It was a heartbreaking loss Friday night for the Logan High School basketball team, which traveled to the Kentucky Bluegrass and fell 55-54 to Perry Central (Ky.) in the Bobby Keith Classic at Clay County High School in Manchester, Ky.
Logan (1-1) trailed all the way after three quarters of play but took five leads of one point each in the fourth quarter.
The Wildcats were up 54-53 with 29 seconds left after Braxton Goff sank a pair of free throws.
It proved to be the last lead of the night, however, for Logan as Perry Central (3-1) was able to put the game away in crunch time.
The Commodores won it with four seconds left as Travis Dunn scored on a putback off the glass in the lane after a missed 3-pointer by Austin Hill from the corner.
Logan called time out immediately with four seconds left even though the time continued to click off the clock down to zeroes.
The four seconds were added back to the clock but Logan had to inbound the ball from underneath the Perry Central basket and go the length of the court.
The Cats got the ball to point guard Levi Davis at midcourt but his cross-court pass to Kahlil Murphy sailed out of bounds and time expired.
Goff and Davis co-led Logan with 16 points apiece. Murphy also broke into double digits in scoring with 10 points. Will Akers tossed in six points as did Augustine Chukwu-Noe.
Matt Turner led Perry Central with a game-high 18 points with 12 of those points coming in the first half. James Blair had 11, Dunn 10, Hill eight, Noah Back six and Jacob Wollum two.
In an extremely rare event, the game was broadcast live on WYMT TV-57 of Hazard, Ky., and was available to southern West Virginia Suddenlink subscribers on Channel 134. WYMT is also available to 20 eastern Kentucky counties and also a handful of counties in southwest Virginia and northern Tennessee.
The last Logan game to air on broadcast TV was the Class AAA state championship game in 2010.
Logan coach Allan Hatcher was also coaching against his former Perry Central team. Hatcher coached Perry Central and led the Commodores to the Sweet Sixteen state tourney in Kentucky before coming to Chapmanville Regional High School in 2012.
Hatcher said it was a tough loss for his Wildcats.
“We gutted it out but it would have been a great one to win,” Hatcher said after the game. “They (Perry Central) have played four games but they didn’t shoot a free throw the entire game. They live by the 3 and they can shoot it. The biggest thing for us is that our kids showed some fight in them. That’s just the way that it works out sometime. I’m proud of them because we hung in there. We got down nine or 10 right off the bat. We knew that they were going to be good because they went up against the No. 5-ranked team in Kentucky the other night and only lost by two points.”
Hatcher said Dunn was able to get the putback and get an open look at the basket because Logan did not box him out on the rebound.
“You have to block out. I didn’t think that would beat us,” Hatcher said. “I thought that they were going to make a 3 or make an open jump shot to beat us. I didn’t think a second shot would beat us. Second shots beat you sometimes because people watch the ball instead of putting a body on the man.”
The Wildcats trailed 41-40 after three quarters and kept chipping away at Perry Central’s lead which reached as many as nine points in the first half.
A 3-pointer by Logan put the Cats up for the first time at 43-41 and later, a Davis layup with 6:30 left gave Logan a 45-44 lead.
Back’s 3 and Turner’s 10-foot jumper gave the Commodores a 49-45 lead with 4:19 left.
Logan then answered with Goff’s 3 and a pair of Murphy free throws to regain the lead at 50-49 with 2:54 to go.
The lead then see-sawed back and forth.
Goff put the Cats back on top 52-51 with 1:42 to go.
The Commodores then went back up 53-52 with 40 ticks left before the end-of-the-game heroics.
Perry Central began the game with a 15-6 lead and held a 17-11 edge after one quarter of play.
Both teams scored 13 points in the second quarter as PCHS led 30-24.
Murphy then gave Logan a jump-start in the third quarter by throwing down a one-handed slam dunk, inching the Wildcats to within 33-28.
An old-fashioned three-point play by Goff and an Akers 3 from behind the arc, pulled Logan to within 41-38.
Then it was Davis, who scored on a wrap-around layup with 1:08 remaining as Logan trailed 41-40 after three.
The two-day classic is named after legendary former Clay County High School basketball coach Bobby Keith, who finished his prep coaching career with a record of 767-125, including a state championship.
The Wildcats are scheduled to return to action with Tuesday night’s game at Class AA No. 8-ranked Westside. Logan then hosts Cabell Midland on Dec. 19 in its home opener.
Both games have 7:30 p.m. tip times.
WVSWA Preseason poll
The Associated Press high school boys basketball poll with first-place votes in parentheses and total points:
Team Record Pts Prv
1. Huntington (8) 0-0 98 —
2. Woodrow Wilson 0-0 75 —
3. South Charleston (2) 0-0 69 —
4. Parkersburg South 0-0 66 —
5. Martinsburg 0-0 52 —
6. Morgantown 0-0 36 —
7. Capital 0-0 29 —
8. Wheeling Park 0-0 28 —
9. Greenbrier East 0-0 23 —
10. George Washington 0-0 21 —
Others receiving votes: Hurricane 16, Musselman 9, Ripley 8, Parkersburg 7, Logan 6, Jefferson 5, Riverside 1, University 1.
1. Poca (10) 0-0 100 —
2. Fairmont Senior 0-0 86 —
3. Bridgeport 0-0 75 —
4. Bluefield 0-0 60 —
5. Robert C. Byrd 0-0 48 —
6. Lincoln 0-0 47 —
7. Ravenswood 0-0 35 —
8. Westside 0-0 33 —
9. Mingo Central 0-0 18 —
10. Chapmanville 0-0 15 —
Others receiving votes: Wyoming East 10, Scott 10, Sissonville 7, Tolsia 3, Summers County 2, Grafton 1.
1. Wheeling Central (4) 0-0 92 —
2. Magnolia (5) 0-0 90 —
3. Notre Dame (1) 0-0 79 —
4. Tug Valley 0-0 67 —
5. Williamstown 0-0 46 —
6. Bishop Donahue 0-0 38 —
7. Charleston Catholic 0-0 32 —
8. Saint Joseph Central 0-0 22 —
9. Tucker County 0-0 19 —
10. Gilmer County 0-0 18 —
Others receiving votes: Greater Beckley Christian 15, St. Marys 8, Fayetteville 6, Cameron 6, Parkersburg Catholic 5, Pendleton County 3, Paden City 2, Madonna 1, Valley Fayette 1.
(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).