Logan's McCormick Ilderton (20) drives past a Poca defender in the fourth quarter of the Wildcats 57-47 win over the Dots Tuesday night (File Photo: Boothe Davis/Captured by the Moment Photography).
Bill Lusk | WVOW Sports
LOGAN Class AAA No. 6 Logan went on a 19-5 fourth quarter run to defeat Class AA No 8 Poca, 57-47, handing the Dots their third loss in the last four games Tuesday night at the Willie Akers Arena.
The Wildcats (7-5) made 7 of 10 shots during the run to turn a one-point deficit into an 11-point lead. The Wildcats, who trailed 37-36 at the end of three quarters, scored the first five points of the fourth to take a 41-37 lead on Scotty Browning’s 3 with 6:25 to play.
The Dots trailed by two points, 43-41, with 5:26 to play after a pair of Kambal Meeks free throws. Logan followed with a basket from Scotty Browning and a pair 3’s from Garrett Williamson and Derrick Browning and a pair of Julius Clancy field goals while holding Poca without a field goal over a stretch of 4:08 to build the lead to double digits.
Logan, which had lost three of its last four against Poca, avenged a 66-44 loss to the Dots at Poca last season in a game that was eerily similar to Tuesday night’s contest.
In that game last season, Poca seized control of the contest with a 14-3 run to hand Logan its first loss of the 2021-22 season. Logan coach Zach Green said the only difference in this season’s win and last season’s defeat was the contributions that each team received.
“Only difference is there was no Isaac McKneely out there this year,” Green said referring to the two-time Evans Award winner, two-time Gatorade state player of the year and University of Virginia freshmen, who had 26 points in last year's win over Logan. “Similar to what he was doing last year, he kind of took it over. I don’t think we had one guy that was taking it over, it was a bunch of guys, and the ball was moving.”
For the fourth straight game, Green had a different lineup, and for the fourth straight game, Green got contributions from a number of individuals, but one constant remained the same and that was Scotty Browning, who scored 12 of his game-high 22 points in the second half to lead the Wildcats in scoring.
“We have been playing nine guys pretty much all year, and we have the mentality that it could be a different guy every game,” Green said. “Scotty has been really good down the stretch and late in the games he has been really good in the last three games.”
Clancy scored of his 10 points in the fourth quarter and Williamson had his normal stat stuffing game finishing with 14 points, eight rebounds and seven assists for the Wildcats. Derrick Browning finished with six points knocking down two key 3-pointers in the victory.
“Julius played well down the stretch, Garrett played well down the stretch, Derrick made shots tonight,” Green said. “We had a bunch of contributions tonight.”
The first half, which featured four ties and four lead changes, was about as even as the two teams could play. Poca never had a lead bigger than four points in the first half, while Logan’s largest lead was five points.
Poca led 5-2 early in the first quarter, but Logan responded with an 8-0 run to take a 10-5 lead on a 3 from Williamson with 2:09 to play. The Dots outscored the Wildcats, 8-3, in the remaining 2:09 as the first quarter ended in a 13-13 tie.
Poca started the second quarter on a 6-2 run and led 19-15 with 4:08 remaining in the first half on Keaton Meeks’ basket, but the Wildcats responded with a 9-2 run to take a 24-21 lead on Williamson’s 3 with 0:51 remaining.
Kambal Meeks hit his fourth 3 of the first half with 0:04 remaining to tie the game at 24. Meeks scored 12 points in the first half and was a perfect 4 of 4 from 3-point range.
In the second half, Logan went to a variety of defenses and held Meeks to seven points on 2 of 6 shooting from the floor. The Dots inability to take care of the ball at crucial times in the second half was also an issue. In all, Poca turned the ball over 16 times while Logan turned it over just eight times.
“They (Logan) came out in a box-and-one, and we handled it really well, got the ball inside and they went back to man-to-man,” Poca coach Allen Osborne said. “What hurt us was their pressure. Their pressure kept us from running our offense and they did a really good job with it.”
Osborne said the goal for the Dots was to limit the Wildcats ability to score on the inside. The Wildcats made 22 field goals, however, 11 of the 22 were of the 3-point variety.
“They hit 11 3’s and they are averaging five a game,” Osborne said. “They shot the ball really well tonight. Credit to them, they got a nice team and I think when they get (Aiden) Slack back they are going to be a hard team for teams to play.”
Poca had just one player in double figures, Kambal Meeks, who scored 21 points on 6 of 13 shooting and was 5 of 7 from beyond the arc. Cole Godish finished with seven and Garrett McCormick had six for the Dots.
“We wanted to get the ball inside like we had hoped to,” Osborne said. “Godish is coming off an ankle injury and tonight was his first game back. He is our leading scorer, but we will get better and hopefully make a run at it in March.”
Logan shot 22 of 44 from the field and was 11 of 21 from 3-point range, but the stat that stood out the most to Green was the assist totals, in which the Wildcats assisted on 14 of the 22 made shots.
“I was most impressed with the ball movement down the stretch, it wasn’t just one guy it was everybody moving the basketball and moving the basketball,” Green said. “We moved it out to five guards, took our bigs out and really spread the floor against them. I think that made the difference in the game down the stretch.”
Poca will return to action Friday night at home against Class AA No. 9 Charleston Catholic.
“We are excited about playing them,” Osborne said. “We will go home, work on our press offense and hope to get some more people in the scoring column.”
Logan returns to action Friday night on the road at county rival and Class AA No. 3 Chapmanville.
“It’s going to be a good game, two good basketball teams, and Brad (Napier) does a heck of job with those guys down there,” Green said. “They are going to play physical; they are going to be disciplined and they are going to be ready to roll on Friday.”
“We haven’t been coming out of the gate strong and that is not a place that we can go into and get down 10 or 12 points early,” Green said. “We have to be ready to come out of the gate and I think if we are then it is going to be a really good basketball game.”
Logan 57, Poca 47
Wolfe 2-3 0-1 4, Meeks, Ke. 2-5 0-0 4, Whittington 0-1 1-2 1, McCormick 3-4 0-0 5, Godish 3-5 0-0 7, Meeks, Ka. 6-13 4-4 21, Toney 1-5 2-2 4. Totals: 17-36 7-9 47.
Clancy 5-9 0-0 10, Browning, S. 9-15 0-1 22, Blankenship 1-3 0-0 3, Glick 0-2 0-0 0,
Browning, D. 2-3 0-0 6, Williamson 4-10 2-2 14, Ilderton 0-1 0-0 0, Miller 1-1 0-0 2.
Totals: 22-44 2-3 57.
Poca 13 11 11 12- 47
Logan 13 11 12 21- 57
3-Point Field Goals_Poca 6-12 (Meeks, Ke. 0-2, Godish 1-3, Meeks, Ka. 5-7), Logan 11-21 (Clancy 0-1, Browning, S. 4-7, Blankenship 1-3, Browning, D. 2-3, Williamson 4-6, Ilderton 0-1). Fouled Out_None. Rebounds_Poca 22 (Meeks, Ka. 7), Logan 19 (Williamson 8). Assists_Poca 9 (Meeks, Ke.), Logan 14 (Williamson 7). Total Fouls_Poca 10, Logan 13. Technicals_None.