LOGAN — There was no shortage of energy and excitement on Friday night at Willie Akers Arena.
Class AA No. 5 Logan and No. 3 Chapmanville renewed their cross-county rivalry, and this time it was the host Wildcats who emerged victorious by a final score of 48-39 in front of a packed house, avenging a 70-64 overtime loss to CRHS at Danny Godby Gym on Jan. 13.
Logan got out to a 4-0 lead to start the game, and the Tigers didn’t score until two foul shots by Zion Blevins at the 4:15 mark of the first quarter.
Chapmanville scored six more unanswered points to lead 8-4 with 2:13 left in the period, but a jumper from the Wildcats’ Scotty Browning with 24.2 seconds on the clock made it an 8-6 CRHS lead going into the next frame.
The Tigers led 13-8 early in the second after a Blevins jumper with 5:44 until the intermission. However, baskets from Ivan Miller and Browning brought the Cats to within 13-12 at the 4:06 mark of the second period.
The only scores from both teams the rest of the half were a trey from Chapmanville’s Sal Dean and a layup from Browning which he was fouled on and then made the free throw. The Tigers led 16-15 at halftime.
The visitors led 21-17 in the opening stages of the third stanza, but Logan came right back with a 4-0 run to deadlock things at 21-21 with 5:54 left in the third.
Chapmanville then held leads of 26-21 and 28-23 in the quarter, but a 5-0 run capped off by a hoop and harm score from McCormick Ilderton helped the Cats tie the game again at 28-28 with 1:07 remaining in the period.
A Blevins jumper pushed the Tigers back in front at 30-28 with 39 seconds on the clock, and that was the count heading into the final quarter.
The two clubs traded baskets back and forth on the way to a 35-35 tie with 2:15 left in the game.
However, the Wildcats came up big with clutch free throws down the stretch and rose to the occasion.
They went on an 8-0 run to lead 43-35 with 40.7 seconds left after a pair of foul shots from Aiden Slack, playing in his first game all season after returning from knee surgery, iced the game. Logan went on to win 48-39.
Scotty Browning led the Cats with 16 points, while Julius Clancy scored 13. Jarron Glick tacked on 6 points while Ilderton had five tallies. Miller and Derek Browning each had three points while Slack’s only two points were the two big free throws in the final minute.
For the Tigers, Blevins led the way with 19 points. Dean also scored in double figures with 15 tallies. Devon Workman and Benji Adkins each had two points, and Eli Smith had one point.
“It’s a good win,” Logan head coach Zach Green said afterward. “There aren’t many environments like we’re in front of tonight. Those are the atmospheres that you dream of playing in. I thought our guys were really good down the stretch of the game.”
Green talked about how good it was to have Slack on the court again, and the former also praised the Logan fanbase for the energy they brought on Friday.
The Cats head coach thinks this win is a confidence booster for his squad going forward.
“We’ve been playing with a lot of confidence,” Green said. “I think it continues to give our guys confidence. We’ve won three out of the last four. Our guys have a lot of confidence going into the last stretch of the season.”
Chapmanville head coach Brad Napier said that his team just didn’t play smart enough down the stretch.
“They played smarter than us and they executed better down the stretch,” Napier said. “Hats off to them. They outplayed us, and we couldn’t get out of our own way at times.”
Logan now sits at 11-9 after the win. Their next contest will be next Friday at Shady Spring (7:30 p.m.) while Chapmanville, who fell to 14-3 with the loss, will tipoff against Scott at 7 p.m. on Tuesday.