The Logan High School boys’ basketball team will definitely be challenged by the Challengers of Mountain Mission (Va.) during next weekend’s annual King Coal Classic tournament at Logan’s Willie Akers Arena.
Logan, currently 5-7 and on a three-game losing skid, is scheduled to open King Coal Classic play on Friday, Jan. 29 with an 8:30 p.m. contest against Wyoming East.
The Wildcats then play Mountain Mission on Saturday, Jan. 30 at 8:30 p.m. in the tournament finale.
Mountain Mission, a prep school located in Grundy, Va., will most likely be the toughest team Logan will face all season.
The Challengers, made up mostly of foreign players from across the globe, have already played 24 games so far this season and have a 18-6 record. One of the losses was back on Nov. 17 to famed 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).
Bender has already committed to play at West Virginia.
Tshisumpa, who is from The Congo and has committed to Arizona State, has been rated by ESPN as one of the top 100 players in the country.
The Challengers also have 6-3 point guard Szymon Walczak, who hails from Poland, and 6-6 forward Harold Baruti, who leads the team’s balanced scoring at 11.8 points per contest.
Bender averages 10.6 points and 7.0 rebounds a game.
With such a tall team, Mountain Mission averages 5.4 blocked shots per contest.
Mountain Mission is ranked 98th overall in the nation and No. 3 in Virginia according to MaxPreps.
The Challengers most recently played on Monday with a 58-49 win over Springboro (Ohio). Mountain Mission won 77-42 on Jan. 9 at Charlotte United Christian Academy (N.C.) and fell 57-41 on Jan. 8 at Concord First Assembly Academy (N.C.).
Mountain Mission is coached by Pawel Mrozik and assisted by Kamil Pietras, Jared Miller and Justin Dempsey, a former high school player at Chapmanville and Harts.
The King Coal Classic features seven games, beginning with the Jan. 29 contest between Chapmanville and Huntington St. Joe at 5:30 p.m. Ravenswood plays Tug Valley at 7 and Logan takes on Wyoming East in the nightcap.
Four games are then on tap for Jan. 30. The Logan Middle School boys play Ceredo-Kenova at 4, Ravenswood takes on Westside at 5:30 p.m., the Logan girls play Buchannon Upshur at 7 and then the Logan boys play the Challengers in the final game.
Logan is slated to return to action with Saturday night’s home game against Westside. That game is in serious doubt due to the predicted snowstorm which was to dump up to a foot of snow on Logan County.
Logan’s scheduled home game against Wesley Christian (Ky.) on Thursday night was cancelled.
King Coal Classic
At Logan High School
Willie Akers Arena
Friday, Jan. 29 games:
Huntington St. Joe vs. Chapmanville, 5:30 p.m.
Ravenswood vs. Tug Valley, 7 p.m.
Logan vs. Wyoming East, 8:30 p.m.
Saturday, Jan. 30 games:
Logan Middle School vs. Ceredo Kenova, 4 p.m.
Ravenswood vs Westside, 5:30 p.m.
Logan vs Buchannon Upshur (Girls), 7 p.m.
Logan vs Mountain Mission (Va.), 8:30 p.m.
(Paul Adkins is the Sports Editor of the Logan Banner. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @PAdkinsBanner).