LOGAN - For the first time in a decade the Logan High School basketball team will be heading out of state during the regular season.
The Wildcats are set to play in the Smoky Mountain Classic basketball tournament at Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, over Christmas break.
It's the same tournament Chapmanville Regional High School played in a couple of seasons ago.
Logan is coming off a successful 2018-19 season as the Wildcats were 20-5.
Logan, however, was upset 61-55 at Poca in the Class AA Region 4 co-final, a game in which the Dots kept the Cats from reaching the state tournament.
Logan's 2019-20 schedule is still not complete, Wildcats' head coach Zach Green said.
"It's not 100% complete. I think we have four games left to schedule," Green said. "Two of those will be King Coal and we're also working on a home-and-away right now. Our schedule has changed a little bit, though. We will not be traveling to Morgantown this year. Instead we'll be playing in the Smoky Mountain Classic over Christmas break."
Green said his team is excited to play in Tennessee.
"We wanted to do something a little bit different this year and we wanted to travel south this year instead of north into the iceberg that we've gone into the last couple of years at Morgantown and Philippi," Green said.
The last time Logan played in an out-of-state tournament was during the 2007-08 and 2008-09 seasons when former coach Mark Hatcher took them to the Chick-fil-A Classic in Columbia, South Carolina.
The Wildcats went 1-2 in each of those tournaments, beating a team from The Bahamas the first year, then downing a South Carolina squad the next season.
"We're excited about going to Tennessee," Green said. "We've sort of been planning to get out of state for the last year or so. We found a place that we thought that we could go and we know that it's going to be really competitive. It's a nice area and it will be good for our kids."
One other highlight to Logan's schedule is a trip to Beckley to take part in Woodrow Wilson High School's Battle of Armory.
"We are also going to be playing in the Battle of the Armory which is at Beckley. The teams are us, GW, Beckley and Shady Spring," Green said. "So we'll be in two big tournaments next year, in addition to the King Coal, that we are excited about this year."
Green said the field for this year's King Coal Classic tourney at Logan is still not set.
Last season, Logan beat Philip Barbour (79-39) and Class AAA ranked team George Washington (64-53) in the King Coal.
"On that Friday of the King Coal we already have a really good Single-A game between Tug Valley and Parkersburg Catholic," Green said. "On that Saturday we're going to have a couple of prep school games and our game. It will be similar to last year. We just haven't decided yet who we are going to play whether it be an in-state or out-of-state team."
Green said he likes playing a tough schedule.
"One thing that we believe is that if our guys are going to be ready for the post-season we are going to have to be able to beat those teams and playing against that tough competition helps to get us to where we want to be," he said.
Paul Adkins is the sports editor of the Logan Banner. Follow him on Twitter @PAdkinsBanner or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.