RED JACKET, W.Va. — It was a bit scary — for awhile — but the end result was still as expected as the Chapmanville Regional High School girls’ basketball team defeated county rival Logan, 43-29, on Tuesday night in the Class AA Region 4 Section 2 semifinals on Miner Mountain at the Mingo Central High School gym.
Chapmanville improved to 16-6 on the season and advanced to play in Friday night’s sectional championship game against Mingo Central (17-6), which defeated Lincoln County, 58-42, in Tuesday night’s other sectional semifinal at Chapmanville.
CRHS and Mingo Central are set to meet on Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Logan’s Willie Akers Arena.
Logan, which lost three times this season to CRHS, saw its disappointing season come to a halt at 7-15. Logan had beaten Scott, 70-35, in Saturday night’s sectional opener.
For the Lady Tigers, it’s about the big picture.
Not only did Chapmanville advance to the sectional finals, it also advanced to the upcoming Class AA regional co-championship game as well.
Regardless of Friday night’s outcome, the Lady Tigers will have a shot at making it to the state tournament.
Chapmanville and Mingo Central have split in two meetings this season with the Miners winning 52-51 at home and falling 60-49 at CRHS.
Game 3 will be the all important rubber match.
The winner will host a regional tournament game on its home floor — something Chapmanville Regional has never done. The loser will have to go on the road, possibly at Class AA No. 2-ranked Winfield.
“Hopefully we will be ready on Friday,” CRHS first-year coach Johnny Williamson said. “We want to win on Friday because as far as I know Chapmanville’s girls have never hosted a regional game. That would be a first time and that would be great for the school and program.”
In Chapmanville’s last state tournament year in 2011 the Lady Tigers had to go to Sissonville and beat the Indians on their home court in order to punch a ticket to the state tournament in Charleston.
All of this, however, was in question on Tuesday night as the underdog Logan Lady Cats built a 10-point lead in the second quarter.
Chapmanville was then able to overcome a sluggish start as Kara Browning drilled a pair of back-to-back 3-pointers, giving the Lady Tigers energy and putting CRHS back into the game.
The Lady Tigers were able to rally to take a 23-18 halftime lead. Chapmanville led 28-23 after three as the game was still close but CRHS ended up finally putting stubborn Logan away in the fourth quarter.
Browning led the way for Chapmanville with a 19-point game. Freshman point guard Olivia Dalton had nine, Kaylee Blair eight, Madison Webb six and Graci Brumfield one.
Holly Toler, Logan’s 6-foot center, had 10 points. Beth Adkins hit a trio of 3-pointers for nine points, while Ally Sipple had eight and Jazmyne Early two.
It was the final prep contest for Logan seniors Adkins and Britney Welch, who did not score.
For Chapmanville, it was a tough slog.
“All year long this team has really fought hard,” Williamson said. “We’re young but we don’t give up. A couple years in a row this team has been the one or two seed but has lost. That was in the back of their minds and they didn’t want this to happen again, so we were a little nervous to start with. We missed some shots but they started to fall and we got some momentum. But it was a good win. It’s hard to play somebody three times. (Logan coach Kevin) Gertz does a good job scouting and he knows what you are going to do.”
Williamson said the Lady Tigers have come from behind all season long.
“That’s kind of been the story that we’ve been all year,” he said.
Logan jumped on top 7-2 early as Sipple hit an NBA-range 24-foot 3-pointer.
It was 9-4 Logan after one and the Lady Cats built its lead at 14-4 — the largest of the night — as Toler scored from inside the paint following an Adkins 3.
Chapmanville then rallied.
Webb netted a 15-footer and then Browning hit two 3s in a row, cutting Logan’s lead to 15-12 with 3:48 left until halftime.
Browning’s layup then tied it at 15 and Dalton put Chapmanville up for good with 18-foot jumper from the corner to make it 17-15 with 1:47 left.
Webb added another hoop and Browning scored on a steal and layup with 30 seconds to go, putting CRHS up 21-15 and finishing off a 17-1 run.
Adkins answered with a 3 and Webb sank a 17-foot baseline jumper at the buzzer as the Lady Tigers led 23-18 at the half.
Logan didn’t go away, however.
It was 28-23 after three but Chapmanville went on a 7-0 run to take a 35-23 lead with 5:07 left in the game. Blair finished off the run with a pair of free throws. Browning began the run as she canned her third trey of the night.
The Lady Cats got within reaach at 35-28 with 2:39 after a Sipple 3, but Chapmanville was able to finish off Logan in the final two minutes.
Webb’s basket with 2:03 left made it 37-28. Blair added a free throw and Dalton hit two more with 52.9 ticks to go as the lead swelled to 40-29.
Browning then netted two free throws with 34.2 seconds left after Sipple was whistled for an intentional foul.
Brumfield put the final touches on the win as she split a pair of foul shots with 32.2 left.
Paul Adkins is the Sports Editor of the Logan Banner. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @PAdkinsBanner.