Although they are only about 30 miles apart Logan and Belfry high schools haven’t met that much on the athletic fields in recent years other than baseball.
But that’s going to change during the upcoming basketball season as the Wildcats and Pirates will be seeing a lot of each other.
The Logan High School boys’ basketball team is scheduled to play at Belfry (Ky.) on Saturday at 6 p.m. in a preseason game at the Belfry High School gym in Goody, Ky.
The Wildcats and Pirates will then play for real on Jan. 25 at 8 p.m. on the first night of Logan’s annual King Coal Classic at Willie Akers Arena.
Logan will then take on Greenbrier East on Jan. 26 the following night during the final day of the King Coal Classic.
The preseason game at Belfry on Saturday is the first of two scrimmages for the Wildcats. On Dec. 6, Beckley Woodrow Wilson comes to Logan to take on the Cats in the preseason finale in a battle of traditional Class AAA state rivals.
Logan is scheduled to open the 2012-13 regular season on Dec. 11 at home against Hurricane. It’s the first of a three-game home stand for the Wildcats to begin the season. On Dec. 14, Logan hosts Berwick (Pa.), coached by former Scott High School basketball mentor Jason Kingery. Logan then is slated to host 3A sectional rival Huntington on Dec. 20 before going to George Washington’s tourney Dec. 21-22, where the Cats are set to play Magnolia and St. Albans.
Logan lost top scorers Stevie Browning and Keaton Johnson to graduation. Browning currently plays collegiately at Fairmont State. Another key senior, Matthew Greene, has also been lost as well as 6-4 junior guard Da’jon Streeter, who has left Logan to go to a school in Las Vegas, Nev.
The Wildcats will look to returning senior guard A.J. Reynolds and senior forward C.J. Williams this season. Senior guard Trent Dalton is also back.
Brynden “Worm” Street, a top leaper and rebounder, also returns for Logan.
Younger players Z. Minnick and Chase Preston, junior Zach Miller and also Cameron Sammons could also play major roles for the Wildcats this season.
“We have a deep group but just not a lot of seniors,” Logan coach Mark Hatcher said.
Logan, which went 17-9 last season and lost in the first round of the Class AAA state tournament, is hoping to make a third straight trip to Charleston. The Cats last won the Class AAA state title in 2010, their seventh crown in school history.
Coach Hatcher will be without two of his key assistant coaches this season.
Longtime Logan assistant Brad Napier has left to become the new head coach at Mingo Central. Rodney “Soupy” Campbell is sidelined due to health reasons, Hatcher said.
Napier replaces Frankie Smith as Mingo Central’s coach. Smith, a former head coach at Tug Valley, former assistant at Miami (Ohio) and ex-head coach at Division II Saginaw Valley State University in Michigan, left Mingo Central recently before the 2012-13 basketball season got started and landed a basketball coaching job at Sheldon Clark High School in Inez, Ky.
Hatcher will have some company just 10 miles down the road at Chapmanville Regional High School as his dad, Allan Hatcher, is the new head coach of the Tigers.
Logan, however, does not play either Chapmanville or Mingo Central this season so there will be no “father vs. son” or “teacher vs. pupil” matchups during the roundball campaign.
Belfry, coached by Randy Casey, is more well known for its state powerhouse football program, however, the basketball Pirates have always seemed to field a solid hoop team.
The Pirates scrimmaged on Nov. 17 at Breathitt County (Ky.).
Belfry finished 10-18 last season, losing 66-54 to East Ridge (Ky.) in the 60th district tournament.
The Pirates played some West Virginia teams last season, winning 70-69 over rival Mingo Central and falling 81-66 at eventual Class AA state champion Tug Valley. The Pirates also lost 67-66 to Hurricane.