A 12-0 first quarter run set the tone early as Class AA number three Wyoming East handed Class AAA number three Logan its first loss of the season Thursday night at Wyoming East High School.
The Lady Warriors spotted Logan a quick 4-0 lead in the first quarter but responded with twelve unanswered points for a 53-45 victory over the Lady Wildcats.
The victory avenged an early season loss to the Lady Wildcats as in their final game before winter break, East lost 63-48 at Logan on December thirtieth.
Logan, who hit seven 3’s in that contest, was 0-for-11 from 3 Thursday night and was led in scoring by Peyton Ilderton with a game-high 20 points on 8-of-19 shooting. Ilderton also pulled down seven rebounds and dished out two assists in the loss.
“We played really hard and played more confident this time,” Wyoming East coach Angie Boninsegna said. “They are a really good team and Peyton (Ilderton) gets to the rim well.”
“Overall, we did a wonderful job defensively and played much better against them,” Boninsegna said. “Seems like over there they shot lights out from 3 but we guarded the perimeter well and we switched off the screens well.”
Sophomore Madison Clark was 5-of-11 from the field and 8-of-17 from the foul line, scoring 18 points for the Lady Warriors. Kayley Bane was the only other player to reach double figures with 11 points. Hannah Blankenship just missed double figures finishing with eight points and a team-high 10 rebounds for Wyoming East.
“I am proud of the whole team and the bench cheered them on really well,” Boninsegna said. “Hopefully it will be a stepping stone for us to play well next week.”
Clark and freshman Cada Blackburn were instrumental down the stretch for the Lady Warriors as the pair combined to go 10-of-11 from the free throw line in the fourth quarter.
Clark was just 1-of-7 from the free throw line in the first half but rebounded to connect on 7-of-9 attempts from the line in the second half including all five of her attempts in the fourth quarter. Blackburn was 5-of-6 in the fourth quarter and connected on her final four attempts in the fourth with the game on the line.
“Maddie controlled the offense and played really good defensively,” Boninsegna said. “I was really proud of her and Cada’s foul shooting down the stretch was huge.”
The Lady Warriors were 17-of-32 from the foul line as a team and was only 1-of-11 in the first half. The second half was a different story as they connected on 16-of-21 attempts in the second half including 12-of-15 in the fourth quarter.
“We were a little bit off, but we settled down in the second half,” Boninsegna said. “The coaches told them it was a new half and we shot better.”
Logan, who trailed by as many as eight points on five separate occasions, closed to within a point, 46-45, on a pair of free throws from Halle Crouse with 0:32.4 remaining in the contest.
“Wasn’t very good offense by us tonight,” Logan coach Kevin Gertz said. “The kids played hard, and we will learn, we will get stronger and get better.”
A pair of free throws from Brown gave Wyoming East a 48-45 lead with 0:29 remaining setting the stage for junior Colleen Lookabill to come up with the biggest play of the game for the Lady Warriors.
With Logan in possession of the ball and Ilderton looking for a dribble handoff to Abbie Myers, Lookabill was able to get a hand in the way to deflect the ball off Ilderton forcing a turnover with 0:16.2 remaining.
“She (Lookabill) played really solid defense,” Boninsegna said. “We put her on Peyton and she did a really good job of that.”
On the ensuing inbounds play, Blankenship inbounding just in front of the scorer’s table found a streaking Clark for the game clinching basket. Clark, who was fouled on the play, converted the free throw for a six-point lead, 51-45 with 0:15.5 remaining.
For every run that Logan had, Wyoming East answered with a run of their own to regain control of the game despite turning the ball over 22 times.
“Sometimes you are going to have that with a young team,” Boninsegna said. “They (Logan) are real aggressive when they go after the ball.”
“With such a young team that was really big for us,” Boninsegna said. “They did run at us and early in the season with struggled with that a little bit and we were more confident this time.”
Wyoming East shot 47.2 percent from the field connection of 17-of-36 attempts from the field but was just 2-of-10 from the 3-point line.
“It was just a solid team effort, and I am just really proud of them,” Boninsegna said. “They are a good defensive team and we attacked the rim well.”
Wyoming East led 12-6 after one quarter, led 20-14 at halftime and held a 37-31 advantage after three quarters of play.
“You give a good team all the points we gave them in the first half by us not scoring, you know holding them to 20 in a half, that was great,” Gertz said. “We got beat on face cuts a lot, we did not box out real well, they got offensive rebounds and stick backs and that was key.”
Ilderton was the lone Logan player in double figures. Emma Elkins had six points and a game-high 11 rebounds while Bam Mosby added six points for the Lady Wildcats.
“Emma doesn’t have to score 15 or 20 points to play a great basketball game,” Gertz said. “She does rebound well; she defends very well, and she is one of our top communicators on defense.”
“That is something we didn’t do real well,” Gertz said. “We are supposed to be switching ball screens, and we did but we didn’t talk a lot.”
Logan struggled from the field on the night connecting on just 18-of-52 shots from 34.1 percent. The Lady Wildcats were 6-of-26 in the first half and 2-of-15 in the first quarter.
“We settled a lot and when we attacked, we weren’t really strong with it and couldn’t put the ball in the square,” Gertz said. “I probably used all the ink out of one Expo marker drawing a square at halftime.”
“We shoot the ball pretty well most nights, and according to our shot charts we made one shot just outside the paint and we banked in a short wing jumper,” Gertz said. “We got to be ready to shoot and shoot with confidence. We didn’t tonight but that is girls basketball.”
Despite forcing 22 Wyoming East turnovers, Logan turned it over 15 times with 10 of those 15 coming in the first half.
“Too many turnovers for us not to be pressed, and you force 22 turnovers you ought to be in the game” Gertz said, “We were in the game with a minute left and a chance to tie. We couldn’t score at the end and they made their foul shots at the end.”
Wyoming East, who lost four starters from last year’s state championship team, improved to 6-2 on the year. The Lady Warriors were scheduled to play at Princeton on Tuesday, but that game will be moved to a later date.
Instead, the Lady Warriors, who continue to improve as the season progresses, will travel to Class AA No. 6 Summers County on Thursday.
“Right now, its Summers County on Thursday but we are hoping to get a game before that,” Boninsegna said. “We said all along that growth was going to be our word this year where we are so young, and I think we will continue with the growth process and move it in the right way.”
Logan falls to 10-1 on the season and will return home Wednesday to host Class AAA No. 5 Wayne at the famed Willie Akers Arena.
Wednesday’s game will the first of six games in two weeks. Following Wayne, the Lady Widcats will travel to Scott on Thursday, and close out the week hosting Class AA No. 10 Winfield on Jan. 22.
The Wildcats will host Sissonville on Jan. 24 before closing out the following week with a pair of road games beginning with Chapmanville on Jan. 27 and Class AAA No. 4 Nitro on Jan. 29.
“I am going to get on Facebook and try to get a big crowd there for Wayne,” Gertz said. “If we want to be a top seed in our region, we need to sweep that.”
Wyoming East 53, Logan 45
Logan Wildcats (10-1)
Natalie Blankenship 1-7 0-0 2, Abbie Myers 1-11 3-4 5, Halle Crouse 1-3 2-2 4, Peyton Ilderton 8-19 4-5 20, Emma Elkins 3-6 0-1 6, Addyson Amick 0-1 0-0 0, Autumn Adkins 1-2 0-1 2, Payton Butcher 0-0 0-2 0, Bam Mosby 3-4 0-0 6. Totals: 18-52 9-15 45.
Wyoming East Warriors (6-2)
Cada Blackburn 0-3 7-9 7, Colleen Lookabill 3-4 0-1 7, Maddie Clark 5-11 8-17 18, Kayley Bane 5-9 1-3 11, Hannah Blankenship 3-7 1-2 8, Alivia Monroe 1-2 0-0 2. Totals: 17-36 17-32 53.
Logan 6 8 17 14- 45
Wyoming East 12 8 17 16- 53
3-point field goals- Logan 0-11 (Blankenship 0-3, Myers 0-3, Ilderton 0-2, Elkins 0-2, Adkins 0-1). Wyoming East 2-10 (Blackburn 0-1, Lookabill 1-1, Clark 0-2, Bane 0-2, Blankenship 1-4). Rebounds- Logan 29 (Elkins 11), Wyoming East 33 (Blankenship 10). Assists- Logan 3 (Ilderton 2), Wyoming East 9 (Clark 4), Total fouls- Logan 21, Wyoming East 16.