CHARLESTON, W.Va. — With less than two weeks left in the regular season the Logan High School girls’ basketball team is still trying to figure things out.
The Lady Cats, at least, are now at full-go with the addition of 6-foot center Holly Toler, a Scott High School transfer, who was recently declared eligible.
Logan traveled to the Charleston Civic Center on Monday to take part in the annual Little General Shootout at the Big House, hoping to leave the Capitol City with a win over River View.
The Lady Cats were close — very close — but were handed a 41-39 loss by the Raiders as Logan dropped to 5-12 on the season.
It was the third straight close loss by Logan, which fell 52-42 at home to Chapamanville last Saturday and also lost at home to Wayne, 46-42, last week.
Monday’s game was close until the very end before River View (15-3) was able to pull it out.
Logan led 37-35 with 3:10 left in the game as Britney Welch completed an old-fashioned three-point play.
Tied at 37, Toler then put Logan ahead 39-37 with an inside-the-paint bucket with 2:34 left in the game.
The Raiders, however, tied it at 39 with 1:43 left after a pair of free throws by Kaitlyn Dobbs.
River View then went up for good with 53 ticks to go on a steal and layup by Kiersten Roberts.
Logan had a chance to tie it up but Welch missed two free throws with 41 seconds left.
Roberts then missed a front end of a one-and-one and rimmed out two more free throws with 20.6 ticks to go, keeping Logan in the game.
Logan got the ball back and called timeout with 14.5 seconds left. The Lady Cats inbounded the ball and tried to set up a game-tying shot but was never able to get any kind of shot off at all as the Raiders escaped an upset bid by Logan.
Welch led Logan with 13 points. Beth Adkins had eight, Toler six and Ally Sipple five. Alexis Perry, Kaileah Williams and Haleigh Hughes had two each. Jazmyne Early chipped in with one point.
Roberts paced River View with 19 points. Dobbs had 12.
Logan led 10-9 after one quarter before the game was knotted 19-all at halftime. Logan’s 10-6 edge in the third gave the Lady Cats a 29-25 lead. The Raiders then outscored Logan 16-10 in the fourth.
Roberts hit all three of the Raiders’ 3-point makes. Adkins had two 3s and Sipple one for LHS.
Logan was hampered by turnovers and quick ill-advised shots in the game. The Lady Cats were just 13-of-42 shooting for 31 percent for the game. LHS made 10-of-15 free throws for 66.7 percent.
“The third quarter was a bad quarter,” Logan coach Kevin Gertz said. “We have one of those every game. We’re not getting the ball where we need to get it. That’s my fault. We had some quick shots and we had very little patience. We’re finding ways to lose instead of finding ways to win.”
Logan jumped ahead 10-5 in the first quarter after a 3 by Sipple.
Adkins nailed a 3 in the second quarter to give Logan a 17-15 lead. Hughes then netted two free throws with 1:15 to go until halftime to give Logan a 19-17 cushion.
LHS led by as many as five points in the third quarter at 26-21 after two makes from the foul line by Toler with 5:54 to go.
Welch’s layup with 15 ticks remaining, gave the Lady Cats a 29-25 advantage after three.
Despite the loss, Gertz said he’s pleased with his team’s progress. Early on in the season, the Lady Cats were routinely getting torpedoed by 20 or more points.
“We’re playing so much better, though,” Gertz said. “We were out of so many games early in the season that it didn’t matter. Now we’re in games late. We lost this one but had a chance to win. We lost to Chapmanville and we had a chance to win and we lost to Wayne and had a chance to win. We’re tired of having a chance to win. We need to find ways to win and win them.”
Gertz said his team enjoyed playing at the Civic Center, the yearly home to the girls’ and boys’ state tournament.
“It’s exciting and different,” he said. “We shot well from 3-point. We shot 35 percent and that’s pretty good but we shot 31 percent from two and didn’t shoot well from the line.”
The Lady Cats have three games left in the regular season beginning with Thursday’s road game at Class AA No. 2-ranked Winfield (17-1).
Logan then hosts Mingo Central on Feb. 13 and hosts Class A Tolsia on Feb. 15 in the regular season finale.
The Class AA sectionls are set to begin on Feb. 18 with the 3/6 and 4/5 seeded games.
Gertz said the sectional voting has not yet been conducted by the coaches but expects his Logan team to get the No. 4 seed. That would probably mean a first-round matchup against possible No. 5 seed Scott at neutral floor Chapmanville. Logan has routed Scott twice this season by 49-6 and 55-26 scores.
Man (4-13) is the likely No. 6 seed.
Chapmanville (11-6), Mingo Central (13-5) and Lincoln County (11-6) are fighting it out for the one through three seeds.
The CRHS girls host Mingo on Wednesday in a key matchup with major sectional seeding ramifications. The Miners beat CRHS 52-51 earlier in the season at home.
“I think our sectional is pretty wide open,” Gertz said. “We have three teams going into today — Lincoln County, Chapmanville and Mingo Central — all are about even. All have beaten each other. It’s going to be very competitive. I think we’ve got a shot to win it too but we’ve got to play much better than we are playing. We’re getting better. We just keep going. We’ve got a week and a half to figure this thing out. I assume that we’ll be the four seed and we’ll probably play Scott in the sectionals at Chapmanville.”
Girls’ Basketball Standings
Team Conf. All
Wayne 8-3 12-6
Mingo Central 6-4 13-5
Chapmanville 6-5 11-6
Logan 3-8 5-12
Scott 1-11 8-11
Team Conf. All
Winfield 10-1 17-1
Sissonville 8-2 13-5
Poca 8-4 13-5
Nitro 4-7 10-9
Herbert Hoover 0-13 2-18
(Paul Adkins is the Sports Editor of the Logan Banner. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @PAdkinsBanner).