A turning point?
The Logan High School basketball team’s 57-47 win on Friday night in Logan’s King Coal Classic over old Class AA rival Wyoming East was the kind of win that could be a game-changer for the Wildcats.
Logan, under first-year coach Allan Hatcher, has been up and down this season, at times in a funk and other times trying to find an identity.
The Wildcats hope the win over East propels them to bigger and better things.
Logan survived and bounced back from a disastrous start against the Warriors and eventually turned the see-saw game in its favor before a nice Willie Akers Arena crowd.
The Wildcats, now 6-8 on the season, trailed the Warriors 11-1 in the the first quarter but were able to rally, taking a 27-25 lead at halftime.
The game swayed back and forth with several lead changes.
Logan outscored East 14-8 in the third to grab a 41-33 lead. The second half went Logan’s way as the Cats embarked on a 16-4 run. The Warriors answered with a 9-0 run late in the game to get back into it.
The Warriors (9-3) then went on a 16-8 run to pull to with 49-47 after a 3-pointer by RJ Folden with two minutes to go in the game.
A late run by Logan ended up being the difference.
Braxton Goff, who led Logan with 15 points, drained two free throws with 29 seconds left to give the Cats a 53-47 lead.
Ben Kazee, Logan’s 6-foot-8 Nigerian center, then hit two foul shots to push the lead to 55-47 and put the win on ice. Kazee tacked on two more in the closing seconds to close out the scoring.
Coach Hatcher said it was a great win for his team.
“It was nice to get a win and it’s a much better feeling that losing,” Hatcher said after the game. “Our kids saw that they (Wyoming East) came here to play. That team is well coached. We’re going to get better. I thought we beat a good team tonight and that’s a credit to our players.”
Chukwu-Noe and Kyle Poter tossed in 10 points each for the Cats. Kazee had nine, while Khalil Murphy and Emmanuel Chiemeke-Noe had five each. Jamal Minter had three points.
Kazee led LHS on the glass with 12 rebounds. He also had three blocked shots.
Cody Lester paced Wyoming East with 21 points. Folder had eight, Logan Blankenship seven and David Carte six. Johnathan Sims had three and Alec Lusk two.
The Warriors were just 20-for-60 shooting for 33.3 percent. Logan connected on 19-of-51 shots from the field for 37.3 percent.
The Cats outrebounded East 42-27.
Logan made 15-of-21 of its shots from the foul line. East was just 2-for-6.
Logan was scheduled to return to action with Saturday night’s King Coal Classic game against prep school Mountain Mission of Grundy, Va.
(Paul Adkins is the Sports Editor of the Logan Banner. He can be reached by email at email@example.com or on Twitter @PAdkinsBanner).