Guard leads Beaver past Kittanning in Class AAA quarterfinals
Kittanning's Vince Mead blocks the shot of Beaver's Austin Logan Friday. Logan finished with 36 points in Beaver's 71-66 victory.
Beaver forward Corey Nesmith scores against Kittanning's Kevin Barnes in the first half Friday.
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Many of the students in Beaver's student section wear black T-shirts that read "Logan's Lunatics." Austin Logan was crazy good Friday night.
Logan, a 5-foot-10 guard, had the game of a lifetime in a WPIAL Class AAA quarterfinal at North Allegheny. Logan poured in a career-high 36 points as Beaver defeated Kittanning, 71-66.
"I've never scored that many points before. Never," said Logan, who averages 13 points a game.
Logan's effort helped put Beaver (19-3) in the semifinals for the second consecutive season, but only for the third time in school history. Logan helped end Kittanning's magical run as the Wildcats (20-5) were playing in the quarterfinals for the first time since 1982 and were trying to make the semifinals for the first time since Calvin Coolidge was president. Kittanning had not been to the semifinals since 1925.
Logan's run was much needed for Beaver, as 6-5 senior center Aaron Barlow, who averages 21.1 points a game, was held to 13. He was bothered by a bruised tailbone in the first quarter and had only five points in the final three quarters.
Logan finished 13 of 17 from the field, 4 of 7 from 3-point range and 6 of 9 from the free-throw line. He scored 19 points in the fourth quarter after Kittanning had taken a 45-44 lead.
"That's a senior who, when the money was on the line, he didn't want his season to end," said Beaver coach Andy Podbielski. "That's called a big-time player in a big-time game. ... He was the reason we won. Let's put it that way. They could not stop him."
Sterling Henry, Kittanning's 6-4 senior guard who averages 18 points, finished with 19. But he was harassed most of the game by Anthony DiNuzzo, who face-guarded Henry on defense and made it tough for him to even get the ball.
Henry scored six of his points after the outcome had pretty much been decided.
Henry, who scored 30 in a first-round win against Central Valley, had only eight shots in the first three quarters.
Kevin Barnes added 13 points for Kittanning and Alek Schaffer 11.
"I had talked to our guys a lot about the effectiveness of Sterling Henry and how he took over the Central Valley game," Podbielski said. "But I think our guys said, 'Hey coach, we're pretty good, too' -- and Austin proved it. He's going to play baseball in college, but this is a basketball memory he is going to have forever."
Logan said: "We usually rely on Barlow to win. When he went down, I just said I have to score for us to win. So I did."
Beaver led by nine points after the first quarter and 32-22 at halftime. Kittanning surged back late in the third and sliced the deficit to 42-40 heading into the fourth. Kittanning took two leads early in the fourth quarter and the Wildcats' final lead was 45-44 on a basket by Henry.
After that, Kittanning had problems with turnovers, missed shots -- and Logan. On its next 11 possessions, Kittanning had three turnovers and went 3 of 8 from the field.
"All through the game, we had them and they'd come back. We'd have them and they'd come back again," Logan said. "Finally, we were able to keep it going in the fourth quarter."
Logan scored 14 points in a five-minute span in the fourth to help Beaver to a 62-52 advantage. Kittanning could not recover.
"Barlow was hurting, but he gutted it out and was still huge on the boards." Podbielski said.
First Published February 23, 2013 12:00 am