Paul AdkinsSports Editor
March 1, 2013
ONA — The Logan High School boys’ basketball team teetered on the brink of elimiation on Wednesday night in the Class AAA Region 4 Section 2 tournament.
The Wildcats trailed Spring Valley by as many as 10 points but rallied back to score a thrilling 76-71 overtime victory over the Timberwolves at the Cabell Midland High School gym in Ona.
Logan, which improved to 8-15 overall and advanced to play in Friday night’s sectional championship game against No. 1 seed Huntington, never led Spring Valley in regulation.
The Cats, though, got strong performances from Z. Minnick and Zak Miller, who played sweet string music with the nets as the pair touched the nylon on several 3-pointers.
Minnick came off the bench to score 27 points, while Miller poured in 19 points.
A.J. Reynolds was also played a big part in Logan’s win as he netted 21 points and scored on a drive down the lane at the buzzer to tie it at 65 and force overtime. Spring Valley’s Greg Herbert had scored with 7.8 seconds left on a runner in the lane to give the Timberwolves their last lead at 65-63.
Then in the extra period, Miller and Minnick drilled back-to-back 3-pointers as Logan led 71-65.
It turned out to be the difference as Spring Valley (6-17) was only able to get to within four points the rest of the way.
Miller put the game away with two free throws with 18 seconds left to make it 74-68 Cats.
Reynolds added nine rebounds and five assists and also scored on a key three-point play prior to the Herbert drive with 1:30 left which tied it up at 63.
Spring Valley led 19-11 after one quarter, 31-28 at the half and 49-41 after three and never trailed in regulation. The T-Wolves were on fire in the first period, hitting nine out of its first 12 field goals.
Josh Steele led Spring Valley with 20 points and nine rebounds while Herbert added 18 points. Austin Keyser and Jacob Kilgore had 13 and 10 points respectively.
Logan began its rally in the second quarter.
Minnick fueled the comeback with back-to-back hoops and later a three-point play and a trey from downtown which sliced the Spring Valley lead to 29-28.
In the third, Steele gave Spring Valley a 40-30 lead and finished off a 9-0 run with a 3-pointer.
But Minnick helped Logan get back into the game as he canned two more 3-balls to make it 47-41.
Down eight after three, the Cats then completed their rally in the final eight minutes of the game.
Two more 3-pointers — one each by Minnick and Miller — cut the SVHS lead to 52-47.
Minnick and Miller then nailed down two more 3s as Logan cut it to 62-59 late in the fourth.
That’s when the senior Reynolds finished off the comeback with his three-point play and hoop at the horn to send the game into OT.
Logan also got seven points from 6-9 senior center T.J. Tomblin and two from senior C.J. Williams.
The Cats now play Huntington in Friday night’s sectional finals in a rematch of last year’s section title game which was won by the Wildcats 64-45.
The Highlanders advanced to the finals with Wednesday night’s 70-47 victory over the host Cabell Midland Knights.
Huntington was led by Chancelor Wooding, who connected on three 3-pointers in the first six minutes and finished with 17 points. Wooding added eight rebounds, three blocks and three steals.
Nick Tubbs added 13 points for the Highlanders (16-6).
Huntington beat homestanding Logan this season 77-49 in the only meeting between the two schools.
Regardless of the outcome, Coach Mark Hatcher’s Wildcats will advance to next week’s Class AAA regional tournament. A win in that game would put Logan back into the state tourney for the fourth straight year.
In Region 4, Section 1, Nitro and Hurricane are the survivors. Nitro toppled Winfield 63-60, while Hurricane downed Point Pleasant 78-61.
Nitro (11-12) is set to play at Hurricane (18-5) in Friday night’s sectional finals.
Logan would either host Nitro or Hurricane in next week’s regional finals or would travel to either one of the two schools if the Cats fall to Huntington. Logan lost to Hurricane 67-60 in the season opener at home.
Minnick’s 27 points was a career high.
The 76 points was also Logan’s high point total for the season.