CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Class AA No. 3 Wayne won its first ever basketball state tournament game in the 92-year history of the school, boys or girls, Wednesday morning, beating No. 6 Logan 52-44 in the quarterfinals.
“I loved it,” said Wayne senior guard Aeriel Adkins. “I think our team plays really well in big crowds and we feed off of the energy. Our support that we have from our community really helps us – I don’t think they understand how much it helps us that they all came out here.”
The Pioneers (25-1) certainly didn’t look like a team making their first state tournament appearance.
Wayne hit its first two shots from 3 (its only made 3s on the day) and jumped out to an overall 8-0 lead, taking a 30-20 advantage into the break.
“We’re just thrilled to death with our first journey up here,” said Wayne head coach Wade Williamson. “That was huge for us to come out and hit those 3s right off the bat because they were trying to pack it in and make us hit some 3s. We were able to do so and it helped open up the lane and get us to the foul line.”
Logan (18-8) hung around in the second half and closed to within six, 43-37, at the 2:34 mark of the fourth quarter.
Wayne, though, got to the free throw line and was able to close the game out. The Pioneers overall went 22 of 37 from the foul line in the contest.
“In games like this, whichever team realizes that it’s just a basketball game the quickest is normally the most successful,” said Logan coach Kevin Gertz. “We came out tight. We settled down too late.”
The Pioneers were led by Adkins who finished with 22 points and 12 rebounds, going 14 of 18 from the free throw line. Lakyn Adkins added 10 points and Maddie Wilcox scored seven points and grabbed 11 rebounds for Wayne as well.
Wayne won the rebounding battle 41-35.
Jamyya Knox led Logan with 11 points in the loss.
Wayne moves on to face either No. 2 Wyoming East or No. 7 Lincoln in the semifinals Friday at 9:30 a.m.