Lady Cougars win Clash on special night of girls basketball
By Jim Turner

Posted on January 13, 2020 7:35 PM

Friday was a special night for girls basketball in the Land of Logan. The 2020 Logan County Lady Cougars, especially, were part of an evening of celebration, victory and service.

The most important facet for the Lady Cougars was a district win over a good Russellville Lady Panther team. Coach Finley Baird’s team improved their record to 3-0 in a district they’ve dominated throughout the six and a half years of Baird’s coaching tenure.

Both teams got to see from history what can happen when a program matures and excels. During Hall of Fame ceremonies, they heard about Logan’s eight-year run of 119 wins, eight district championships, two regional championships, four regional finals, and two wins at state.

They watched players from those teams being recognized, and four former Lady Cougars and two of their coaches inducted into the Logan County Athletic Boosters Hall of Fame. That had to inspire players from both teams to aspire to and reach for new heights.

As each member of those 1989 and 1990 Lady Cougar teams were introduced, a 2020 Lady Cougar would present them a token of appreciation from the current team and their boosters.

And to their credit, several current Lady Cougars could be found in the auxiliary gym after the ceremony helping clean up the remnants of a Hall of Fame reception that had been held their before the game.

Lady Cougars 66, Lady Panthers 50

This was a very good game for most of three quarters before the Lady Cougars’ depth and experience wore down Coach Cameron Jackson’s Russellville team.

Defense was on display throughout with Logan’s full-court pressure causing Lady Panther problems, while Russellville’s quick hands were put to good use in the halfcourt.

The game also featured two of the best rebounders in the state in Russellville’s Anastasia Dowlen and Logan’s Kennedy Nichols. When it was over, the Logan stat sheet showed Nichols with 18 boards while the RHS stats had Dowlen with 8. As a team, the Lady Cougars had a 36-16 rebounding margin as a team.

Logan led just 16-14 after a quarter. The Lady Panthers took the lead at 28-27 on a pair of 3-pointers by Chloe Whitescarver and Macaria Hines’ 3-pointer with 1:15 remaining in the half. Sophomore Kadyn Costello, who had a breakout game, put Logan up 30-28 with 10 seconds remaining, and then Peyton Vanzant converted a steal into a layup as the buzzer blew to make the Lady Cougars’ lead 32-28 at the intermission.

The Lady Panthers stayed in contention in the early going of the third quarter. Hines’ rebound goal pulled her team to within two at 36-34, before Baird’s bunch put some distance between themselves and the visitors.

Vanzant hit a 3-pointer, Nichols canned two line-drive free throws, and Costello hit two quick goals, one on a fast break and the next on a steal. Suddenly the Lady Cougars had changed a two-point lead into a nine-point margin.

Amiyah Collier ended the run with a 3-pointer for the Lady Panthers, but Nichols’ rebound bucket at the buzzer made Logan’s lead 10 (47-37) entering the fourth quarter.

The Lady Cougars built a 13-point lead on a 3-point play by Nichols on an assist from Addie White, but Collier responded with a 3-point bomb by Collier to keep the lead at 10. Moments later White hit a 3-pointer of her own, Costello scored, Vanzant sank a trey from the corner, and Costello popped in another goal to give the Lady Cougars a 55-40 margin with 6:17 remaining.

Coach Baird used a lot of players late, and there was very little scoring in the final minutes.

Russellville’s Collier was the game’s leading scorer with 27 points, but no teammate totaled more than 7.

Logan’s attack was more balanced with Nichols scoring 23, Vanzant 19 and Costello 16.

Also obvious was how much the Lady Cougars enjoy playing basketball with each other. Nichols and the Vanzant twins—Peyton and Paige—spent a lot of time smiling and shaking off their own mistakes with a grin.

That’s fitting. It was a night to smile about if you like girls basketball.

Score by Quarters: 1) LCHS 16-14, 2) 32-28, 3) 47-37, Final) Logan County 66, Russellville 50

RHS (50) Amiyah Collier 27, Chloe Whitescarver 7, Anastasia Dowlen 5, Macaria Hines 5, Jaylah Kees 2, Jordin Morris 2, Brinley Mason 2

LCHS (66) Kennedy Nichols 23, Peyton Vanzant 19, Kaidyn Costello 16, Addie White 3, Paige Vanzant 2, Gracie Christian 2, Sierra Seiber 1


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