It was a win the Logan High School boys’ basketball team had to have.
After three straight losses to George Washington, Charleston Catholic and Greenbrier East, the Wildcats came home on Friday night and defeated the Westside Renegades 66-55 at Logan’s Willie Akers Arena.
Logan, which is hoping to turn around its season, improved to 3-6 on the 2012-13 roundball campaign.
The Wildcats were looking to make it two in a row on Saturday night when Logan was scheduled to play at Point Pleasant.
Logan led the Renegades (6-5) most of the way in Friday night’s contest, taking leads of 15-10 after one quarter, 30-27 at the half and 49-45 after three.
The Cats trailed Westside 45-43 in the third quarter but tied it at 45 with a Worm Street fade away jumper.
A.J. Reynolds then split from the foul line and Z. Minnick hit a huge 3-pointer at the end of the frame at the buzzer to put Logan on top by four.
It was the boost the Wildcats were looking for.
Logan then buried Westside in the fourth period.
LHS coach Mark Hatcher said it was a good win for his team.
“It was a good start for us. A.J. came out and made some big baskets,” Hatcher said. “He had 14 points in the first half. We’ve been waiting for him to break out offensively. He played like he played this summer offensively. That’s what we’ve been expecting from him. Just to score some points was big for us. We’ve really been struggling on the offensive end. Our defense has been there, though, and I thought we played pretty well defensively throughout the whole game.”
Minnick jumpstarted the Cats with another big 3-pointer at the start of the fourth to make it 52-45 Logan.
Westside briefly got back into the game with a pair of buckets to make it a 52-49 ballgame.
Logan then took charge.
Minnick nailed two free throws, Street scored with 3:26 left and Street put in another hoop on a nice feed from Minnick to make it 60-49 Wildcats.
It was the largest lead of the night for Logan, which took control of the game down the stretch.
After a 3 by Westside’s Hunter Walker, Renegades’ coach Nick Cook was whistled for a technical foul with 1:08 left. Minnick then stepped to the line and split the technical foul free throws to make it 61-52.
Logan then got possession of the ball and Reynolds was hacked. He then hit one of two free throws to make it a 62-52 ballgame.
Minnick and Chase Preston later split from the foul line and Dalton hit a pair with nine ticks to go to put the win on ice.
Reynolds led the way for Logan with a 19-point effort. He nailed three 3-pointers in the first half. Street also reached double digits in scoring with 14 points — most of those points coming in the second half. Minnick reached double figures as well with 10 points — all coming in the final two quarters.
C.J. Williams finished with seven for the Cats. Preston had five and Dalton and Zak Miller had four each, while 6-9 center T.J. Tomblin had two.
Tomblin hauled down 10 rebounds, while Street had nine. Williams had seven rebounds for the game.
“We’re doing a better job on the boards than we did in the first few games of the season,” Coach Hatcher said.
Justin Cogar led Westside with a game-high 29 points. Corey Bowles had six points, while Walker had five and Jordan Browning and Justin Kenneda had four each. Levi Lambert, Corey West and Matt Harless had two points each and Jason Scarlett had one.
The Wildcats had jumped on top of Westside 10-6 after a Reynolds 3-pointer at the 4:32 mark of the first quarter.
Reynolds then hit a another trey and Dalton banked in a 12-footer to give LHS a 15-10 lead after one.
In the second, a third 3-ball by Reynolds pushed the lead to 18-10 with 7:41 to go until halftime.
Westside then went on a 14-2 run to take a 24-20 lead. Cogar finished off the run with a hoop at the 3:43 mark.
However, Logan answered.
A topside 17-foot jumper by Williams and a drive to the lane by Reynolds tied it at 24 with 2:45 left.
Miller later finished off what would be an 8-1 run by the Cats to put Logan ahead 28-25 with 50.7 ticks to go as he swished two foul shots.
Reynolds then drove to the paint for a score with four seconds remaining, giving Logan a 30-27 halftime edge.
It would then be the Cats which took control of the game in the second half.
Logan, though, missed some putbacks and layups and were only about 50 percent from the free throw line. A few more makes and the Cats might have won by 20. Westside also struggling from the foul line.
“Either team could have won that game,” Hatcher said. “They were only 4-for-17 and we shot barely about 50 percent from the line for the night. If either team had made their foul shots either team could have won by 10 points. We could have won by 20.”
The Wildcats, however, made several clutch shots.
“We had some guys step up and make some big shots,” Hatcher said. “Z. Minnick hit that big shot at the end of the third quarter and hit another 3. Zak Miller had a big shot right there before halftime. We were able to make some big shots at the end of the quarters. Westside was playing without one of their key players but that might have affected them a little bit.”
Logan is set to play again on Tuesday at Class AAA sectional foe Lincoln County. The Wildcats then host Tug Valley on Jan. 22 before taking on Belfry, Ky., on Jan. 25 on the first night of Logan’s King Coal Classic. The Cats then have a rematch with Greenbrier East on Jan. 26 at the KCC tourney.
Both tourneys have 8 p.m. tipoff times.
The Cats hope to turn things around in the coming weeks.
“We’ve got better the last three games,” Hatcher said. “We showed a lot of improvement against GW. We lost to Charleston Catholic but we still looked pretty good. In the Greenbrier East game I thought that we outplayed them for most of the game except for about a 3-minute spot in the first half. We’re getting better. If we can hold teams in the 50s it gives us a chance to win. We’ve got the game with Point Pleasant and they are in our region. It’s a tough place to play. Then we’ve got Lincoln County who is in our section.”
Logan Wildcats (3-6)
2012-13 Boys’ Basketball Schedule
Dec. 11: Hurricane, L 60-67
Dec. 14: Berwick, Pa., W 70-19
Dec. 20: Huntington, L 50-76
Dec. 21: vs. Magnolia (at George Wash. Tournament), L 60-86
Dec. 22: vs. St. Albans (at George Wash. Tournament), W 51-37
Dec. 28: George Washington, L 49-54
Jan. 5: at Charleston Catholic, L 39-42
Jan. 8: at Greenbrier East, L 53-60
Jan. 11: Westside, W 66-55
Jan. 12: at Point Pleasant, late
Jan. 15: at Lincoln County, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 22: Tug Valley, 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 25: Belfry, Ky. (King Coal Classic at Logan), 8 p.m.
Jan. 26: Greenbrier East (King Coal Classic at Logan), 8 p.m.
Feb. 5: Lincoln County, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 8: Point Pleasant, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 9: at Westside, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 12: at Parkersburg, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 13: vs. Winfield (at Charleston Civic Center), 8 p.m.
Feb. 16: at Tug Valley, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 19: at George Washington, 7:30 p.m.
Feb. 21: Capital, 7:30 p.m.