Despite a losing record and a daunting task on Friday night in the Class AAA Region 4 Section 2 championship game against No. 2-ranked Huntington the Logan High School boys’ basketball team still has an open path to the upcoming state tournament.
The Wildcats (10-12) made that happen with Wednesday night’s 40-35 sectional tourney win over Spring Valley in the sectional semifinals at Cabell Midland.
Logan moved on to Friday night’s finals against Huntington (21-1), a team the Cats to by a 68-43 score earlier in the season on the road.
Even with a loss to the Highlanders, Logan will still have a shot at the state tournament.
Logan would have to do it on the road but that is still doable as the Wildcats would face either Winfield (9-14) or Hurricane (9-14).
Winfield and Hurricane are slated to meet on Friday night in the Class AAA Region 4 Section 1 title game. Hurricane advanced with a 64-52 victory over rival Nitro on Wednesday night. The Winfield Generals also moved on with a 62-45 win over St. Albans.
Logan played its game on Wednesday night without head coach Allan Hatcher, who was feeling ill.
Assistant coach Stan Elkins filled in for Hatcher and guided the Wildcats to the narrow win over Spring Valley (7-16), a team which had knocked off Logan the last two years in sectional play.
Logan limited Spring Valley to just 12 second-half points — six each in the third and fourth quarters.
Kyle Porter led the Cats with a 14-point effort. Senior center Ben Kazee had 10 points, while Braxton Goff had seven, Augustine Chukwu-Noe four, Will Akers three and Dino Noe two.
Chandler Stacy poured in a game-high 17 points for Spring Valley. Calvin Hinchman had 10, Chance Ballard four and Damien McBride and Graeson Malashevich had two each.
The Timberwolves were 5-for-9 from the free throw line while the Cats were better at 8-for-9.
Logan led 16-14 after one quarter, 25-23 at the half and 31-29 after three.
Porter and Akers each had 3-pointers for Logan. Hinchman canned two for Spring Valley.
Coach Elkins said it was a good win.
“Coach, we got the ‘W’ for you,” Elkins said, referring to Hatcher. “We played hard and we persevered.”
Spring Valley went ahead 33-31 in the fourth with a McBride bucket.
Logan then tied it at 33 with a Goff putback and went up 35-33 with a putback by Porter.
A layup by Porter then put the Wildcats on top 37-33.
Stacy put Spring Valley to within 37-35 and the T-Wolves later had a chance to go ahead in the closing seconds but a 3-point attempt clanged off the rim.
Goff then sank 3-of-4 free throws in crunch time to put the game away.
Spring Valley led 7-2 early in the first quarter before a 14-7 run by Logan gave the Cats a two-point edge after one.
Huntington had no trouble at all in Wednesday’s first sectional semifinal by rolling over host Cabell Midland 82-46.
Tavian Dunn-Martin paced the Highlanders with 24 points. J.R. Howard had 16.
In Hurricane’s win over Nitro, Braxton Dobert led the way with a career-best 32 points and 10 rebounds. Ryan Midkiff had 15 points.
Winfield won over St. Albans by hitting 8-for-12 of its 3-point shots.
Hurricane and Winfield split their regular-season series, with each team winning on its rival’s home court.
(Paul Adkins is the Sports Editor of the Logan Banner. He can be reached by email at [email protected] or on Twitter @PAdkinsBanner).