Logan falls to Miners, 73-59


By Kyle Lovern - [email protected]



Logan High School first-year head coach Zach Green talks to his team during a timeout in Tuesday’s loss at Mingo Central.


The Wildcats’ Jamal Minter (5) goes in for a shot in the lane.


RED JACKET, W.Va. – It was the first trip for a Logan Wildcats basketball team to Miner Mountain on Tuesday night.

The schools had rarely played in Mingo Central’s first six years, but the Wildcats dropped back down to Class AA this season and also joined the Cardinal Conference, so it won’t be the last trip to the MCHS gym for Logan.

Mingo Central didn’t make it a welcome party as they defeated their holiday visitors 73-59 to improve to 3-0 on the season.

Miners’ junior Jeremy Dillon led the way for his team with a triple-double. The 6-foot-5 guard scored 24 points, dished out 13 assists and pulled down 10 rebounds. The talented Dillon also had three steals.

Logan actually led after the first quarter. They forced nine early turnovers on Mingo Central and led 17-15 at the end of the first eight minutes of play.

Logan was up 15-10, but a 3-pointer by Dillon and a layup by 6th man Aaron Banks tied the game at 15-all. The Wildcats got a dunk by T.J. Mullins and took the two-point lead.

“We wanted to mix it up a little bit on them. We knew with Braxton Goff being out we were going to be a little challenged offensively and defensively,” first-year Logan Coach Zach Green said.

Goff, a senior, has a broken foot and will be out until sometime in January.

“We wanted to throw a little bit of junk at them to try to keep them guessing,” Green said. “We made some really good adjustments. We let them get a run-out at the end of the second quarter and we thought that was a momentum changer.”

Hatfield said even though many of his players have not had that many practices because of the extended football season for Mingo Central, his squad can’t use that excuse much longer.

“We are 2 ½ weeks behind, but like I told the guys, we have to win while we are in the process,” Miners’ coach Kevin Hatfield said after the game. “We had 18 turnovers, but we still put up 73 points. We have to cut down on that.”

Added Green, “They went on a run. This is the third straight game where we have went cold and it cost us the game. We think that is because Braxton is not in there to help create offense. We count on him to get to the basket or the foul line. We’re missing that right now.”

Mingo Central went on a little run early in the second quarter as Dillon swished in a 3-pointer and had two nice passes to Aaron Banks and Canaan Fletcher for easy baskets to give his team a 26-19 run.

But Logan kept clawing back thanks to the long distance shooting of senior Will Akers. Akers, the grandson of legendary Wildcat Coach Willie Akers, fired in a trio of 3-pointers in the first half. Freshman David Early led Logan with 11 first half points, while Dino Noe also scored nine points and Mullins chipped in seven.

But junior Josh Reed came off the bench scored a layup at the buzzer to give the Miners a 37-36 lead heading into the dressing room at the half.

Dillon scored 13 first half points for MCHS, while Banks had eight and Fletcher six in the first two quarters.

Early in the third quarter the Miners started to take control. Fletcher, a southpaw, had a couple of nice goals under the basket, senior Keshean Rhodes fired in a 3-pointer and Dillon sank a pair of free throws to give their team a 46-39 lead.

Freshman Drew Hatfield, who had been quiet offensively all night, swished in a long 3-pointer, which helped Mingo Central go on an 11-0 run to increase their lead at 51-39.

Akers swished in a trey for Logan to stop the bleeding, but the home team led 56-45 heading into the final quarter. But Mingo Central outscored Logan 19-9 in the third period.

The Miners outscored Logan 17-14 in the fourth quarter to hold on to the win.

Mingo Central shot better than 55 percent from the floor, despite missing some easy putbacks and having those 18 turnovers.

“We really struggled against Bridgeport last Saturday to get any offense going,” Coach Hatfield said. “But I thought we ran out offense better tonight. I thought we did a great job of passing the ball and a good job at hitting the open man. Jeremy played great.”

Hatfield said he made some adjustments against the Wildcats defense and his squad responded.

“We have guys that can handle the ball. Jeremy and Drew can’t be the only ones to handle the basketball all the time,” Hatfield said. “Keshean does a good job – but all of these guys can take care of the ball.”

Hatfield praised the play of Banks.

“He gives us a boost every time he comes off the bench,” the Miners’ coach said of Banks. “That is one reason we are bringing him off the bench. He gives us a spark every time we need one.”

After Dillon’s 24 points, Mingo Central had four other players in double figures. Fletcher and Hatfield each scored 13, Banks had 11 and Rhodes 10 for the Miners. Fletcher and Banks also pulled down eight rebounds each. Reed had two points, but it was an important basket. Daniel Buchanan, a 6-foot-7 senior center, didn’t score, but pulled down some key rebounds and had a couple of big blocks in the second half.

The Miners were 21-for-25 at the free throw line, while Logan was just 12-for-22.

Akers led Logan with 21 points including six 3-pointers. Noe finished with 14, while Early had 11, before fouling out midway through the final quarter. Mullins finished with seven points and Jamal Minter added six.

Mingo Central (3-0) will play host to Lincoln County on Friday night and then host Class AA power Poca on Thursday, December 29.

Logan, now 2-3, will host Poca on Friday night, and then won’t play again until January 3, when they host Wayne.

——-

Cardinal Conference

Boys’ Basketball Standings

SOUTH DIVISION

Team Conf. All

Mingo Central 2-0 3-0

Logan 2-1 2-3

Chapmanville 1-0 2-1

Wayne 0-0 2-2

Scott 0-3 0-5

—-

NORTH DIVISION

Team Conf. All

Poca 1-0 3-0

Sissonville 1-0 1-1

Nitro 0-1 3-1

Winfield 0-1 1-2

Herbert Hoover 0-1 0-2

——-

2016-17 Logan High School

Boys’ Basketball Schedule (2-3, 2-1):

Dec. 9: *Scott, W 79-42

Dec. 13: *Herbert Hoover, W 72-47

Dec. 15: at Wyoming East, L 64-68

Dec. 17: vs. Robert C. Byrd (at Cardinal Conference/Big 10 Challenge), L 58-66

Dec. 20: *at Mingo Central, L 59-73

Dec. 23: *Poca, 7:30 p.m.

Jan. 3: *Wayne, 7:30 p.m.

Jan. 6: *at Scott, 7:30 p.m.

Jan. 11: at Westside, 7:30 p.m.

Jan. 13: *Nitro, 7:30 p.m.

Jan. 20: *Chapmanville, 7:30 p.m.

Jan. 24: Man, 7:30 p.m.

Jan. 27: Wyoming East (Coalfield Shootout), 7:30 p.m.

Jan. 28: Westside (Coalfield Shootout), 7:30 p.m.

Jan. 31: *at Sissonville, 7:30 p.m.

Feb. 4: at Man, 7:30 p.m.

Feb. 6: vs. Bridgeport (at Charleston Civic Center), TBA

Feb. 7: *at Wayne, 7:30 p.m.

Feb. 10: *at Chapmanville, 7:30 p.m.

Feb. 17: *at Winfield, 7:30 p.m.

Feb. 20: *Mingo Central, 7:30 p.m.

Feb. 21: at Huntington, 7:30 p.m.

* Cardinal Conference game

(Kyle Lovern is the Managing Editor for the Civitas Media Mountain District including the Williamson Daily News and Logan Banner. He can be contacted at [email protected] or at 304-235-4242, ext. 2277 or on Twitter @KyleLovern.)

Logan High School first-year head coach Zach Green talks to his team during a timeout in Tuesday’s loss at Mingo Central.
http://loganbanner.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/web1_Green-timeout-CMYK.jpgLogan High School first-year head coach Zach Green talks to his team during a timeout in Tuesday’s loss at Mingo Central.

The Wildcats’ Jamal Minter (5) goes in for a shot in the lane.
http://loganbanner.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/web1_Minter-shot-CMYK.jpgThe Wildcats’ Jamal Minter (5) goes in for a shot in the lane.

By Kyle Lovern

[email protected]

(Kyle Lovern is the Managing Editor for the Civitas Media Mountain District including the Williamson Daily News and Logan Banner. He can be contacted at [email protected] or at 304-235-4242, ext. 2277 or on Twitter @KyleLovern.)

(Kyle Lovern is the Managing Editor for the Civitas Media Mountain District including the Williamson Daily News and Logan Banner. He can be contacted at [email protected] or at 304-235-4242, ext. 2277 or on Twitter @KyleLovern.)

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