HUNTINGTON — Numerous turnovers early on in the Logan High School basketball team’s game Tuesday at Huntington set a bad tone.
The Wildcats got off to a slow start and never recovered as Logan lost 68-43 to Huntington, the No. 1-ranked Class AAA team in the state and the defending state champions, at Huntington High School’s Lucas-Archer Memorial Gymnasium.
Huntington, a 3A sectional rival of Logan, stayed undefeated and improved to 6-0 with the win. Logan, led by first-year coach Allan Hatcher, dropped to 3-4.
The Highlanders forced six Logan turnovers in the first quarter and turned several of those into easy transition buckets.
Huntington led 18-4 after one quarter and never looked back.
The Highlanders jumped out to a 15-1 lead and Logan wasn’t able to score a field goal until 26 seconds were left in the period as Kyle Porter hit on a 3-point attempt.
The ballgame was more or less over by then.
Logan also had no answer for Huntington’s high-scoring guard Tavian Dunn-Martin, who tallied 23 points for the game. Dunn-Martin, who is headed to play Division I ball next season at Akron of the Mid-American Conference, netted back-to-back 3-point shots from NBA range to put the Highlanders on top 25-4 with 6:17 left until hafltime.
Dunn-Martin had 19 points at halftime and outscored the entire Logan team by two as the Highlanders went into the locker room with a a commanding 40-17 lead.
Huntington’s lead swelled to as many as 31 points in the second half.
Dunn-Martin connected on another 3 to start the third quarter as the Highlanders led 43-17.
It was later 57-26 after a Jalen Pennington 3-ball with 30 seconds to go in the third quarter.
Huntington led 59-28 after three and emptied its bench. Dunn-Martin didn’t play at all in the fourth period.
Pennington finished with 14 points for Huntington. JR Howard and Mikal Dawson tallied nine each and Dajon Congleton had eight. Dawson also pulled down 10 rebounds and had four steals. Howard had seven boards and four assists.
Augustine Chukwu-Noe had 11 points to lead Logan. Braxton Goff had nine, Samuel Justice six, Khalil Murphy five and Will Akers, Porter and TJ Mullins had three each. Jamal Minter had two and Levi Davis one. Chukwu-Noe finished with a double-double with 12 points.
Logan turned the ball over 19 times and shot just 34 percent from the field.
“It was very disappointing and very embarrassing,” Coach Hatcher said after the game. “We just got an ole’ butt-kicking. We got out of the game in the first quarter. It’s hard when you get down 15-1 right off the bat. There’s no excuses. They are a better basketball team. They toyed with us and they are the number one ranked team in the state. Hopefully we’ll get an opportunity to play them again.”
The Wildcats are scheduled to get back into action with a pair of home games this weekend. Logan hosts Princeton on Friday and Point Pleasant on Saturday.
Both games have 7:30 p.m. tip times.
Princeton comes into the game with a 5-1 record. The Tigers won 45-39 over Oak Hill on Dec. 22 at home. Princeton also has a quality win over Bluefield in a 60-45 victory over the Beavers on Dec. 15 at home.
After the two home games, Logan hits the road for away contests at Winfield on Jan. 12, at Wheeling Park on Jan. 15 and at Brooke on Jan. 16.
Logan then hosts Johnson Central (Ky.) on Jan. 21 and Westside on Jan. 23 before hosting Wyoming East on Jan. 29 and Mountain Mission (Va.) on Jan. 30 in Logan’s King Coal Classic.
Mountain Mission, a prep school located in Grundy, Va., will most likely be the toughest team Logan will face all season.
The Challengers have already played 21 games so far this season and have a 16-5 record. One of the losses was back on Nov. 17 to national powerhouse Oak Hill Academy (Va.) in a 72-56 setback.
Mountain Mission, probably the tallest team LHS has ever faced, features: Florent Thamba (6-9); Jakub Mijakowski (6-7); Dmytro Zmor (6-8); Maciej Bender (6-11); Jethro Tshisumpa (6-10); and Oscar Tshiewbe (6-8).
The Challengers also have 6-3 point guard Szymon Walczak, who hails from Poland.
Mountain Mission is ranked 105th overall in the nation and No. 4 in Virginia according to MaxPreps.
Huntington also won Tuesday night’s JV game easily over Logan, 57-34.
(Paul Adkins is the Sports Editor of the Logan Banner. He can be reached at 304-752-6950 ext. 1730, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @PAdkinsBanner).