PHOTO : Boothe Davis : Captured by the Moment Photography
Jasmine Tabor’s third 3-pointer against Logan could turn out to be one of the most memorable shots of the senior’s career if the Lady Pioneers make a return trip to Charleston.
Tabor’s third triple from the left wing with 4:13 remaining gave Wayne a 40-37 lead and kickstarted a 12-2 run to lift the fourth-ranked Lady Pioneers past third-ranked Logan 49-39 in a battle of top-five teams from Class AAA Wednesday night at Willie Akers Arena.
Moments before Tabor’s shot, Logan High School senior Peyton Ilderton had tied the contest at 37 with a short jumper with 4:30 remaining in the fourth quarter.
Immediately following Ilderton’s shot, Logan coach Kevin Gertz called timeout to set his defense while Wayne coach Wade Williamson designed a for the lone senior starter on a team that starts three freshmen and a sophomore.
One of those three freshmen, Brooke Adkins walked the ball up the court as Tabor took her place in the left corner. As Adkins dribbled to the right wing, sophomore Laneigh Brooks and freshman Mikayla Stacy set a pick on Logan’s Emma Elkins on the low block as Tabor made her move.
Adkins found Tabor on the left wing, who hit the 3 over the outstretched hand of Elkins. As the 3 swished through the net, Williamson popped up off the bench in celebration.
“We called a play for her out of the timeout just to get that 3 and we were able to execute it,” Williamson said. “She is our best standstill shooter and she is the one that is going to take big shots for us.”
Tabor finished the game with 11 points on 3-of-6 shooting and was 3-of-3 from 3-point range. Brooke Adkins led Wayne with 13 points while Stacy added 11 points for the Lady Pioneers.
Wayne, who last made the state tournament during the 2018-19 season, took a huge step in potentially securing the top seed in the Class AAA Region 4 Section 2 tournament improving to 9-2 on the season while improving its record to 2-0 against sectional competition and 5-0 against regional competition.
It was also Wayne’s second straight win over a top-five Class AAA opponent. The Lady Pioneers defeated then No. 4 Nitro, 74-48, at Wayne on Saturday.
“It gives up a little bit of a head up on sectional and regional seeding, and I don’t know if it has done anything for us, but we have beaten Nitro and Logan the last two games,” Williamson said. “I think that has helped us to this point, but we still got a lot of work to do moving forward and we can’t rest on this.”
The victory also extended Wayne’s winning streak to 12 games in the series. The Lady Pioneers have won 18-of-the-last-19 meetings between the two schools.
“Mentally, right now, and it has been like these for five years, but Logan doesn’t think they can beat Wayne,” Logan coach Kevin Gertz said. “That is the biggest thing, we don’t think we can beat them and that was my message to them in the locker room.”
Logan led 11-9 after one quarter and held a 20-16 advantage with 4:34 remaining in the first half on Ilderton’s 3 but trailed 24-22 at halftime after Wayne closed the half on an 8-2 run.
The Lady Wildcats opened the third quarter with seven straight points to take a 29-24 on a Halle Crouse 3 with 4:20 remaining in the quarter, however, just like the end of the first half, the Lady Pioneers closed on an 8-4 run to trim the deficit to one, 34-33, after three quarters.
The two teams traded baskets to start the fourth quarter with Logan trailing by two, Ilderton hit a short jumper to tie the contest at 37 with 4:30 remaining. Tabor’s 3 gave Wayne the lead, but Logan answered with a bucket from Natalie Blankenship to pull back within one, 40-39, with 3:52 to play.
The Lady Wildcats had the chance to regain the lead after a missed jumper by Tabor, but they were unable to capitalize on the opportunity as they missed their final three shots and committed four turnovers in the final 3:52.
“I think this is one of the worst games we have played executing all year,” Gertz said. “Until about the four-minute mark we led the whole game, and I don’t think we were very good, and we still led.”
Logan was 16-of-34 from the field, 3-of-10 from 3-point range and 4-of-9 from the free throw line but committed 23 turnovers including 11 in the first half.
“We throw it away, we skip pass twice that I know of maybe three times where we throw the ball out of bounds from wing-to-wing,” Gertz said. “That is 20 chances you don’t get to score and you are not going to make them all, but if you make 40 percent of those you are talking 16 points and we win.”
Peyton Ilderton led Logan with 17 points on 6-of-10 shooting from the field. Crouse and Elkins each finished with seven points for the Lady Wildcats who fell to 10-2 with the loss.
“That was a winnable game and our last two were winnable games,” Gertz said. “I got no problem with our record, but I got a problem with now when you should start building for your tournaments and we are starting to slide.”
The loss was the second consecutive defeat for the Lady Wildcats, who suffered a 53-45 loss to Class AA No. 2 Wyoming East on Jan. 13 at New Richmond.
The loss was also damaging to Logan’s hopes of securing the top spot in the Class AAA Region 4 Section 2 tournament. The Lady Wildcats and Lady Pioneers will meet Feb. 8 in Wayne. The two schools could meet in the sectional tournament for a third time, a fourth meeting could happen if the two meet in the Class AAA state tournament in Charleston.
“We have put ourselves in a hole, and chances are we going to be a two seed in our section, but know we have to beat them on the road” Gertz said. “That is the way I am looking at it and it ain’t like the season is over.”
Wayne was 14-of-37 from the field, 5-of-12 from 3-point range and 16-of-20 from the foul line. In the fourth quarter alone, the Lady Pioneers were 9-of-13 from the foul line including a 7-of-9 showing from the line in the final 1:29.
The trio of Addie Adkins, Brooke Adkins and Stacy combined to go 13-of-16 from the charity stripe.
“We can shoot foul shots especially if the right people get fouled and those kids stepped up and made big foul shots down the stretch,” Williamson said. “When you get a lead late in the game that is what you got to have when trying to close out games.”
Wayne, whose two losses have come to Clarkrange (Tenn.) and Lawrence County (Tenn.), remained unbeaten against West Virginia competition. The Lady Pioneers are 8-0 against in-state competition and 1-2 against those from outside the state.
“We are young, but we were able to come in here and get a win against a team that was highly-ranked and against a team that hadn’t been beat very much and they have a really good player and have really good pieces,” Williamson said. “Logan has a great team and I think this win is big for our program and it says where program is at, where it has been and where it is going.”
Wayne will travel to Sissonville Saturday looking to push its winning streak to seven games.
“They are young, very multiple and we have to play at their place which is a difficult place to play,” Williamson said. “They have a nice freshman who is a big strong kid. We have to get back to the drawing board and get a game plan together.”
Logan is scheduled to get back in action Thursday at sectional rival Scott. The Lady Wildcats will host Class AAA No. 10 Winfield on Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m.
Logan will host Sissonville on Jan. 24, travel to Chapmanville on Jan. 27 and Nitro on Jan. 29 before returning home to host Chapmanville on Feb. 2 and Ripley on Feb. 5. The Lady Wildcats will travel to Wayne on Feb. 8 before closing the season with home games against Westside on Feb. 10 and Lincoln County on Feb. 12.
“We got a lot of days where it’s going to be more walkthrough stuff in trying to prepare,” Gertz said. “We got six or seven winnable games, but there’s six or seven losable games as well.”
Wayne Lady Pioneers 49, Logan Lady Wildcats 39
Brooke Adkins 4-13 4-4 13, Jasmine Tabor 3-6 2-2 11, Mikayla Stacy 4-6 3-4 11, Addie Adkins 1-7 6-8 9. Laneigh Brooks 1-3 1-2 3, Evelyn Brown 1-1 2, Cheyenne Williams 0-1 0-0 0. Totals: 14-37 16-20 49.
Peyton Ilderton 6-10 4-6 17, Halle Crouse 3-7 0-1 7, Emma Elkins 3-5 0-2 7, Natalie Blankenship 2-6 0-0 4, Bam Mosby 2-4 0-0 4, Addyson Amick 0-2 0-0 0. Totals: 16-34 4-9 39.
Wayne 9 15 9 16- 49
Logan 11 11 12 5- 39
3-point field goals- Wayne 5-12 (B. Adkins 1-4, Tabor 3-3, A. Adkins 1-4, Brooks 0-1), Logan 3-10 (Ilderton 1-1, Crouse 1-3, Elkins 1-1, Blankenship 0-3, Amick 0-2). Rebounds- Wayne 18 (A. Adkins 6), Logan 21 (Crouse 6). Assists- Wayne 9 (A. Adkins 3), Logan 7 (Blankenship 2, Crouse 2). Total fouls- Wayne 8, Logan 17. Fouled out- Blankenship. Technical fouls- Wayne.