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Lady Pioneers gradually pull away from Lady Wildcats

Logan's Bam Mosby (34) has her shot blocked by Wayne's Cheyenne Williams as Brooke Adkins (20) watches during the first quarter of Wayne's 55-35 win over Logan Wednesday night at the Willie Akers Arena (Photo by Bill Lusk/WVOW Sports).

Bill Lusk | WVOW Sports

LOGAN After a close first quarter, second-ranked Wayne gradually pulled away to beat eighth-ranked Logan 55-35 in a battle of Class AAA ranked teams inside Willie Akers Arena on Wednesday night.

The Lady Pioneers improved to 20-1 with the win and have won two straight since losing its first game of the season, 64-38, at third-ranked Ripley on Feb. 4.

“We led that game at halftime and had some things go against us up there. They shot the ball real well, they did a good job and you got to give all the credit in the world to Ripley,” Wayne coach Wade Williamson said. “It done us a lot of good. It done my team a lot of good to see the fact that we know what it is to get beat and we need to get beat sometimes.”

Wayne led 12-6 after one quarter. Logan closed the gap to 12-9 on an Autumn Adkins 3-pointer with 6:25 to play before halftime. The Lady Pioneers would close the quarter on an 11-4 run and led 23-13 at halftime.

Logan started the third quarter with a free throw from Halle Crouse to close the deficit to nine, 23-14, with 7:28 to play in the third, however, Wayne went on a 10-0 run in 2:10 and stretched its lead to 19 points, 33-14, on Addie Adkins layup with 4:36 remaining in the third quarter.

“I felt like we were doing fine but we just didn’t make some shots that we had been making,” Williamson said. “In the third quarter we came out and hit those shots, hit a few perimeter shots, which also loosen it up for us to be able to get a little penetration and some layups.”

Down by 19, Logan managed to close the gap to 11 points, 36-25, on Crouse’s 3-pointer with 1:23 to play. Wayne closed the quarter with five straight points and led 41-25 after three quarters.

The Lady Pioneers led reached 20 points in the fourth quarter before the Lady Wildcats cut it to 15 points, 45-30, with 6:13 to play on Bam Mosby’s basket.

It would be as close as Logan would get as the Lady Pioneers were able to gradually pull away down the stretch for the 20-point victory.

“We ended up getting beat by 19 or 20, whatever it is, we cut it to 15 we have two turnovers and give up two layups,” Logan coach Kevin Gertz said. “We cut it back to whatever, another turnover, missed shot and a layup. We are not getting back on defense and our effort wasn’t what we have to compete with a team like Wayne.”

Turnovers were a big issue in the contest as Wayne committed just five turnovers while turning Logan over 18 times in the win.

“I don’t know how many steals we had but we scored some transition points, had a lot of fast break opportunities and were able to do pretty good with that in the third quarter.”

Wayne’s size and length frustrated Logan all night as the Lady Pioneers registered 11 steals.

“Wayne is loaded, they are not deep, but their starters can play with anybody,” Gertz said. “They are six feet across the board and our biggest target is 5’7’’ and she is a guard.”

“You got to bounce pass against everybody but especially against tall people, but we bounce pass we throw it off people’s feet, we bounce pass we throw it way too short, one hand off the dribble and it just floats, and they run it down and get it,” Gertz said. “This was a bad game all the way around.”

Wayne made 8 of 25 shots in the first half but the Lady Pioneers shot much better in the second half knocking down 13 of 29 shots to finish 21 of 54 on the evening.

“Second half we were terrible defensively. Tried to play a matchup zone, tried to play man-to-man and they are hugging on the wings, they screen the top and shoot a layup,” Gertz said. “Hug the wings, screen the top, they shoot a layup. Our wing doesn’t come over to cut it off, our center doesn’t slide over to hold them to a tough two.”

Logan made just 3 of 18 attempts in the first half. Gertz pointed out that six of the 18 misses were on layups and if the Lady Wildcats could have converted on half of those misses the first half deficit could have been closer.

The Lady Wildcats made 7 of their 17 attempts in the second half and finished the evening 10 of 35 from the field. Six of Logan’s 10 field goals were 3-pointers.

“We didn’t make any shots, we missed six layups I know of in the first half, and we are worried about getting the shot blocked because we can’t put the ball in the square,” Gertz said. “Layups aren’t that tough if you put them in the square they are going to go in the majority of the time. We can’t give away 12 points and you are not going to make all of those but say we make eight and now we are down two at half instead of 10.”

Laneigh Brooks led Wayne with 17 points. Brooke Adkins flirted with a triple-double finishing with 16 points, nine assists, seven rebounds and five steals. Addie Adkins had 11 points and nine rebounds for the Lady Pioneers.

“Brooke has been scoring all year, Laneigh has been scoring all year, Addie has been scoring and we have had some consistency with those kids scoring a lot,” Williamson said. “Mikayla (Stacy, who had four points in the win) has been a lot most of those nights and had 15 the other night. We can score in some different ways and when we got two or three kids scoring, three or four kids scoring it makes us more dangerous.”

Mosby led Logan with 10 points and six rebounds. Mosby was 2 of 6 from the field and 6 of 9 from the free throw line to lead the Lady Wildcats in scoring.

“Bam stepped up big and this is the first game all year that she tried to score. She has to and I just wish she would go to her right side,” Gertz said. “She handles the ball so well and has been a point guard all her life until she got here. She handles the ball tremendous, but she is 5’4’’ going left and shooting into a six-footer and she is blocking it with her elbows. She got a lot of fouls, got to the line tonight and except for her last time at the line shoot the ball really well.”

Crouse finished with nine points, Addyson Amick had seven points and five rebounds and Autumn Adkins six points for the Lady Wildcats on a night where leading scorer Natalie Blankenship was held to just three points.

“She (Crouse) had a super second half offensively, but she has got to be prepared to shoot. She has not been scoring a lot this year. Hopefully that quarter will turn her around because we need her to score,” Gertz said. “We need Nat (Blankenship) to score. Our scorebook said she had none, but I know she hit a 3 and Nat is our leading scorer. Probably averages 14 or 15 a game and we are 11 points off that.”

The victory gave Wayne a season sweep of the regular season series with Logan. The Lady Pioneers defeated the Lady Wildcats 47-39 on Jan. 19 at Wayne. The victory pretty much assures Wayne of the top seed in the upcoming Class AAA Region 4 Section 2 tournament next week.

The Lady Pioneers will host the fourth seed either Lincoln County or Scott on Tuesday Feb. 21 while Logan is pretty much locked into the two seed and would host the third seed which also happens to be either Lincoln County or Scott on Wednesday Feb. 22.

The sectional championship, which could be a third meeting between Wayne and Logan, would be played on Friday Feb. 24 at the higher seed.

Both Wayne and Logan will have one more before the regular season comes to an end next week.

Wayne will host Scott on Monday evening and could very well turn around and host them eight days later in the opening round of the sectional tournament.

“I think we are headed in that direction and there isn’t any way around it,” Williamson said. “As of now we are one and Scott is four. We are going to play them first round of the section and we will see what else happens after that.”

“It is kind of a weird abnormality the way that worked out, but we had to reschedule a game and end up kind of getting backed up,” Williamson said. “They are really capable of shooting the ball well. They got 10 kids that can put the ball in the basket from the perimeter.”

Wayne, who is 10-0 in the Cardinal Conference, can wrap up a perfect season in the Cardinal Conference with a second win in a week over the Lady Skyhawks.

Logan falls to 10-11 on the year and will host Lincoln County Monday evening. The Lady Wildcats erased a seven-point second half deficit to defeat the Lady Panthers 58-53 on Jan. 30.

“We are not playing very well defensively. We got to cause more turnovers to try and get more offensive off our defense,” Gertz said. “We are not good enough to play against a set defense especially against that length. We got to get more transition stuff.”

“We have been in this situation in the past and the first time that one of the teams we coached went to the state tournament we went to a state championship and were 12-10,” Gertz said. “We got hot and that is what we are hoping to do, end the regular season on a good note Monday night, try to get 11-11, throw around play them again and try to get on a roll.”

Logan and Lincoln County, just like Wayne and Scott, could face each other in the opening round of the sectional tournament nine days later, but Gertz said Monday’s game will be more about building momentum heading into the second season.

“That is who we will play. We should have the two seed and play here on Wednesday the 22nd,” Gertz said. “We played great at Wayne, played great at Ripley, but the other three games in our last five we haven’t played very well.”

“Most important game coming up is on the 22nd, and if you win that one you are in a regional,” Gertz said. “That has got to be our mind set, don’t worry about anything else and take care of business and play well. Lincoln County has got a good ballclub, they are athletic and very capable of beating us.”

Wayne 55, Logan 35

Wayne Lady Pioneers (20-1)

Brooks 6-11 1-2 17, Adkins, B. 5-12 5-8 16, Adkins, A. 5-14 0-0 11, Brown, E. 2-3 1-2 5, Stacy 2-11 0-0 4, Brown, K. 1-1 0-0 2, Williams 0-1 0-0 0, Runyon 0-1 0-0 0.

Totals: 21-54 7-12 55.

Logan Lady Wildcats (10-11)

Mosby 2-6 6-9 10, Crouse 3-9 1-2 9, Amick 2-10 2-2 7, Adkins 2-6 0-0 6, 12

Blankenship 1-4 0-0 3. Totals: 10-35 9-13 35.

Wayne 12 11 18 14- 55

Logan 6 7 12 10- 35

3-point field goals_Wayne 6-17 (Brooks 4-4, Adkins, B. 1-3, Adkins, A, 1-6, Stacy 0-4), Logan 6-14 (Crouse 2-4, Amick 1-2, Adkins 2-6, Blankenship 1-2). Fouled Out_None. Rebounds_Wayne 31 (Adkins, A. 9), Logan 21 (Mosby 6). Assists_Wayne 14 (Adkins, B. 9), Logan 5 (Blankenship 2). Total Fouls_Wayne 11, Logan 12. Technicals_None.



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