Chapmanville's Brooke Christian (23) launches a 3-pointer over the outstretched arm of Logan's Autumn Adkins during the second half of the Lady Tigers 52-46 win over the Lady Wildcats Thursday night at Willie Akers Arena (Holly Eldridge/Holly Eldridge Photography).
Bill Lusk | WVOW Sports
LOGAN Class AA No. 8 Chapmanville built a 19-point first half lead and had to hold off a furious rally to defeat Class AAA No. 7 Logan 52-46 Thursday night at Willie Akers Arena.
The Lady Tigers fell behind by three early, 6-3, following a 3-point basket from Autumn Adkins with 3:45 to play in the first quarter, but closed the first quarter on an 11-0 run that eventually turned into a 25-3 run and led 28-9 on Jaiden Mahon's basket with 1:38 to play before halftime.
Logan closed the half on an 8-1 run, scoring six points in the final 0:42, to close the gap to 12 points, 29-17, following Addyson Amick's steal and 3-pointer to beat the first half buzzer.
Logan continued to chip away at the lead closing the gap to four-points, 50-46, with 1:01 to play on Amick's second 3-pointer of the fourth quarter.
Chapmanville coach Kristina Gore, while pleased with the win, was not pleased with her team's ability to protect the double-digit lead. Gore said her team lost mental focus and further stated that is something the Lady Tigers need to develop as the season draws toward tournament play.
"They don't quit. I don't know if we got it in our heads that we ahead by double digits or if they would lay down," Gore said of Logan's fight. "That is not the identity of this team or program that we played tonight. When you give them opportunities, they are going to take it."
"All in all, we won the game, it is a rivalry game, it is good for the community for us to come here and win," Gore said. "We got a lot of work to do, a lot of mental toughness we need to develop so we can finish games, and work toward being more dominated to when we do have the lead not letting the foot off the gas."
Logan coach Kevin Gertz was proud of the way his Lady Wildcats attacked in the second half. It would have been easy for Logan to lay down and quit when down 19 points in the first half, but Gertz praised his team's will and desire to cut the deficit to four.
"We were aggressive in the second half; we attacked in the second half. Did we play perfect? No, you are not going to play perfect, but that is the kind of team we got to be. We got to fly around on defense, on offense we can't just pass the ball around the arc, which is what we did in the first half," Gertz said. "I am proud of our effort, but you can't spot somebody 20 points and expect to come back and beat them."
"With a minute left we had the ball down four and a chance to beat them. If we knock down one more shot, you never know what happens," Gertz said. "Chapmanville played great, Kris has got a lot of talent and does a great job with those girls, and tonight they outplayed us by a couple of possessions."
Brooke Christian led Chapmanville with 14 points. The sophomore, one of three Lady Tigers in double figures, was 4 of 7 from the field and 3 of 5 from 3, but when the Lady Tigers needed a basket in the second half, Christian came through with backdoor layup in the third and a 3-pointer from the left wing in the fourth quarter.
Gore said Christian stayed calm and steady and can see the sophomore's poise and confidence developing in her game.
“She was consistent throughout and hit a lot of big shots to help maintain the little bit of cushion that we had in the third quarter especially,” Gore said. “I think they had cut it to single digits maybe twice and Brooke came down and hit a couple of buckets to get us right back where we needed to be. One was off a pick-and-roll and then she hit a 3.”
Alaira Evans scored 13 points off the bench for the Lady Tigers. Gore said before the game that she had planned to not start and intended to play Evans, who missed the Lady Tigers victory over Scott last Monday night with an illness, a few minutes. However, Gore's plans were quickly changed when the Lady Tigers were scoreless for the first 2:30 of the first quarter.
Evans provided Chapmanville with the spark they needed as she scored nine of the Lady Tigers 14 points in the opening quarter to stake them to a 14-6 lead after one quarter of play.
“We were getting off to a slow start and I wanted to put her in to see if she could spark us,” Gore said. “She hit a 3 right off the bat and came in and sparked us.”
Gertz said his Lady Wildcats simply had no answer for the taller Evans, who was a matchup problem all night.
“She is a complete college basketball player, she can shoot it from the arc, she can manhandle you inside,” Gertz said. “We don’t have a matchup for her. She is so skilled, and we tried to stay inside of her on the perimeter and make her a perimeter player, but she just went inside and bullied us.”
Daizi Farley knocked down three 3's in the second quarter to help Chapmanville extend on its an eight-point first quarter lead and finished with 11 points for the Lady Tigers.
“We were doing a great job of getting out in transition and finding her. We are at our best when we get stops, get a quick rebound, run the floor and we are also great off the block shot, Jaiden (Mahon) gets a block shot here or there and we get out and we run,” Gore said. “We had trouble scoring in the second half because we were getting away from that, we were getting away from getting stops defensively. We were having to run some stuff in the halfcourt, and we were obviously a much better team when we get some stops and run the floor.”
For the second consecutive game, Logan knocked down 11 3's including five in the fourth quarter. Logan was 11 of 34 from 3 in the game and was 4 of 17 from distance in the first half.
“I don’t have a problem with us shooting that many 3’s. I have a problem with passing around the arc and shooting that many 3’s,” Gertz said. “If we can get it into the paint and kick out, that is what we want to do, and you are catching the ball facing the basket. You are a good shooter that way or a better shooter that way and we did that the second half.”
Natalie Blankenship led Logan with a game-high 17 points. Amick had 14 points and Adkins 12 points for the Lady Wildcats, who made just three shots inside the arc. Adkins and Blankenship each had four 3's while Amick knocked down three from behind the arc.
Despite the 11 3's, Gertz pointed out that the ball needs to go inside more, especially to Bam Mosby, who had just three points on free throws and attempted just one field goal.
“We got to throw it inside and I don’t think Bam (Mosby) had an official field goal attempt today,” Gertz said. “We are not using her, and we have to. She is going to get somebody that is three-to-four-to-six inches taller than her a game, but she is so strong, so skilled with the ball that she is still effective in there if we get it to her.”
“She has got to demand it, if she don’t demand it there she may need to have a talk with a few kids to get it because I am going to have a talk with them,” Gertz said. “We are going to start playing to get everybody more involved and not one or two.”
Chapmanville improves to 9-4 and returns to action tonight at Class AA No. 2 Mingo Central. The Miners, who upset top-ranked Wyoming East 37-36 on Addie Smith's last second 3-pointer from the corner with four-tenths of a second remaining, defeated Chapmanville 55-49 on Dec. 13 at Chapmanville.
Gore is hopeful the Lady Tigers can split the season series with the Lady Miners, who Chapmanville could see for a third time if both teams reach the sectional finals.
“That is a huge game, it’s got postseason implications, and if we can get up there and get a big win then we split the regular season. We have to look and see how it shakes out in who gets that number one seed for sectionals,” Gore said. “That is a huge game for us and we missed up by not taking care of them at our place, but it is what it is, and at the end of the day what happens up there Tuesday that is who we are going to face in the sectional finals.”
“Whether we beat them at home, beat them up there it doesn’t matter,” Gore said. “That is all that matters, that’s what is on our mind. We are going to put a lot of focus on them, but once that game is over, we are going to continue through the regular season, take it one game at a time and then come tournament time we will be ready for them.”
Logan fell to 5-7 and was in action Saturday against Lincoln in the East Fairmont Classic. Logan was also in action Monday night at Sissonville.
“We are getting better every day, every game we are getting better, we are having some issues, but it is my job to fix those and straighten those out,” Gertz said. “(Assistant Coach) Mike (Tothe) made a great point that we are in the midst of a 22-game preseason for the tournament. All we are worried about doing is finishing top two in the section for the tournament. If we can do that and win our first sectional game we are in a regional and if we knock one off there we are back in Charleston where you set your goal to go.”
“We got a lot of work to do, we are just past the halfway point of our season in games played,” Gertz said. “I like the trend, I like how we are going, (but) we just got to find a way to finish these games off.”
Chapmanville 52, Logan 46
Fleming 4 0-2 8, Farley 3 2-2 11, Mahon 2 2-6 6, Christian 4 3-4 14, Evans 4 4-6 13.
Totals: 17 11-20 52.
Blankenship 6 1-2 17, Amick 4 3-5 14, Adkins 4 0-0 12, Mosby 0 3-4 3. Totals: 14 7-11 46.
Chapmanville 14 15 10 13- 52
Logan 6 11 7 22- 46
3-Point Field Goals_Chapmanville 7 (Farley 3, Christian 3, Evans), Logan 11 (Blankenship 4, Amick 3, Adkins 4).