CHAPMANVILLE, W.Va. — If you’re a high school basketball player or fan Friday night’s Logan at Chapmanville game is the type of game you live for.
The county rivals met one more time before a packed house at Chapmanville Regional High School’s Danny Godby Gymnasium in a game chock full of excitement and post-season-like tournament atmosphere.
Host Chapmanville, the Class AA’s No. 4-ranked team in the state, didn’t disappoint its fans as the Tigers won 73-62 over Logan to sweep the season series with the Wildcats. Chapmanville had beat Logan, 67-60, earlier in the season on the road, winning over the Cats for the first time in 60 years.
It was another exciting matchup in Game 2.
Excitement for the rematch had been brewing all week.
It came to a head on Friday afternoon as the game was sold out by 2 o’clock in the afternoon.
So if you didn’t have a ticket or a free pass on Friday night at the door you were turned away.
The official crowd was announced as 1,550 fans, which is believed to be a CRHS record. Around 1,400 actual tickets were sold with an additional few being allowed in with passes.
Every seat was taken and fans stood in all four corners of the hot and stuffy gym, craning necks to get a glimpse of the action on the court.
The game itself didn’t disappoint either.
After three quarters it was tied at 44.
Chapmanville, 16-4 overall and 10-1 in the Cardinal Conference, then went on an 8-0 run to start the fourth quarter and Logan (12-7, 7-4) was never really able to get back into it.
Drew Williamson led the Tigers in the game with 23 points. Hunter Neil tossed in 15 points, while Kyle Browning and Obinna Killen netted 10 each. Tyler Moore had eight and Dylan Smith seven. The 6-foot-7 Neil and 6-8 Killen both battled foul trouble and both fouled out in the fourth quarter.
Logan got 26 points from David Early. Dino Noe had 10, Will Akers and Braxton Goff pitched in eight each and Jamal Minter had five. T.J. Mullins had three and Terrance Chapman two off the bench.
Tigers’ coach Brad Napier said he was pleased with the win.
“We played hard tonight I think,” Napier said. “We got into a lot of foul trouble and so did Logan. It was a very physical game and a very defense-oriented game especially in the first half. We’re just real happy to come out with a win. I thought both teams played pretty hard. Our guys hung in there in the second half and were able to find a way to win.”
Killen gave Chapmanville some juice with a tip slam to begin the fourth quarter run, bringing a roar from the Tiger fans. Neil then had a putback, Smith added two free throws and Neil scored a bucket in the paint to make it 52-44 Tigers.
“They started the fourth quarter with a big dunk,” Logan first-year coach Zach Green said. “We turned the ball over a couple of times and that led to buckets. We talked about paying attention to detail. I’ve said it over and over about that and not taking care of the ball and leaving shooters open. Those things can’t happen if you want to win games. Early in the game we were really good about finding shooters and talking on defense. Late in the game we slacked off and let those guys get into a groove.”
Logan cut it to 52-47 with Early’s layup with 5:45 left in the game but Chapmanville later pushed the lead back to eight with a drive by Browning with 4:40 to go to make it 56-48.
Moore’s putback and a 3-pointer by Browning expanded the lead to 61-49 with 3:41 left.
Williamson and Smith then more or less put the game away with four straight free throws. Browning swished two more charity tosses with 28 ticks left to make it 69-59, sealing the victory for CRHS.
“We didn’t shoot the ball real well tonight,” Napier said. “But we found a way to win. Good teams find ways to win when the shots aren’t falling. Our guys did well on the offensive glass and that’s what won the game for us. Our depth I thought kind of showed in the fourth quarter. Hunter and Obinna were playing really good but got into foul trouble. Even when those guys went out there wasn’t much of a drop off. Tyler Moore came in and played some big minutes for us. Devin (Collins) came in and did a good job as well.”
The Tigers led 14-8 after one quarter. Chapmanville jumped ahead 10-3 early with a three-point play by Neil.
In the second, Logan outpointed the Tigers 18-12 to tied it up at 26 at halftime. Akers hit a big 3 for Logan during the period. Minter knotted it up at 26 with a pair of free throws with 1:10 to go.
The game see-sawed back and forth in the third quarter.
The Wildcats’ last lead was with 3:56 left after Goff’s two makes from the free throw line put LHS on top 37-36.
A layup by Williamson then put the Tigers back on top 16 seconds later.
Early tied it at 44 with 17 seconds to go after drilling an 18-foot jumper.
With the excitement generated by the two games with Logan, wouldn’t it be great to play an NBA-like seven-game series?
That wouldn’t be allowed by the WVSSAC, of course, but it’s a good thought. It would also help out in ticket sales. Logan and CRHS hadn’t meet since 2011 prior to this season.
“That would be great. We could make a ton of money,” Napier said, smiling. “That would be fun. It’s been a fun two games. Both teams have played really hard and the kids have competed. I think both teams have gotten better because of these games.”
Chapmanville is scheduled to return to action with Tuesday night’s road game at No. 3-ranked Mingo Central. The Miners (15-3, 9-1) beat Chapmanville 59-56 in double overtime on Feb. 4 in the previous meeting, snapping the Tigers’ nine-game winning streak.
CRHS then hosts struggling Wayne (4-15, 0-10) on Friday, Feb. 17 in the regular season finale.
Logan travels to Winfield (11-7, 6-4) next Friday, hosts Mingo Central on Feb. 20 and goes to Class AAA No. 1-ranked Huntington on Feb. 21 in a non-conference game and regular season closer.
With the win, the Tigers jumped ahead of Mingo Central by one half game in the Cardinal Conference South Division standings.
* The Chapmanville and Logan high school basketball teams and cheerleaders showed their support for CRHS student Wade Mullins during the game with special “Wade’s Warriors” T-shirts.
Mullins, a sophomore, is battling cancer.
Skyler Miller, a Logan High School student, LHS football player and cancer survivor himself, offered prayer for Mullins and addressed the crowd before the game.
Boys’ Basketball Standings
Team Conf. All
Chapmanville 10-1 16-4
Mingo Central 9-1 15-3
Logan 7-4 12-7
Scott 1-12 4-14
Wayne 0-10 4-15
Team Conf. All
Poca 7-4 13-5
Sissonville 7-5 12-6
Winfield 6-4 11-7
Nitro 6-6 12-7
Herbert Hoover 2-9 8-11
(Paul Adkins is the Sports Editor of the Logan Banner. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @PAdkinsBanner).