The Logan High School girls’ basketball team has much more optimism heading into the 2012-13 roundball season as opposed to last year.
With all-state point guard and sophomore sensation Shayna Gore returning, along with a host of other starters and role players, things are looking up for the Lady Cats.
Logan lost three players due to graduation in Emily Vinson, a two-year starting guard, and reserves Jasmine Workman and Taylor Norman.
“We have four starters returning and actually five if you count Rachelle Toppings, who started for us the first half of the season before she got sick,” Logan third-year coach Kevin Gertz said. “We’ve got six seniors this year in Hannah Tothe and Katie and Kelsey Kirk, who played a lot of basketball all spring and summer, which most of these girls did. They played on an AAU team that finished in the top four nationally in Myrtle Beach.”
Also back for Logan is senior Jenna Kimler, who had foot surgery and was not able to play in the spring.
Toppings is also returning for the Lady Cats. Another senior and first-year player Amanda Williamson gives Logan its sixth 12th-grade player.
Gore, who is just in her second year of varsity basketball, is Logan’s point guard, leading scorer and top assist player.
“She’s a very good player,” Gertz said of Gore. “She’s grown a lot. She’s about 5-10, 5-11 now. That’s an awfully big point guard.”
Kyra Cline, another starting guard, also returns for the Lady Cats. Like Gore, she’s a threat to score and can knock it in from downtown in 3-point territory.
“She’s our second leading scorer from last year,” Gertz said of Cline.
Logan will also look to sophomore Aarron Ward, another returnee from last year’s team.
The Lady Cats also have Summer Collins back from last year’s team, along with the squad’s lone junior, Hannah Kolovich, who saw varsity time last season.
“This is her third year playing for us and she does an outstanding job,” Gertz said of Kolovich. “She’s a real physical player.”
Hannah Adkins, a first-year player, also figures into the mix.
Logan has eight freshmen on the roster.
“One of them might see a lot of playing time, especially early and two more might see significant playing time as the season goes along,” Gertz said of his frosh.
Heading the freshmen group is Monica Mitchell, a 6-1 center, who gives the Lady Cats an inside presence down on the blocks and on the boards.
“She’s good inside the paint,” Gertz said of Mitchell.
Ashton Spry and Taylor Napier are a pair of other freshmen who could help the team.
“Both came from the middle school and both are very good athletes,” Gertz said. “They are both also very good softball players. They can help us now.”
Logan opened the regular season on Tuesday afternoon with a 61-40 win at county rival Man. The Lady Cats were slated to have their home opener on Thursday night against South Charleston.
The Lady Cats played Hurricane and Belfry in the preseason. Logan downed Belfry 48-34 in four quarters of varsity action and eclipsed the homestanding Lady Pirates 15-6 in a JV quarter, bringing the total to 63-40 in favor of the Lady Cats.
“We played very well. We beat Hurricane by 30 points and we played extremely well in that one,” Gertz said. “We beat Belfry and didn’t play any starters in the third quarter at all. I didn’t think we played that well offensively but on defense we pressed pretty well but fouled a lot.”
The outlook seems bright this season for the Lady Cats. Logan went 11-13 last season and was ousted in the Class AAA sectional tournament. The Lady Cats were 12-12 two seasons ago in the first year at the helm by Coach Gertz. Prior to that, Logan went just 4-17, 4-18, 6-17 and 8-15 in four consecutive seasons under the previous coaching regime.
“I think that this will be one of the better teams that we’ve had in a while,” Gertz said. “I’m not saying that we’re a great team and we’re going to win the state title but we’re very improved from last year and we’re very deep. I think that we can play 12 or 13 kids and not really drop off much. That’s something that we haven’t been able to do in the past.”
In order to be successful, Logan must win close games this season. With a difficult schedule, there is little wiggle room.
“We lost eight games by five points or less last season,” Gertz said. “We had a shot to win six, seven or eight more games than we did.”
In addition to home-and-home series this season against county rivals Man and Chapmanville, Logan also has series against Class AAA teams South Charleston, Capital, Huntington, Morgantown, Winfield, Greenbrier East, Spring Valley and Lincoln County.
Defending Class AA state champion and preseason No. 1-ranked Westside is also on the schedule.
Greenbrier East is the defending 3A state champs. The Spartans were the Class AAA preseason No. 5 team. Spring Valley was fourth and Huntington sixth.
Logan is slated to host state power and Class AAA Preseason No. 1 Morgantown on Jan. 4. Class AA team Tolsia also takes on the Lady Cats in a home-and-home series.
“Morgantown is coming here, along with the returning state champions in Double-A, Westside and the Triple-A state champion Greenbrier East,” Gertz said. “There won’t be a better schedule around here than ours. We weren’t able to play Mingo Central this year. They said that they didn’t have any room on their schedule, so we picked up Greenbrier East in their spot. We also added Spring Valley, who will be a preseason top five team in the state. They are in our section, along with Huntington. The schedule is extremely tough.”
On Gertz’s coaching staff are assistants Ryan Waugh and Danielle Dalton.
“This is Ryan’s third year. He’s been with me from the beginning,” Gertz said. “This is Danielle’s second season here. She also helps coach middle school softball. Both do an outstanding job.”
Gertz had a major off-season health scare when he had to undergo emergency quintuple bypass surgery.
“I had a heart attack about 11 weeks ago but now I’m doing fine,” Gertz said. “When I went into quintuple bypass I had a heart attack in the middle of it and they didn’t know if I was going to make it for a while. I was real worried. But now I’m down about 25 pounds since my surgery and I’m healthier than I have been in the last 20 years. I’m excited to be back. I’m still not at 100 percent strenghth-wise but I’ll get there soon enough.”
Logan Lady Cats
2012-13 Girls’ Basketball Schedule
Nov. 27: at Man, W 61-40
Nov. 29: South Charleston, 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 5: at Westside, 7 p.m.
Dec. 10: at Capital, 7 p.m.
Dec. 13: at Huntington, 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 15: Capital, 2 p.m.
Dec. 18: Tolsia, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 4: Morgantown, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 9: at South Charleston, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 12: at Winfield, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 14: at Tolsia, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 17: Lincoln County, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 25: Greenbrier East, 6 p.m.
Jan. 28: Man, 1 p.m.
Jan. 30: at Chapmanville, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 2: at Morgantown, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 4: Westside, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 6: Spring Valley, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 8: at Lincoln County, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 9: at Greenbrier East, 7 p.m.
Feb. 11: Winfield, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 14: Chapmanville, 7:30 p.m.
Logan Lady Cats
2012-13 Girls’ Basketball Roster
No Pos Name Gr Ht
1 Guard Summer Collins 10 5’5”
2 Guard Faith Damron 9 5’5”
3 Guard/Forward Hannah Tothe 12 5’7”
4 Guard Amanda Williamson 12 5’5”
5 Guard Clarissa Davis 9 5’2”
10 Guard/Forward Rachelle Toppings 12 5’7”
11 Forward Aarron Ward 10 5’6”
13 Guard Mollee Lawrence 9 5’2”
14 Guard Shayna Gore 10 5’11”
20 Forward Taylor Napier 9 5’7”
21 Forward Hannah Kolovich 11 5’6”
23 Guard Kyra Cline 10 5’5”
24 Guard Hannah Adkins 10 5’7”
30 Guard/Forward Ashton Spry 9 5’7”
32 Forward Katie Kirk 12 5’9”
34 Center Jenna Kimler 12 5’10”
40 Center Brigette Duncan 9 5’6”
41 Center Kelsey Kirk 12 5’9”
44 Forward Tayonnah Davis 9 5’3”
54 Center Monica Mitchell 9 6’2”
HEAD COACH: Kevin Gertz
ASSISTANTS: Ryan Waugh, Danielle Dalton