Lady Cats cruise past Lincoln County
by Paul Adkins
About the only drama on Thursday night at Logan High School’s Willie Akers Arena was an exciting game between the Logan and Lincoln County JV girls’ basketball teams.
The varsity game to follow didn’t expect to be very close as the homestanding and surging Lady Cats hosted the one-win Lincoln County Lady Panthers.
It wasn’t close at all as the Logan varsity team crushed Lincoln County 70-52 in a game that was not indicative of how dominant the Lady Cats were.
The JV game was a hard act to follow as Logan and Lincoln County played to a 45-45 tie.
Yes, a tie game.
The contest was stopped after the first overtime.
As it was already past 7:30 p.m. — the scheduled starting time for the varsity game — a second OT was not played and the contest was ruled a tie.
Logan then coasted in the nightcap.
The Lady Cats led by as many as 36 points in the third quarter and held a 65-31 advantage after three.
Instead of needlessly running up the score to a possible 50-point margin, Logan coach Kevin Gertz then emptied his bench in the fourth quarter as Lincoln County outscored the Lady Cat reserve players 21-5 to set the final score.
Logan, having one of its best seasons in girls’ basketball in many years, improved to 8-3 on the season. Lincoln County, a team in Logan’s Class AAA sectional, dropped to 1-13.
Gertz said he liked what he saw in the first three quarters.
“I wanted to play tonight to work on some things,” Coach Gertz said. “I know Lincoln County has struggled. They’re young and they have a good JV team. The JV game was a heck of a game. We ended it in a tie. They didn’t want to get back so late and the varsity game was already going to start at 8 o’clock.”
Gertz said he wanted to implement some new defensive schemes.
“Tonight I wanted to work on some different pressure defenses,” he said. “We’ve been pressing here a little bit lately but haven’t pressed much. For not pressing more than we have I thought it looked real good. That’s what we were trying to do. We can really put some pressure on some people.”
The Lady Cats had four players reach double digits in scoring, led by Shayna Gore, who tossed in 17 points, dished out five assists and hit two 3-pointers.
Kyra Cline and Hannah Tothe each netted 11 points for the night. Both hit three 3s for the game.
“Kyra hits some big 3s and so did Hannah,” Gertz said. “Shayna continues to play well and Monica (Mitchell) continues to play well. There wasn’t a kid that went out there that didn’t play well but in the fourth quarter we didn’t score that much.”
Freshman center Monica Mitchell finished with a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds.
Kelsey Kirk had six points, while her twin sister Katie Kirk had four. Jenna Kimler and Taylor Napier both tallied four points, while Summer Collins had two and Hannah Kolovich one.
Lincoln County was led by Kerbi Slone, who had 15 points. Taylor Lucas had 12 and Lindsey Prichard eight.
Logan played the game without key reserve Hannah Adkins, who was injured during the JV game.
“We had a girl — Hannah Adkins — get hurt in the JV game which hurt us because she’s in our rotation. We like to put her and Summer into the game when we play smaller,” Gertz said.
Lincoln County only had one lead the entire game at 2-0.
It was all Logan after that.
After a pair of Mitchell free throws, a Mitchell putback and a 3 by Gore it was 8-3 Logan.
Mitchell later scored inside the paint again and Cline canned a trey to make it 15-3 Lady Cats at the 4:35 mark of the first quarter.
Katie Kirk then sank a 16-foot baseline jumper and Gore glided in for a layup to make it 19-3.
The rout was on.
Tothe later drilled a 3-pointer and Kirk scored another hoop as Logan led 24-8 after one quarter.
In the second quarter, the Lady Cats continued to put the pressure on the Lady Panthers.
A Cline 3-ball, a basket by Kelsey Kirk and another 3 from Cline made it 32-10 with 6:22 left until halftime.
Gore later completed an old-fashioned three-point play to make it a 35-13.
Tothe’s top-side 3-pointer then put Logan on top 40-17 with 2:27 left.
Collins then made it 42-17 with 1:14 to go as she had a steal and layup.
Gore’s 3-pointer with 35 ticks to go made it 47-21.
Logan led 47-23 at the half and outscored Lincoln County 18-8 in the third to push the margin to 65-31.
The Lady Cats’ largest margin was 61-25 with 3:22 left in the third after a pair of Kimler buckets.
Gertz then went to his bench. He said he was happy so many of his players got significant varsity court time.
“We’re getting deeper,” Gertz said. “You can’t make it out of the sectional or the regional playing six or seven players. You can’t do that in Triple-A. We have to be able to play multiple people. I was real pleased with the way everything went.”
Logan now turns its attention to its next game — Friday, Jan. 25 at home against Class AAA No. 1-ranked Greenbrier East — at Logan High School’s King Coal Classic. The girls are slated to play at 6 p.m. — just before the 7:30 p.m. contest pitting the Logan boys against Belfry, Ky. Tug Valley then plays Greenbrier East in a boys’ game in the finale around 9 or 9:30 p.m.
It’s a big night of basketball at Logan High School and Gertz said he’s glad his girls are once again a part of it.
“We play the number one team in the state, Greenbrier East, right before the boys play their game against Belfry,” Gertz said. “It’s a big night of basketball. I’d like to see this place packed. We’ve knocked off two number three teams in the state this year (Morgantown and Huntington). This time we’re going to go up against the number one team in the state. They’ll still be undefeated by the time we play them for sure. I’m going to scout them tomorrow and next Tuesday.”
Greenbrier East had a 9-0 record going into this weekend’s action.
Logan Lady Cats (8-3)
2012-13 Girls’ Basketball Schedule
Nov. 27: at Man, W 61-40
Nov. 29: South Charleston, L 48-50
Dec. 5: at Westside, L 48-64
Dec. 13: at Huntington, W 56-55
Dec. 15: Capital, W 49-31
Dec. 18: Tolsia, W 51-41
Jan. 4: Morgantown, W 64-61
Jan. 9: at South Charleston, W 47-36
Jan. 12: at Winfield, L 55-57
Jan. 14: at Tolsia, W 52-47
Jan. 17: Lincoln County, W 70-52
Jan. 25: Greenbrier East (King Coal Classic), 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.
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