Cats rally to beat Winfield in ‘Big House’

By Paul Adkins - [email protected]

Khalil Murphy

CHARLESTON — The Logan High School boys’ basketball team arrived in Charleston on Monday afternoon early.

The Wildcats were pumped and ready to play Shady Spring in the fifth-annual Little General Shootout in the Big House at the Charleston Civic Center.

Then came word that it was snowing downstate and the forecast of snow in the Capitol City.

Shady Spring called and canceled.

They wouldn’t be coming to Charleston.

But what was Logan to do?

Winfield was close by and coming to the Civic Center for its game.

The Generals were supposed to play Scott before the Logan game but St. Albans’ opponent, Oak Hill, had cancelled and the Red Dragons ended up playing the Skyhawks and beat them 62-58 earlier in the day.

That left Winfield with no one to play either.

Game officials then pitted Logan and Winfield against each other late on Monday night and the fans in attendance were glad they did as the Wildcats scored a come-from-behind 44-41 victory.

The win avenged a 71-53 loss at Winfield on Jan. 12. The two teams are scheduled to play a third time on Feb. 15 in Logan.

Logan (7-9) outscored Winfield (6-10) by a 10-6 margin in the fourth quarter. That ended up being the difference.

Khalil Murphy and Braxton Goff each scored 11 points to lead Logan.

“Khalil was the best player on the floor tonight,” Logan coach Allan Hatcher said after the game. “He had eight rebounds and four steals. He made some tremendous steals. That’s the best that I’ve ever seen him play. He’s come a long way. He deserves to play.”

Kyle Porter tossed in 10 for the Wildcats, which trailed by one point heading into the fourth. Ben Kazee had five points, Dino Chiemeke-Noe had four and Will Akers had three.

Logan shot just 33 percent from the floor. Winfield was only 30 percent shooting from the field. The Cats were just 12-for-30 from the foul line.

“We have to get better at the free throw line. That’s not very good,” Hatcher said. “If we would have made some free throws that would have been a 12-point game. How many free throws did we miss? How many layups did we miss? Instead of scoring 44 points we could have had 60. But I thought our effort was good and Khalil Murphy turned the game around. He’s playing with a lot of confidence right now.”

Braeden McGrew netted 14 points and Peyton Moore and Brian Fisher both had 11 for Winfield.

The Little General Shootout was scheduled to dribble on all day and night on Tuesday and on Wednesday.

The Shootout was founded by George Washington coach Rick Greene and former Logan coach Mark Hatcher, Coach Allan Hatcher’s son.

Wednesday’s games at the Shootout are big. Six of the 11 games feature showdowns of state-ranked teams.

The finale on Wednesday pits Class AAA No. 1 Huntington (14-0) vs. Class A No. 2 Bridgeport (12-0) at 9:30 p.m. Huntington is led by Akron recruit Tavian Dunn-Martin of Huntington and Bridgeport’s 6-6 center Nick Greely.

Also on Wednesday, 3A No. 2 Morgantown (14-0) battles with No. 5 Capital (14-2) at 4:20.

The Logan-Winfield game was delayed and hour and a half and didn’t start until late Monday night due to the reshuffling of the schedule.

Logan is slated to return to action on Friday at Princeton. Then on Monday, Logan hosts Westside.

“That will be a tough game over at Princeton. They’ve got better and better and better,” Coach Hatcher said. “They are better on their home floor. We need to work in the next few days and we need to get some things done.”

Khalil Murphy Murphy

By Paul Adkins

[email protected]

(Paul Adkins is the Sports Editor of the Logan Banner. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @PAdkinsBanner).

(Paul Adkins is the Sports Editor of the Logan Banner. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @PAdkinsBanner).

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