Wildcats hope to turn the corner this weekend

By Paul Adkins Sports Editor

January 10, 2014

It’s a big weekend for the Logan High School boys’ basketball team.

The Wildcats (3-3) hope to notch a pair of wins on Friday and Saturday and look to move their record to 5-3 as the 2014 portion of the 2013-14 roundball season gets under way.

Logan plays a old Class AA rival Westside on Friday night at Clear Fork, then returns to host Point Pleasant on Saturday at 8 p.m. in the annual King Coal Classic at Logan’s Willie Akers Arena.

The Wildcats are hoping to rebound from last year’s 8-17 season.

“I think that we’re playing pretty well,” Logan coach Mark Hatcher said. “We’ve been in every game so far. At halftime against GW we were only down by one. We’ve been in every game and we’ve had a chance to win every game and that’s a pretty positive thing.”

Hatcher’s Wildcats have not yet had any games called off due to the weather but have played sporadically.

That’s about to change.

“Now, we’re going to be getting into a grind where we are going to be playing three or four games a week. The kids are pretty excited about it to get the season really going,” Hatcher said.

Logan’s King Coal Classic is scheduled to get started on Saturday with the Logan freshman boys taking on South Charleston at 2 p.m.

Then at 4 p.m., the Fairmont State University women’s basketball team is slated to take on Concord.

The 6 p.m. contest pits girls’ basketball county rivals Chapmanville Regional (5-3) against host Logan (5-3).

The Lady Cats, last year’s Class AAA state runner-ups, are coming off last Saturday afternoon’s 59-44 win at home over state power Morgantown.

Then at 8 p.m. in the lidlifter, the host Logan boys are set to face off with fellow Triple-A team Point Pleasant.

The Big Blacks enter the contest 4-3. Point Pleasant most recently won 67-48 at St. Albans.

Some of the proceedes from the King Coal Classic will benefit the Ronald McDonald House. Some of the proceeds will also help Logan sophomore guard Skyler Miller, who was scheduled to undergo additional chemotherapy this week. Miller was diagnosed with leukemia last spring and has been a warrior and inspiration to the Logan basketball team and the entire community with his fight.

In last week’s 69-27 win at home over Nitro, Miller came off the bench to score six points for the Wildcats. It was likely his last game of the season.

Hatcher said Miller has been very brave in combating the disease.

“It was an emotional win the other night. He’s a great athlete,” Hatcher said of Miller. “He started back in August with the conditioning and the weight program and it took him a couple of months to get his strength and endurance up some. He’s only a sophomore and he has a good future in basketball. He’s a very gutsy kid and he’s a leader on the team. He always has been and that’s the kind of kid that he is. The kids have really responded to him since he started working out in August. He’s been a big addition to the team.”

Hatcher said it would have been nice to have Miller on court for the entire season as well as he has been playing.

“Oh yeah,” Hatcher said. “He’s played real well. He’s going to keep getting stronger and stronger. He’s going to have a hard time a bit with this and it’s going to knock him back some but we expect him to be back next season and be back 100 percent and ready to go.”

Hatcher said Miller’s No. 40 jersey will be tucked away and will waiting for him for the 2014-15 basketball season.

“We’ll have his jersey ready for him,” he said.