opened it up in the third by outscoring the Lady Cats 20-11 to take a 44-27 advantage.
Bartlett did most of the damage as she drilled six of her 3-point shots in the second half, including three at the end of the third quarter.
A 10-0 Parkersburg South run to start the fourth quarter made it 54-27 and all but put Logan away.
The Lady Cats could not find any offensive rhythm and were frustrated by South’s quick guards.
Logan also could not shake off an ice-cold shooting performance. The Lady Cats were just 13-for-49 from the field for 26.5 percent. The Patriots were a bit better as South was 21-for-59 from the floor for 35.6 percent.
Logan’s one-two punch of sophomore Shayna Gore and freshman Monica Mitchell were held to 12 and 11 points respectively.
Senior Hannah Tothe, the hero of the Lady Cats’ win over Spring Valley, was limited to nine points.
The Lady Cats were only 2-for-13 from 3-point territory and turned the ball over 21 times.
Katelyn Byrd added 11 points for Parkersburg South.
Despite the loss, Logan coach Kevin Gertz said he was proud of his team for making it this far. Just three seasons ago, prior to Gertz’s arrival as the Lady Cats’ coach, Logan struggled to a 4-17 season.
Logan girls’ basketball has arrived and is now on the map.
They now have some hardware to take back to the school — a Class AAA state runner-up trophy — a first for the girls’ program.
Before this year, Logan had never even won a game at the state tournament in the history of the program.
That has now changed.
“Hats off to Parkersburg South,” a gracious Coach Gertz said after the game. “They were by far the better team today. But I wouldn’t trade my kids for any team in the state. They played very hard but were tight the entire game. But I’m so proud of them because they played hard until the very end. I know they are upset and I know that they are crying but I want them to go into the locker room and look at the big trophy that we are taking back and to look at what they have achieved. I’ve said it all week, but we were 144th in the state in the Power Index three years ago. Now, we’re number two. Nobody will ever be able to take that away from them. I am so proud of these girls. It should be about them and not me.”
Gore, Mitchell and Tothe were named to the Class AAA all-tournament team. The Lady Cat trio joined: Bartlett and Taryn McCutcheon of Parkersburg South; Spring Valley’s Madison Morris and Sarah Kelly; and Morgantown’s Leah Taylor.
Logan also won the Spirit Award.
Morgantown won the School Sportsmanship Award.
Earlier in the day on Saturday, two girls’ state championships were crowned as Class A No. 1-ranked Huntington St. Joe routed St. Marys 73-32 in the Single-A final and Bridgeport knocked off Westside 44-27 in the 2A state title game.
Westside closed out the season 25-1, while Bridgeport finished 25-2.
Hope Lester and Faith Davis of Westside were named to the all-tournament team.
St. Joe dominated the Class A state tournament and closed out with a 25-1 record. St. Marys ended at 25-2.
— Look for full coverage of the Class AAA state girls’ basketball championship game, a state tourney recap and photos in Tuesday’s Logan Banner print edition and on the web at: www.loganbanner.com.
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