Logan drops Spring Valley
CHARLESTON -- Logan and Spring Valley are quickly making a history out of great postseason endings.
After Spring Valley overcame a 15-point deficit to take its first lead with 51 seconds remaining, Logan tied the game then got a 3-point shot from Hannah Tothe with seven seconds remaining to earn a 52-49 win over the Timberwolves in the Class AAA girls basketball state tournament semifinals Friday.
"Everyone else was rushing and crazy and I had to stay calm," Tothe said. "You have to be there for your team, and I knew it was going in when it left my hands."
The Wildcats move into the championship where they will take on the Parkersburg South/Morgantown winner at 7:15 p.m., Saturday.
After a defensive stop gave the Wildcats possession, Logan's Shayna Gore recognized a double-team coming her way and kicked out to Tothe, who calmly knocked down the 3-pointer on the outside.
Spring Valley had one last chance, but a heave from Sarah Kelly bounded off the rim, setting off a wild celebration among the Logan contingent on hand.
For the Wildcats (17-9), it was a bit of vindication after a 68-67 loss to the Timberwolves in the Class AAA, Region IV, Section 2 finals exactly two weeks prior.
"I've said all along that I thought Morgantown was the best team in the state, but I think we just beat the best team in the state. ..." Logan coach Roger Gertz said. "I told the girls they were going to make a run, and they made a run. You just have to withstand it and make the last run of the game. I guess that three points was the last run."
The last minute of the game featured an up-and-down pace with momentum changing at each turn.
With less than one minute left and the score tied 47-47, a skirmish for a loose ball ended up with Kelly getting the rebound and throwing an outlet to Brooke Heck, who scored to give the Timberwolves their first lead with just 51 seconds remaining.
Logan immediately answered when Shayna Gore hit a runner to knot the score 49-49 and set up the wild finish.
Gore's runner was one of only two field goals for her in the second half with Heck locking her up defensively as Spring Valley battled back from the early deficit.
She finished with 17 points to lead Logan (17-9) while Tothe added 13. Post player Monica Mitchell had 12 points and 10 rebounds.
For Spring Valley, the loss ended a stretch in which the Timberwolves won 23 of 24 games.
Heck led the offensive attack for Spring Valley with 20 points -- 12 of which came in the second half as the Timberwolves clawed back into the contest after a dismal shooting first half.
Tothe's game-winning 3-pointer was not her only clutch shot.
After Logan jumped to a 15-point lead early, Spring Valley started to grab momentum toward the end of the first half, cutting the lead to 10 and having two chances to get it into single-digits.
However, each 3-point attempt for the Timberwolves went awry, and Tothe knocked down a 20-foot jumper as time expired to push the lead to 34-21 at the break.
The 3-point shooting proved to be the difference in the game as Logan finished 9-of-16 with Tothe and Gore combining to go 7-of-11.
Spring Valley finished just 1-of-16 from distance and hit just 30 percent of its shots overall. That included many layups that fell off the rim in the first half.
"We dug ourselves too big of a hole there in the first half," Spring Valley coach Bo Miller said. "We fought back the second half and played like we should be playing -- like we can play -- but you can't get down to a team like Logan that bad and come back to win."
One of the unsung heroes in the contest was Logan's Kyra Cline, who found herself locked up on the opposing team's offensive generator.
After limiting Princeton's McKenzie Akers to 6-of-30 shooting in a Thursday game, Cline limited Kelly to just five points while keeping Spring Valley from getting into its normal offensive rhythm.
Madison Morris finished with 15 points and 11 rebounds for Spring Valley, whose season ended at 23-4.
LOGAN 14 20 9 9 -- 52: Tothe 13, Toppings 3, Gore 17, Cline 4, Mitchell 12, Collins 3.
SPRING VALLEY 10 11 15 13 -- 49: Kelly 5, Mac. Morris 2, Heck 20, Butcher 2, Mad. Morris 15, Lemons 3, Ratcliff 2.