Logan County defeats Metcalfe County 72-70 in overtime

Logan County’s Anthony Woodard (right) pushes the ball up the court Monday during the Cougars’ 72-70 overtime win over Metcalfe County at E.A. Diddle Arena.

Editor’s note – This is the fourth in a 16-part series of high school basketball previews counting down to the scheduled opening night of the regular season Jan. 4.

The Logan County boys’ basketball team had a season to remember last year, but the Cougars will look a lot different in 2021.

Logan County lost six of its top seven players from last year’s team that finished 28-4 and won District 13, but return one of the top players in the region in senior Anthony Woodard.

First-year coach Nathan Thompson is hopeful Woodard can be the foundation for a team that will be short on experience.

“We’ve got a nice building block, but we have to find a lot of players to go with him,” Thompson said. “That has been the challenge this year so far – trying to see what we’ve got and kind of get a feel for what each kid can do.”

Thompson will look to seniors Blake Wood and Landon Larson to play bigger roles this year, while sophomores Zane Batten and Chance Sweeney will also have a chance to make an impact this season. Thompson said he feels good about the defense, but his team will have to figure out things offensively.

If the Cougars can fill the void offensively, Thompson said he thinks his team can compete in a very balanced District 13.

“All three teams have gotten better,” Thompson said. “They’ve got a year more experience and they have a lot of returning players. We know it is going to be tough and challenging, but we expect it to be a very competitive district.”

If Logan County should stumble, last year’s district runner-up Franklin-Simpson will be looking to ascend to the top spot.

The Wildcats will rely heavily on an experienced backcourt in seniors Andreyous Miller and Kyjuan Stutzman.

“We feel like we have two of the better guards in the region,” Franklin-Simpson coach Dee Spencer said. “We are going to rely heavily on those guys to try to carry us to a district championship and on into the region.”

Senior Kadyn Lowe, junior Jalen Briscoe and sophomore Demarcus Hogan will look to provide depth for the Wildcats, with senior forward Isaac Marshall expected to have a bigger role.

“We are going to throw those guys out there and see what happens,” Spencer said. “Hopefully Andreyous and Kyjuan will lead us where we need to go.”

Russellville will look to improve after a 6-21 season and a fourth-place finish in district play behind Todd County Central.

Second-year coach Carlos Quarles said last year a new coach with a new system along with a demanding schedule led to the growing pains, adding the Panthers showed improvement and enter this year with higher expectations.

“I think we have developed some depth that is really going to help us in the style of play that we use,” Quarles said. “Our depth will be key for us this year and it also shows our players that there is no drop-off. If you are not going to bring it tonight, then there is going to be somebody waiting to come in for you.”

The Panthers will look to build around Jaquis Todd and Josh Allen. Todd led the Panthers in scoring, while Allen led Russellville in rebounding.

“I am hanging my hat on their experience,” Quarles said. “They have been through the wars, so now there are no excuses. We’ve just got to go out, compete and show the region and our district what we are made of.”{&end}

– Follow prep sports reporter Micheal Compton on Twitter @mcompton428 or visit bgdailynews.com.

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