If you are a big Logan High School basketball fan and you can’t make the nearly four-hour long trek to Clay County (Ky.) for Friday night’s game don’t worry.
You can watch it on TV.
That is, if you have Suddenlink.
Logan (1-0), fresh off Tuesday night’s season-opening 64-40 win over Mingo Central at the Williamson Fieldhouse, is scheduled to take on Perry Central (Ky.) in the second game of the Bobby Keith Classic at Clay County High School in Manchester, Ky.
In an extremely rare event, Logan’s game will be broadcast live on Hazard TV station and CBS affiliate WYMT. The channel is available to Logan and Mingo county Suddenlink subscribers on channel 134.
It’s believed the last Logan basketball game to air on TV was the 2010 Class AAA state championship game, when the Cats defeated Wheeling Park 64-48 to win the crown. That game was broadcast by Network West Virginia and was also shown on Suddenlink.
New Logan coach Allan Hatcher said he’s excited to have a game air on TV to countless thousands of fans.
WYMT has a wide coverage range.
The channel is available to 20 counties all across eastern and southeastern Kentucky in the mountain region and also pops up to cable subscribers to many more counties in southwest Virginia, southwest West Virginia and in Claiborne County in northern Tennessee.
“This game is on WYMT back at Logan on the Hazard TV station and you don’t see many high school games on TV in our area that are local and regional but you are going to on Friday and Saturday nights,” Hatcher said.
WYMT is no stranger when it comes to local high school sports coverage for its eastern Kentucky schools.
The station hosts its own made-for-TV basketball tournament — the WYMT Mountain Classic — each January at Knott County High School in Hindman, Ky., and semifinal and championship round games are broadcast.
Other big district or regional basketball games are also sometimes broadcast live on WYMT giving eastern Kentucky athletes a wide range of exposure — something West Virginia prep sports fans and players do not get.
WYMT also has its popular “Sports Overtime” TV show, which was created back in the 1980s by Jay Crawford, now an ESPN Sportscenter anchor.
Hatcher said this weekend’s tourney will be a big event. Hatcher previously coached Perry Central before coming home to West Virginia in 2012 to coach at Chapmanville Regional High School.
“This is called the Bobby Keith Classic,” Hatcher said. “Bobby Keith is a legendary coach in eastern Kentucky. He’s a guy who coached Richie Farmer who went to Kentucky and won state championships. They have a shootout and Scott County Kentucky plays before us and they play Corbin. We play Perry Central and then on Saturday Clay County, the home school, plays Louisville Ballard.”
The four-game classic concludes on Saturday night. Lexington Lafayette takes on Wayne County at 5 p.m. in the other game.
Keith was voted into the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame in 2009. Keith led Clay County to a state championship in 1987 and runners-up positions in 1985 and 1988. His teams won 14 regional championships and no other coach has taken more teams to the Sweet 16.
Under Keith’s leadership, the team claimed 767 victories and only 124 losses.
“Bobby Keith is real real sick right now,” Hatcher said. “He’s going to try to make it to the tournament because it’s named after him. It’s a special tournament. I know Bobby Keith and coached against him in the state tournament in Kentucky. I just hope we can go up there and represent Logan real well.”
As for the game itself, the Wildcats will be challenged by Perry Central.
The Commodores, coached by Shannon Hoskins, are currently 2-1 on the season. Perry Central opened the season Dec. 4 with a 62-48 win at crosstown rival Hazard. The Commodores then lost 70-68 at Taylor County before winning 75-63 Dec. 8 at Johnson Central, the defending 15th Regional champions.
Perry Central is led by a trio of players in Noah Back, James Blair and Travis Dunn.
Back, a freshman guard, averages 16 points per game, while Blair, a senior guard, checks in at 15.7. Dunn, a senior guard, averages 15 points per contest.
Austin Hill and Matthew Turner both average 9.7 points per contest.
A longrange specialist, Back has sank 11 3-pointers in 24 attempts for 45.8 percent. Blair is 6-for-13 from 3-point land for 46.2 percent.
Turner (8.7), Hill (7.3) and Blair (7.0) are the Commodores’ leading rebounders.
Hatcher said Perry Central will be very tough to beat.
“Our schedule is tough. Perry Central has already played some games,” he said. “They do a lot of match up zone and things like that. They are a very seasoned basketball team. We’ve got to get better and have some basketball savvy. There’s some things that we have to work on.”
The Wildcats played well in their opener.
Logan’s 3-point shooting by Will Akers and Kyle Porter was particularly good. Akers canned four 3’s and had a game-high 16 points. Porter had 11.
Augustine Chukwu-Noe, a 6-foot-4 senior power forward, had 11 points and was strong on the boards.
“This team can be a lot better when we get some of the pieces to the puzzle as the season progresses and with our schedule,” Hatcher said. “It’s going to be very challenging and we’ve got some tough ones coming up.”
Logan did not have the services of 6-8 senior transfer Ben Eke, who is still trying to get eligible.
“We’ve got 11 or 12 guys and when we get one or two more guys in there who are not playing we’ll have some pretty good depth and good size,” Hatcher said.
Bobby Keith Classic
at Clay County High School, Manchester (Ky.)
Corbin vs. Scott County, 6 p.m.
Logan vs. Perry Central, 8 p.m.
Lexington Lafayette vs. Wayne County, 5 p.m.
Clay County vs. Louisville Ballard, 7 p.m.
(Paul Adkins is the Sports Editor of the Logan Banner. He can be reached at 304-752-6950 ext. 1730, by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @PAdkinsBanner).