Sometimes change is good.
Whether it will be good or not, the upcoming 2020-21 high school basketball season will certainly be different for the Logan High School Lady Cats and every team across the state of West Virginia.
The WVSSAC’s new four-class format will take effect next season and there were several moves. The pilot system will last two seasons through the 2021-22 roundball campaign.
Logan will be moving up to Class AAA after spending the last four seasons in Class AA Region 4 Section 2.
Lady Cats’ basketball coach Kevin Gertz said he likes the idea of having four classes but scoffs at the notion of Logan being moved up.
The SSAC used a complicated system of determining its realignment criteria. In the past, it was solely based on student enrollment numbers.
“I do like the four-class system but I don’t like how it was set up,” Gertz said. “I don’t like being penalized for your school being in the county seat. That’s ridiculous. Chapmanville now has a couple more hundred (students) than us or close to it but they are in a classification behind us? That makes no sense. I think they all needed to be split up, don’t get me wrong. We need to have four classes in all sports but it ought to be based on your enrollment and that’s it. That’s the way that it’s always been.”
Logan will join a new Class AAA sectional with Scott, Lincoln County, Wayne and and Huntington St. Joe, a former Single-A state powerhouse in girls’ basketball, which is jumping up two classes.
St. Joe sported a 22-1 record in 2020 but did not get to finish the season as the girls’ state basketball tournament was suspended due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
St. Joe went 23-4 in 2019 and defeated Parkersburg Catholic, 71-46, to win the Class A state championship. The Irish won seven straight state titles in Class A from 2009-15, finished runner-up to Gilmer County in 2016, then reclaimed the state title in 2017. St. Joe was again the state runner-up in 2018.
“Huntington St. Joe will probably be the best team in the state again,” Gertz said.
The Lady Cats’ sectional will be tough, to say the least. Wayne and Lincoln County have both tasted success as well in recent years.
Lincoln County downed Logan in last year’s Class AA sectional final at Chapmanville.
“You’ve got to play who you’ve got to play,” Gertz said. “If we want to advance we’ll have to find a way to beat these teams. We can press and we can defend but we have to be able to do the little things right and have to be able to rebound but I don’t like how the section is set up. There are two other sections where their furthest trip is closer than what our farthest trip is in the sectional that we are in. I think we’ve been penalized a little bit to be honest with you.”
Opposite Logan in Class AAA Region 4 Section 1 and possible regional tournament opponents include Nitro, Point Pleasant, Ripley and Winfield.
Nitro, Winfield, Scott and Wayne are all members of the Cardinal Conference.
League foes Sissonville and Herbert Hoover are also moving up to Class AAA in basketball only. The Indians and the Huskies are in a 3A sectional with Midland Trail and Nicholas County.
Chapmanville and Poca, two other Cardinal Conference teams, are staying in Class AA.
Gertz said he’s putting the finishing touches on the Lady Cats’ 2020-21 schedule. Logan hopes to play in a Christmastime showcase in Tennessee but that’s currently in question due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.
“We might have to add three games,” Gertz said. “We aren’t sure what’s going to happen with this COVID-19. We are not sure if we will be allowed to go out-of-state or not. We are wanting to go play in a shootout in Tennessee over Christmas break but we’ll have to wait and see about that.”