For about a quarter the Logan High School boys’ basketball team challenged the Challengers of Mountain Mission (Va.).
Then the floodgates opened as expected, as Mountain Mission, an emerging national prep powerhouse, pounded the Wildcats 77-31 on Saturday night in the final game of Logan’s annual King Coal Classic tournament at Willie Akers Arena.
Logan dropped to 6-9 on the season.
Mountain Mission, led 6-foot-11 and WVU signee Maciej Bender and 6-10 Jethro Tshisumpa, a native of The Congo, who has committed to Arizona State, improved to 20-6.
The Challengers led just 19-13 after one quarter but then rolled out to a 39-22 halftime lead after outscoring Logan 20-9.
Mountain Mission then slammed past the Cats in a 23-5 third to grab a commanding 62-27 lead.
Logan was outscored 15-9 in the fourth quarter as both teams emptied the benches.
“You don’t have much room for margin of error,” Logan coach Allan Hatcher said after the game. “We were just out-manned. They have a good basketball team. They are very talented. They took away a lot of strengths that we have. They are just a team that we probably shouldn’t have played but we did. We don’t want to take a step back because we thought that we played well against a good team last night (Wyoming East). We just ran into a team that was much better tonight.”
Logan went 1-1 in the King Coal Classic, winning 57-47 over Wyoming East on Friday night.
The Wildcats held two leads on the Challengers in the first quarter.
Braxton Goff gave a 7-5 lead with a bucket and Goff then scored one off the glass to put the Cats ahead 9-7.
The Challengers then went up for good with a 3-pointer by Jakub Mijakowski, a 6-7 forward.
In the second quarter, Kyle Porter got the Wildcats to within 19-17 with a pair of free throws.
Mountain Mission then went on a 20-3 run to close out the stanza with a 17-point lead at the half. Bender had two slam dunks during the run.
The Challengers continued to grow its lead in the third period. A 14-3 run, capped off by a dunk by Diogo Brito put Mountain Mission ahead 53-24. It was all downhill from there as the Challengers coasted.
The Wildcats are scheduled to return to action with a Feb. 8 game against Shady Spring (5-6) in the Little General Shootout at the Big House at the Charleston Civic Center. Game time is 7 p.m.
“This is the most important week of the season because we’ve got to get all of these parts straightened out,” Hatcher said. “We’ve got games that we can compete in and games that we can win. We need four or five days of good practices. The people that came out tonight we appreciate you.”
Before the game, the Logan High School girls lost 68-53 to Buchannan-Upshur, falling to 4-10 on the season.
The Lady Cats host Ripley on Wednesday night and Winfield on Saturday night. Logan is 1-8 in its last nine games and 2-10 in its last 12 contests.
Westside also beat Ravenswood, 74-59, on Saturday and the Logan Middle School boys squared off with Ceredo-Kenova in the King Coal Classic.
Attendance was strong on both nights of the tournament.
“I want to thank all of the sponsors,” Hatcher said. “We appreciate all of the people who came out this weekend and made this tournament a success.”
(Paul Adkins is the Sports Editor of the Logan Banner. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @PAdkinsBanner).