King Coal Classic a success despite losses
by Paul Adkins
Even though Logan teams went 0-2 over the weekend at Logan High School’s annual King Coal Classic, it was another successful tournament for LHS and area basketball fans.
There was a little bit of everything.
There was plenty of good basketball.
There was a controversial halfcourt buzzer-beater.
There was a college game between Fairmont State and Davis & Elkins featuring the return of former Logan standout Stevie Browning, a freshman member of the FSU team, and an array of alley-oop dunks.
Entertainment was provided by the dazzling Dynamo Dogs with their assortment of Frisbee catches, tricks and stunts.
The King Coal Classic also brought back to the community with $500 donations to the Ronald McDonald House, the Logan County Dog Shelter and the American Cancer Society.
Another big winner was Jim Justice, the head coach of both the Greenbrier East boys and girls basketball teams. Justice, the billionaire owner of The Greenbrier Resort and golf course, watched as his undefeated teams went 3-0 in the King Coal Classic.
Last Friday, Coach Justice and the Greenbrier East girls improved to 11-0 on the season as the Class AAA No. 1-ranked Spartans beat the homestanding Logan Lady Cats, 56-52.
Later on Friday night, Justice and the Spartan boys’ team toppled Tug Valley in dramatic fashion as Greenbrier East’s Rondale Watson launched a halfcourt buzzer-beating 3-pointer to knock off the Panthers, 63-61.
Then on Saturday night in the King Coal Classic finale, Greenbrier East improved to 15-0 — the best start in school history — as the Spartans downed Logan, 47-43.
The Wildcats dropped to 5-8 on the season and was swept in the season series with the Spartans.
Logan was scheduled to play Belfry (Ky.) on Friday night at the King Coal Classic but Belfry called and cancelled due to the winter storm and poor driving conditions. The game has been rescheduled for Monday, Feb. 4 as part of a boys/girls doubleheader at Willie Akers Arena. The Lady Cats are set to take on Westside at 7 p.m. with the Logan-Belfry game to follow at 8:30.
Logan seemed like it might send Greenbrier East packing with a loss in Saturday night’s clash as the Wildcats jumped out to an 11-point lead in the first half.
The Spartans, though, rallied to tie it at 22 at the half and then pulled away from the Cats late.
Watson and Bryce Woodliff paced Greenbrier East with 16 points each. Dereck Weiford netted 10.
Brynden “Worm” Street tossed in 14 points to lead Logan. Chase Preston had nine, Z. Minnick six, A.J. Reynolds five, T.J. Tomblin four, Zak Miller three and C.J. Williams two.
Tied at the half, Greenbrier East would outscore Logan 15-10 in the third to take a 37-32 lead.
In the fourth, the Wildcats made a brief stab at the Spartans as Minnick nailed a 3-pointer to close the gap to 39-35.
East then went on a 5-0 mini run to make it a 44-35 ballgame after a 3 and two foul shots from Woodliff.
Logan got to within 45-40 with a Street glasser but the Spartans’ 6-foot-9 center Maduagwawa Romeo dunked one down to push the lead to 47-40.
Preston inched Logan to within 47-43 late in the fourth but the Cats could get no closer.
LHS controlled the game early, taking an 11-4 lead after the first quarter. The highlight was a alley-oop dunk by Street on a lob from Reynolds.
Logan expanded the lead to 15-4 after a short jumper by Street and a Street fast break layup.
Later, a 3-pointer from the wing by Preston and a bank shot by Tomblin made it 20-11 Logan.
Greenbrier East, however, would outscore Logan 11-2 the rest of the quarter to pull even at the intermission.
The Wildcats have nine games left in the regular season beginning with the Feb. 4 Belfry game. The Cats then host Lincoln County the next night on Feb. 5, host Point Pleasant on Feb. 8 and go to Westside on Feb. 9. Logan then goes to Parkersburg on Feb. 12, plays Winfield on Feb. 13 at the Charleston Civic Center, goes to Tug Valley on Feb. 16, travels to George Washington on Feb. 19 and closes out Feb. 21 at home against Capital.
King Coal Classic
Fairmont State 72,
Davis & Elkins 66
Logan High School graduate Stevie Browning made his return to Logan’s Willie Akers Arena on Saturday afternoon as his Fairmont State University Fighting Falcons edged Davis & Elkins 72-66 in WVIAC action at Logan’s King Coal Classic.
Fairmont State outscored Davis & Elkins 9-2 in the game’s final 1:09 to pull out the win over the Senators.
The Falcons (13-4, 11-2 WVIAC) got solid performances from Isaac Thornton (18 points and five rebounds) and Malik Stith (17 points, four assists and four steals). Brendan Cooper was 6-of-9 shooting from the field on his way to 14 points for FSU. Chase Morgan came off the bench to contribute 10 points.
Fairmont State shot 47 percent from the field and was 19-of-22 (86 percent) from the free throw line. The Falcons were 8-of-9 from the line in the final 1:21 of the game.
Davis & Elkins (5-12, 4-9 WVIAC) was led by 15 points apiece from Devin Miller and D’Quan Lynch. Igor Premasunac added 12 points for the Senators. The Senators shot 42 percent from the field but made just 4-of-20 (20 percent) from behind the 3-point arc.
Browning, a freshman guard and former Logan Wildcat, sealed the win by making two free throws with 2.4 seconds left. Browning hit a 3-pointer and finished with five points.
Both teams played an entertaining game with several dunks that dazzled the crowd.
Fairmont State is 8-2 over its last 10 games. One of those defeats was a heartbreaking 77-75 loss on Dec. 30 at Division I Kent State of the Mid-American Conference in which a potential game-winning 3 by the Falcons rimmed out at the buzzer.
King Coal Classic
Capital 59 (OT)
Cardinal Conference team member Tolsia scored a 62-59 overtime win over Class AAA Capital on Saturday afternoon at Logan’s King Coal Classic.
Morgan Stacy led Tolsia (9-6) with a game-high 21 points. Austin Brewer tossed in 13 for the Rebels.
Tyrell Davis paced the Cougars (7-10) with 18 points. Jordan Kinney had 15.
Capital led 13-12 after one quarter and went into the half tied at 23. The Cougars then outscored Tolsia 16-12 in the third to take a 39-35 lead. The Rebels outpointed Capital 13-9 in the fourth to send the game into overtime with a 48-48 tie. Tolsia then held a 14-11 advantage in the extra period to set the final score.
In the first game of the day, Logan’s JV team beat Chapmanville but the score was not available.
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