If you haven’t heard yet about Monica Mitchell you probably will soon enough.
Mitchell, Logan High School’s 6-foot-2 freshman center, poured in 20 points in the Lady Cats’ 51-41 win at home over Tolsia on Tuesday night at Logan’s Willie Akers Arena.
Mitchell tossed in 12 of her points — most on short glassers inside the paint — in the fourth quarter as Logan turned a 37-35 deficit into a 10-point victory.
Despite just being a ninth-grader, Mitchell is giving Logan an inside presence with a true center that the team has lacked for years.
It was a good way for Logan to end the 2012 portion of the season heading into Christmas break. The Lady Cats have now won three straight games and have improved to 4-2 going into their next game — a Jan. 4 clash at home against Class AAA No. 1 Morgantown.
“We played well in the first and fourth quarters,” Logan coach Kevin Gertz said. “We got a little bit complacent in the second and started pressing in the third. Tolsia did a good job of fighting and hanging in there. We just started to press and put a lot of pressure on them. In the fourth quarter, Monica Mitchell was big again. Shayna Gore stepped it up in the fourth.”
Tolsia, which dressed only eight players, fell to 3-2 on the season with the loss. The 2A Rebels were playing without one of their players who did not make the trip to Logan due to a family death.
Tolsia made a good stab at the Lady Cats nonetheless but in the end it was Mitchell who made them pay.
It was Mitchell’s inside shot off the glass which tied the game up at 37 with 7:11 to go in the game.
Then with 6:50 left, Logan’s Summer Collins scored on a nice layup feed from Hannah Adkins to put the Lady Cats up for good, 39-37.
Then it was Mitchell’s turn as she banked in two more buckets to make it a 43-37 ballgame with 5:22 left.
Shayna Gore then added an 18-foot, pull-up jumper with 5:06 remaining to give Logan a 45-37 lead.
With 4:28 to go, Mitchell closed out Logan’s 12-0 run with another kiss off the window inside the lane to make it 47-37, forcing Tolsia to call timeout.
Mitchell added another glasser and canned two free throws with 2:55 left to all but put the game out of reach, giving Logan its largest lead of the night at 51-39.
The Lady Cats then melted away much of the last two minutes by playing keep away.
Logan missed two front ends of 1-and-1s when Tolsia was forced to foul but it didn’t matter as the Lady Cats went two games above .500 ahead of the game with the Mohigans.
Gore also reached double digits in scoring with 10 points. Hannah Tothe had six and Kyra Cline three. Collins came off the bench to tally five points. Reserves Adkins and Katie Kirk both scored a deuce.
Savannah Winnett and Jordan Presley led Tolsia with 14 points each. Krista Maynard and Jamie Maynard tallied six apiece.
Logan was 5-for-11 from the free throw line. Tolsia netted 6-of-8.
The Lady Cats raced out to an early 17-7 lead in the first quarter, thanks to a pair of threes by Cline and Tothe.
Logan led 21-11 after one before the Rebels went on a 9-3 run, trimming the Lady Cat lead to 24-20.
LHS held a 28-24 lead at halftime but hit a brick wall in the third quarter as its offense seemed to get out of sync.
Tolsia took advantage of a few Logan turnovers and missed bunnies, eventually taking a 33-32 lead with 1:48 left in the third on a lay-in by Jamie Maynard.
Collins then answered back with a 3-pointer to put LHS back on top 35-33.
Winnette then stripped Tothe of the ball with eight ticks to go and went in for a layup, putting Tolsia ahead 37-35.
Logan, though, was able to get the job done in the final eight minutes.
Gertz also has praise for Logan’s defense.
“Our defense was excellent,” he said. “We held their best player Krista Maynard to only six points for the night. She’s one heck of a high school guard. Defensively, I thought that we were pretty much outstanding all night. We just have to be a little more consistent. We can’t have scoring lulls in the middle of the game but I’m very happy with the win. We’re 4-2 and I’m tickled to death about that.”
Logan Lady Cats (4-2)
2012-13 Girls’ Basketball Schedule
Nov. 27: at Man, W 61-40
Nov. 29: South Charleston, L 48-50
Dec. 5: at Westside, L 48-64
Dec. 13: at Huntington, W 56-55
Dec. 15: Capital, W 49-31
Dec. 18: Tolsia, W 51-41
Jan. 4: Morgantown, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 9: at South Charleston, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 12: at Winfield, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 14: at Tolsia, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 17: Lincoln County, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 25: Greenbrier East, 6 p.m.
Jan. 28: Man, 1 p.m.
Jan. 30: at Chapmanville, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 2: at Morgantown, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 4: Westside, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 6: Spring Valley, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 8: at Lincoln County, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 9: at Greenbrier East, 7 p.m.
Feb. 11: Winfield, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 14: Chapmanville, 7:30 p.m.