PHOTO | Boothe Davis : Captured by the Moment Photography
Bill Lusk | WVOW Sports
LOGAN, WVa A strong first quarter set the tone for Class AAA No. 2 Logan Monday night as the Wildcats opened tournament play with a 77-42 victory over Lincoln County in the Class AAA Region 4 Section 2 tournament at Willie Akers Arena.
Logan, who improved to 21-2 with the victory, made 11 of its 13 shots in the opening quarter and led 26-5 after one quarter to advance to Friday’s championship game.
“We talked about that before the game and that is something that we have been talking about all season,” Logan coach Zach Green said. “Is starting the game the way, we finish them, and I think the guys did a good job of that tonight.”
The Wildcats started the game with a 15-0 run as Lincoln County missed its first 12 shots before Sawyer Tomblin’s 3 got the Panthers on the board with 2:37 to play in the opening quarter.
“That is the one thing that couldn’t happen is for us to come out ice cold and them getting out on the transition off rebounds,” Lincoln County coach Rodney Plumley said. “They are hard to control in the transition when all five of them are getting up and down the floor, filling the lanes, and going to the middle attacking the rim.”
The fast start was something that Logan had been unable to do in the first two meetings with Lincoln County. The Panthers had been able to hang around in the first half with the Wildcats.
Plumley was hoping that his team would be able to get off to a good start for the third time this season against the Wildcats.
“The first two times we played this year we got off to a good start and prolonged the game into the second half before they would get a little separation,” Plumey said.
Despite falling behind by 21 points in the first quarter, Lincoln County was able to claw its way back to within 16 points and had multiple opportunities to draw closer before the Wildcats finished the second quarter on a 12-2 run to take a 40-14 halftime lead.
Lincoln County made just 17 of 53 shots from the field and was 4 of 15 from 3-point range. No one scored double figures for the Panthers as Cam Blevins led the way with nine and Jackson Sanders and Tomblin each had eight points.
“We were successful this year when we were able to get 30 and 40 points out of Jackson and Cam,” Plumley said. “The baskets weren’t falling, and Logan wasn’t making any easy to get the open looks.”
“Every dribble and shot were challenged, even if they were good shots they were challenged,” Plumley said.
Logan outrebounded Lincoln County 40-24. Tackett had 11 rebounds and Jaxon Cogar 10 boards for the Wildcats while Sanders led Lincoln County with eight boards.
“We know how good of a rebounding team they are, not with Jackson (Tackett) and Cogar,” Plumley said. “Those two are exceptional state leading rebound type players, but when you got the size of Williamson and Slack as well it makes it double tough on our guards.”
Lincoln County ends the season with a 6-17 record.
“We kind of knew coming in that it would be tough for us after losing five two-year starters,” Plumley said. “We talked about it and there was a reason we were able to have fun and enjoy ourselves, and it was because of the kids in that locker room.”
Jackson Tackett scored a game-high 23 points to lead four Wildcats in double figures. Tackett, who had 17 second half points, also added 11 rebounds to go with four steals and three assists.
Scotty Browning had 11 and Aiden Slack and Garrett Williamson added 11 points apiece for the Wildcats, who made 32 of 67 shots from the field and was 7 of 24 from 3-point range.
“He played extremely well and that is what we have come to expect out of Jacko,” Green said. “That has been the story all season and almost postgame interview I do they ask about the balance scoring and it really is.”
Logan assisted on 20 of 32 made shots with Browning and Williamson leading the way seven assists each.
“Our guys shared the basketball, we moved the basketball, and we have a bunch of guys who can score,” Green said. “When it is passed around and move well, we are hard to guard.”
Logan will host the Class AAA Region 4 Section 2 championship on Friday. The Wildcats will face either second-seed Scott or third-seed Wayne.
Logan swept the season series with both schools and will be looking for a second consecutive sectional championship and the right to host one of two Class AAA Region 4 co-finals on March 8.
“We are looking forward to it and we are going to take the guys over and watch Wednesday,” Green said. “We got some things that we need to crisp up before then, but we are going to be prepared on Friday and that is a big game.”
At Willie Akers Arena
Class AAA Region 4 Section 2 Tournament
Logan 77, Lincoln County 42
Lincoln County (6-17)
Cam Blevins 4-11 0-0 9, Jackson Sanders 3-17 0-0 8, Sawyer Tomblin 2-7 3-4 8, Willis Graham 2-2 1-1 5, Brady Slone 2-5 0-0 4, Colin Miller 1-7 0-0 2, Austin Adkins 1-2 0-0 2, Blake Adkins 1-1 0-0 2, Dakota Wood 1-1 0-0 2. Totals: 17-53 4-5 42.
Jackson Tackett 10-13 2-2 23, Scotty Browning 4-11 2-2 11, Aiden Slack 4-8 0-0 10,
Garrett Williamson 4-12 0-0 10, Derrick Browning 3-6 1-1 8, Chance Maynard 3-4 1-2 7,
Jaxon Cogar 3-5 0-0 6, Julius Clancy 1-2 0-1 2, Cole Blankenship 0-3 0-0 0, Chase Hatfield 0-2 0-0 0, Gabe Workman 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 32-67 6-8 77.
Lincoln County 5 9 12 16- 42
Logan 26 14 23 14- 77
3-point field goals- Lincoln County 4-15 (Blevins 1-3, Sanders 2-8, Tomblin 1-2, Miller 0-1, Adkins, A. 0-1), Logan 7-24 (Tackett 1-1, Browning, S. 1-5, Slack 2-5, Williamson 2-6, Browning, D. 1-3, Clancy 0-1, Blankenship 0-3). Rebounds- Lincoln County 24 (Sanders 8), Logan 40 (Tackett 11). Assists- Lincoln County 10 (Miller 7), Logan 20 (Browning, S. 7, Williamson 7). Total fouls- Lincoln County 6, Logan 10. Fouled out- None. Technicals- Blevins.
Class AAA Regional Schedule/Results
Region 4 Section 1
Wednesday, March 2
3) Nitro 67, 2) Ripley 59
1) Winfield 62, 4) Point Pleasant 47
Friday, March 4
Championship at higher seed, 7 p.m.
Region 4 Section 2
Monday, February 28
1) Logan 77, 4) Lincoln County 42
Wednesday, March 2
2) Scott 67, 3) Wayne 58
Friday, March 4
2) Scott at 1) Logan 7 p.m.