The Man High School boys’ basketball team swept the season series with Class A sectional rival Greater Beckley Christian and improved to 10-3 with Tuesday night’s 71-65 home win over the Crusaders at the Man Memorial Fieldhouse.
The Hillbillies trailed GBC the whole way, 15-13 after one quarter, 32-27 at halftime and 47-41 after three.
Man then made its move in a see-saw fourth, eventually outscoring Greater Beckley 30-18 to seal the win.
Kenny Jo Adkins paced the Billies with a 27-point game. John Thomas Keffer was right behind with 26 points.
Erik Files and Jake Adkins contributed seven points apiece, while Gabby Brown pitched in four points.
The Billies, winners of six out of their last eight games, went 2-0 vs. Greater Beckley this season, also winning 75-71 on Dec. 18 on the road.
Man is back into action with Thursday night’s game at Williamson vs. Ambassador Christian Academy. Game time is set for 7:30 p.m. Man then hosts Tug Valley on Feb. 5 in a rematch of the 87-74 road loss to the Panthers on Jan. 19 at Naugatuck.
Wesley Christian (Ky.) 41,
The Logan Wildcats made a game of it and played very hard on Tuesday night at home against a very good prep school in Wesley Christian (Ky.).
Logan, however, just couldn’t overcome Wesley as the Wildcats lost 41-36 at Willie Akers Arena, dropping to 5-8 on the season.
Wesley Christian played in its 34th game this season and improved to 26-8.
Logan trailed 12-3 after one quarter, 25-13 at the half and 31-19 after three.
The Wildcats then rallied in the fourth period.
Logan trailed 36-21, then embarked on a 15-2 run to close the gap to 38-36.
Ben Kazee, Logan’s 6-foot-8 senior center, fueled the comeback with a 3-pointer to trim the deficit to 38-34 with a minute and a half to go.
Braxton Goff then made it a 38-36 ballgame with 50 seconds left as he sank a pair of free throws.
Wesley Christian’s Malik McDonald then split from the free throw line and then hit two more foul shots in the closing seconds to ice the win.
Logan’s Will Akers started the run with a 3-pointer, pulling the Cats to within 36-26. He also drained a 3 in the first quarter.
Goff led Logan with 12 points.
Wesley Christian, maybe the tallest team Logan has ever faced, was led by a balanced scoring attack. The team had 7-2 sophomore Azubuike Nwankwo, 6-10 Christian Lorng, 6-6 Milos Milosovic, 6-5 Ganiyu Yahaha and 6-7 Mohamad Elsheikha leading the way.
“I’m proud of the effort that they had in the second half,” Logan first-year coach Allan Hatcher said about his team. “But we continue to have problems blocking people off the boards. Against this kind of team with this size you had better put a body on people. We had problems scoring but against that kind of size in a 2-3 zone you are going to have problems scoring. You have to get to the free throw line and when we went to the free throw line we didn’t shoot a very good percentage but the kids played awfully hard all the way to the end.”
Logan is scheduled to return to action with this weekend’s King Coal Classic at Willie Akers Arena. The Cats face Wyoming East on Thursday at 8:30 p.m. and Mountain Mission (Va.) on Saturday at 8:30.
(Paul Adkins is the Sports Editor of the Logan Banner. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @PAdkinsBanner).