The Logan High School girls stand at the brink of history.
One more win and the Lady Cats will make it to the Class AAA state tournament for just the third time in the modern post Title IX era.
Logan (14-9) can do it with a win at St. Albans (14-10) in Tuesday night’s Class AAA Region 4 co-championship game.
Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the St. Albans High School gym.
Logan made it to the regional final with a split last week in the 3A sectionals at Huntington High School. Logan first upset No. 3-ranked Huntington 78-70 on its home floor, then took No. 2-ranked Spring Valley to the brink on Friday night in the finals before bowing 68-67.
The Lady Cats haven’t made it to the state tourney since 2000 when former coach Tim Cunningham led Logan through a series of upsets before LHS lost 64-44 to Huntington in the Class AAA state tournament at the Charleston Civic Center.
Logan’s only other trip to the modern state tourney was way back in 1976 — the first year the WVSSAC sanctioned a state girls’ tourney following the landmark Title IX ruling in 1972 which mandated equal opportunities in the United States for females athletes.
Logan’s girls’ basketball program dates back to the 1920s where the school had previously advanced to the state tournament.
Girls’ school athletics were then more or less phased out across the country largely in the 1930s.
Now that the history lesson is over the Lady Cats will try to make a little history tonight against St. Albans — a team which advanced to the championship game with a narrow 30-27 victory over Winfield in the other section final.
Spring Valley (21-3) is slated to host Winfield (12-12) in the other regional co-final tonight at home.
The two winners will advance to the Class AAA state tourney, set for March 6-9 at the Charleston Civic Center.
Logan did not play St. Albans this season but seem confident going in.
“They’ll be ready,” Logan coach Kevin Gertz last Friday night about the meeting with the Red Dragons. “I was upset at them when they were crying. I wanted it to mean something to them. You cry when things are over. I know they are girls and I know they are emotional. Heck, I’m emotional. But I told them, ‘You are acting like this thing is over. It’s just beginning.’ We’re going to make it in my opinion and I want them to be confident. I don’t think anything is going to be a cakewalk anywhere that we go but I think that we can win any game from here on out. I think that we can beat anybody in this state on any given night.”
For comparison’s sake, St. Albans played Winfield twice and went 2-0, also winning 53-50. Logan was 1-1 against the Generals but blasted Winfield 73-45 on Feb. 11 at LHS. That seems to be a good sign given St. Albans’ struggle to beat Winfield in last Friday’s low-scoring game.
Logan’s all-state sophomore guard Shayna Gore led the Lady Cats with a career-high 36 points against Spring Valley. She also handed out 10 assists for a double-double to go along with five rebounds, five steals, four 3-pointers and a 10-for-11 performance from the free throw line.
Monica Mitchell, Logan’s 6-foot-2 freshman center, also finished with a double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds.
Senior guard Hannah Tothe had five points, 10 rebounds and seven assists. Logan also got six points from Kyra Cline on a pair of 3-pointers. Hannah Adkins chipped in with two points.
The Red Dragons were led by Breanna Propst, Lexie Cooper and Cameron Davis, who each scored eight points against Winfield.
St. Albans held Winfield scoreless in the second quarter. The Red Dragons won 46-32 over Nitro on Wednesday to advance to the finals.
The Red Dragons, a member of the Mountain State Athletic Conference, have won five out of its last six games going into tonight’s clash.
Like Logan, St. Albans also playing Huntington and Spring Valley this season, losing 55-42 to the Highlanders and falling 57-36 to the Lady Wolves.
St. Albans also lost 65-39 to Class AAA No. 1 Greenbrier East. Logan lost to the Spartans twice this season.
The Red Dragons have had trouble on the offensive end of the floor this season, only surpassing 50 points six times.
Coach Gertz, in his third season, has turned around the Lady Cats’ program.
After four straight losing campaigns from 2006-10, Logan has since gone 14-12, 8-15 and 14-9 under Gertz.
Logan is ranked 13th overall in the state among all classes according to MaxPreps.