WINFIELD -- After suffering a heart attack and undergoing quadruple bypass surgery in the summer of 2012, Logan coach Kevin Gertz can't let himself get too worked up or angry. Luckily for the Wildcats, sophomore Monica Mitchell can. After going scoreless over the first three quarters Monday, Mitchell used that frustration to score all 11 of her points and grabbed more than half of her 20 rebounds as the Wildcats rallied for a 74-60 win at Winfield. Seventh-ranked Logan was down as many as 12 in the third quarter, but were able to draw to within three heading into the fourth.
It was all Mitchell from there, as she scored and grabbed key boards to set up teammates and Logan (9-4) outscored Winfield 30-13 in the final period. "I had to do something," Mitchell said. "I just got really mad and I guess I play better when I'm mad because I was getting fouled and they weren't calling it, but that's not excuse. I should just keep going no matter what.""My kids are hard to figure out," Gertz said. "She's averaging 17 or 18 points and 16 or 17 rebounds a game and did not score a point in the first three quarters."But she slowed down and when she slows down, she's just so big and strong and she shoots so well, normally, you just can't stop her. She stops herself."Early on, the Generals (5-3) were hard to figure out as the scoring presence of Haylea Roberson and some timely shooting by her teammates had the Wildcats on their heels. Roberson scored a game-high 28 points, including 18 over the second and third quarters. Meanwhile, Logan point guard Shayna Gore was hit with a technical foul with 5:21 left in the first quarter and sat the rest of the period. "Mitchell got a little more physical in there and you see we're outsized, we don't have the size to match her," Winfield coach Tim Toler said. "We were trying to front her and give backside help, and we did a good job for about three and a half quarters."Give them credit, they're a very good team. This is probably the best game we've played by far this year. I'm very pleased with my girls' efforts."Those efforts gave the Generals a 32-24 lead at the break, with Mitchell and Gore held to a combined four points. Mitchell said a calm, composed Gertz still got his message across in the locker room. "[He didn't say] much because he's been real sick lately," Mitchell said. "He just can't get real mad because of his heart condition. He just sat us all down and talked to us calmly, he didn't even yell at us. He just looked at us and said, 'If you want this game, go get it.<k40>'"<k$>
Which the Wildcats did. Mitchell said last year's run to the Class AAA state title game, as well as playing one of the toughest schedules in the state this year, have seasoned them for such occasions. "It's helped us a lot," Mitchell said. "We're just taught to never give up because where we made it to runner-up last year, if we put our minds to anything, we can do it."With the score tied at 58, Logan's Ashton Spry made two straight steals that led to three-point plays for Mitchell and Lexi Hines. The second of those resulted in Roberson's fifth foul with 2:41 remaining. Facing a six-point deficit without its leading scorer, Winfield could never claw back into the game. Gore recovered from her first-quarter exit to score 18 points with seven rebounds and four assists. Hines helped keep Logan afloat early and then scored eight of her 16 points in the fourth quarter. Cheyenne Sawyers scored nine points for Winfield and Chelsea Kirby pulled down 12 rebounds. The Generals committed 19 turnovers.