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Blair, Evans lead Lady Tigers past Lady Wildcats

Bill Lusk | WVOW Sports

CHAPMANVILLE Alaira Evans scored 19 points, Jaycee Blair had 14 including four 3-pointers as Class AA No. 8 Chapmanville rallied to defeat AAA No. 9 Logan 51-45 Friday night at the Danny Godby Gymnasium.

Chapmanville, who trailed for much of the game, was behind by one, 43-42, following Natalie Blankenship’s 3-point basket with 4:25 left in the fourth quarter. Evans scored eight of her 19 points in the fourth quarter and the Lady Tigers ended the contest on a 9-2 run completing a season sweep of the Lady Wildcats.

Chapmanville defeated Logan 52-46 on Jan. 11 at the Willie Akers Arena.

Chapmanville coach Kristina Gore, who is in her third season, called Friday’s win, the best team win since arriving at Chapmanville during the 2020-21 season.

“We had major contributions from every single player on the floor and our bench stayed engaged as well,” Gore said. “While there were a few things we could’ve done better, it was an all around great team performance. I’m proud of this group. That locker room after the game was a great place to be. It felt like a family in there.”

Evans was 5 of 9 from the field including 2 of 2 from 3-point range and knocked down 7 of 10 free throw attempts. Evans was 6 of 7 from the line in the final two minutes.

“Alaira closed out the game beautifully. The ball didn’t come her way much early, but once it did, she made a huge and one play that really fired up our team,” Gore said. “She closed out the game beautifully in the second half knocking down two big time corner 3’s and icing the game at the foul line.”

Blair shot 5 of 12 from the field and was 4 of 9 from 3, she also had seven rebounds, two steals and one blocked shot.

“Jaycee was a big-time spark for us tonight. She flat out takes ball away from people because she wants it more,” Gore said. “She stepped up big time knocking down big shot after big shot and flying around defensively. She communicated out there like a senior. That’s rare out of a freshman. She’s special for sure.”

Brooke Christian’s 3-pointer capped a 6-0 run to open the game for Chapmanville giving the Lady Tigers a 6-0 lead with 4:45 left in the opening quarter. Halle Crouse and Autumn Adkins answered with back-to-back 3’s for Logan to tie the game at 6 with 3:51 to play in the first quarter.

Sixteen seconds later, Natalie Blankenship gave the Lady Wildcats their first lead, 8-6, with 3:35 to play. Addyson Amick’s three-point play capped an 11-0 Logan run giving the Lady Wildcats an 11-6 with 2:36 left in the opening quarter.

Logan led 15-11 after one quarter and increased its lead to 18-11 on Amick’s 3-pointer with 7:45 to play before halftime. Chapmanville would outscore Logan, 10-6, in the final seven minutes of the second quarter to cut the deficit to three, 24-21, at halftime.

Amick scored 12 points in the first half, including seven in the first quarter, and led Logan with 16 points. Natalie Blankenship had 13 points and Halle Crouse 10 for the Lady Wildcats.

Logan shot 30% overall, made 7 of 21 from 3-point range and was 8 of 9 from the free throw line. The Lady Wildcats made nine field goals in the first half but managed just six field goals in the second half.

Chapmanville and Logan exchanged the lead seven times and were tied seven times in the second half. Five of those ties and three of the lead changes occurred in the third quarter.

Blair started the third quarter with 3 to tie it at 24 with 7:22 to play. Jaiden Mahon put Chapmanville on top, 26-24, with 6:28 to play in the third.

Logan regained the lead with a 7-2 run to take a 31-28 lead on Blankenship’s 3-pointer with 3:52 to play. Before Blankenship’s 3, Logan got a basket from Amick to tie it at 26 with 5:48 to play, another basket from Mahon put Chapmanville on top 28-26, but a pair of Crouse free throws tied the contest at 28 with 4:33 to play.

Chapmanville scored the next six points to regain the lead, 34-31, on a pair of 3-pointers from Evans and Blair. Evans tied it at 28 with 3:33 to go and Blair’s 3 with 1:47 remaining put Chapmanville back on top.

Blankenship tied it with her second 3 of the third quarter and Crouse’s 3 with 0:43 remaining put Logan on top 37-34 before Evans hit her second 3 of the third quarter with 0:23 remaining to knot the score at 37.

Blankenship’s third and final 3-pointer put Logan on top 43-42 with 4:25 to play in fourth, however, the Lady Wildcats struggled with the Lady Tigers height and zone defense and could only manage a pair of Amick free throws in the final four minutes.

“Their size hurt us,” Logan coach Kevin Gertz said. “We really struggled figuring out their match up zone.”

Despite for a few open looks in the second half, Gore felt that the Lady Tigers stuck to the game plan and adjusted well after halftime.

“The girls did a tremendous job of keeping their shooters covered up for the most part in the second half,” Gore said. “Their offensive plan is to drive middle, get you to help and kick it out to the shooters.”

“Alaira and Haley did a super job of cutting off those drives to the rim, the perimeter defenders remained disciplined and stayed with the shooters as they relocated,” Gore said. “It takes having trust and faith in your teammates to do their job by not helping off and I was so proud to see that.”

Adkins and Bam Mosby each finished with three points for Logan. Mosby had a team-high eight rebounds, three steals, dished out two assists and had one block shot for the Lady Wildcats.

Gore praised the efforts of Christian and Mahon. Mahon finished with eight points, seven rebounds and blocked four shots while Christian, who scored four points, was vital on defense for the Lady Tigers.

“Jaiden (Mahon) is our general out there on the back end of our defense helping move people where they need to be, and Brooke (Christian) has stepped up her perimeter coverage,” Gore said. “Jaiden had a gorgeous slip to the basket and scored off a nice feed from Haley (Fleming) off an out of bounds play. Brooke helped ice the game tipping a rebound off a missed foul shot back to Alaira late in the game.”

Gore also had high praise for Chloe Thompson and Haley Fleming. Thompson didn’t score in the contest, but had six rebounds, four assists, two blocked shots and one steal in the victory. Fleming scored six points and had a game-high seven assists for the Lady Tigers.

“Chloe was an absolute menace out there. I had a talk with her Thursday night about the attitude we needed her to bring to the game and she delivered,” Gore said. “She blocked shots, ripped the ball away from people and was active in our matchup zone.”

“Haley saw the floor well tonight and pushed the pace when she needed to,” Gore said. “She stayed calm and present and is continuing to grow and mature as a point guard. I was really proud of her performance on both ends.”

Logan falls to 10-10 overall and fell to 6-4 in the Cardinal Conference. The Lady Wildcats will be back in action Wednesday evening when they host second-ranked Wayne.

The Lady Tigers rebounded from am 18-point loss to Wayne last week, in which they endured a 10:33 scoring drought in the second half. Chapmanville, 11-7 overall and 6-3 in the Cardinal Conference, will hit the road Thursday as they travel to Scott.

“Great bounce back win for us, Wayne is a tremendous opponent, and to go 10 minutes without scoring in that game and only lose by 18 points says something about us,” Gore said. “We are improving defensively and the players on the floor are starting to gel and communicate.”

Chapmanville 51, Logan 45

Logan (10-10)

Amick 5-12 5-5 16, Blankenship 5-14 0-0 13, Crouse 3-13 2-2 10, Mosby 1-4 1-2 3, Adkins 1-7 0-0 2. Totals: 15-50 8-9 45.

Chapmanville (11-7)

Evans 5-9 7-10 19, Blair 5-12 0-0 14, Mahon 4-9 0-0 8, Fleming 3-5 0-0 6, Christian 1-3 1-2 4. Totals: 18-38 8-12 51.

Logan 15 9 13 8- 45

Chapmanville 11 10 16 14- 51

3-Point Field Goals_Logan 7-21 (Amick 1-4, Blankenship 3-5, Crouse 2-6, Adkins 1-6), Chapmanville 7-18 (Evans 2-2, Blair 4-9, Mahon 0-3, Fleming 0-1, Christian 1-3). Fouled Out_None. Rebounds_Logan 25 (Mosby 8), Chapmanville 27 (Blair 7, Mahon 7). Assists_Logan 9 (Amick 4), Chapmanville 13 (Fleming 7). Total Fouls_Logan 12, Chapmanville 8. Technicals_None.

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