Kevin Gertz joked with Shayna Gore at mid court during Saturday night’s Logan girls’ home game with Winfield.
Gertz, the Logan High School girls’ basketball coach, noted that Gore finished with 1,993 career points, the most for any girl or boy in LHS hoop history.
“You were only seven points short of 2,000,” Gertz said, with PA mic in hand at halftime. “You scored 34 points in the state tournament, only seven points short of the all-time record. But then you also missed seven foul shots in that game.”
Gore smiled, looking at Gertz.
It was a fun night at Logan’s Willie Akers Arena as LHS honored Gore, a current freshman player at Marshall University.
Gore helped put Logan girls’ basketball back on the map in her four-year career and transformed the Lady Cats’ program, turning Logan from cellar-dweller to state championship contender.
Gore was last year’s West Virginia Gatorade Girls’ Basketball State Player of the Year and she was honored with a banner on the field house wall.
“Before Shayna, Logan girls’ basketball was dead last in the Metro News Power Index,” Gertz told the crowd. “Not just Triple-A — in all classes. Dead last.”
Gore led the Lady Cats to their surprise run to the 2013 Class AAA state championship game as Logan beat Princeton in the state quarterfinals and upset Spring Valley in the semifinals to reach the championship game at the Charleston Civic Center. The Lady Cats were beaten 58-34 by Parkersburg South in the finals before a statewide TV audience.
In the 52-49 victory over Spring Valley, Gore dribbled down the lane in the closing seconds and passed to a wide open Hannah Tothe, who drilled the game-winning 3-pointer at the buzzer, lifting LHS to the state title game.
Gore said it was great to be back at the historic Logan field house. She has made huge contributions to the Herd’s success this season. Gore came down to Logan from Huntington on Saturday following Marshall’s 80-76 win at home over UTSA just a few hours before.
Marshall is 16-6 on the season and Gore is the team’s second leading scorer at 12 points per contest. She has sank a team-high 33 3-point shots and is shooting 41.6 percent from the floor and 86.3 percent from the free throw line.
“I am really excited to be here today,” Gore said, standing next to the Logan bench before the game. “I love coming back to my home town and I love coming back to see Monica (Mitchell) and Ashton (Spry) and it’s neat, too, that it’s their Senior Night. I’m really honored to be a part of this program and to have a banner up there.”
Marshall’s women have played well this season and have seven Conference USA games left.
“We just beat the number one team in our conference last week in UTEP,” Gore said. “We played earlier today and we beat the University of Texas-San Antonio. There was three seconds to go and I had the ball and they fouled me and I knocked down both foul shots to put us up by four. We ended up winning by four.”
Gore has made a smooth transition to the college game.
“Here at Logan I was scoring but in the college game I have to wait my turn. I’m more of a role player,” she said. “College basketball is much faster. A lot of the other girls’ arms are so big. Hopefully that will be me in a couple of years. The players are bigger and faster and the play is faster. It’s the kind of style that Coach Gertz wanted us to play last year. I can see why.”
The zenith for the Herd is March 8-12 with the C-USA Tournament in Birmingham, Ala.
“That’s going to be big for us,” Gore said. “We think that we’ve got a pretty good chance at winning our conference.”
Gore said it was great to just be back in the field house and see many old friends, teammates and classmates.
“It’s awesome,” she said. “The atmosphere is great and I love the music. I wanted to come back to see Monica because we are so close. It’s an awesome feeling.”
Gore is not the only former Logan athlete at Marshall.
Ex-Wildcat basketball player Stevie Browning is a key contributor with Coach Dan D’Antoni’s men’s team.
Former Logan standout Summer Collins is set to debut soon with the Marshall women’s softball team. Collins played with Gore for four years on the LHS girls’ basketball squad.
Chase Preston, an all-state former LHS baseball player, is a walk-on with the Marshall baseball team.
“I see Summer just about every day and Chase Preston, too,” Gore said. “Summer comes to my games and I promised that I would go to hers. I can’t wait to see her play.”
(Paul Adkins is the Sports Editor of the Logan Banner. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @PAdkinsBanner).