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Logan-Nitro photo

Nitro’s Kolton Painter (right) battles for a rebound with Logan’s Jarron Glick.

LOGAN — It was a marquee matchup of Class AAA top-10 teams Thursday, and No. 8-ranked Logan was able to come out on top at Willie Akers Arena with a 51-42 victory over No. 3 Nitro.

Logan (6-3) rallied from a 12-point deficit in the first quarter, stepping up its defensive pressure and using its energy to notch the comeback win.

Logan played the game without coach Zach Green, who was quarantining due to COVID contact tracing.

“Heck of a win,” said Logan assistant coach Steve Browning, who was filling in for Green. “We switched groups on them and went small to try to get some mismatches on the other end and wanted to be faster. We got a spark with that and we got a spark off the bench from Corey Townsend. He did a nice job and that’s two ballgames in a row. He gave us some really good minutes off the bench, especially since we are shorthanded. We have four players out due to academic reasons.”

Nitro (6-2) led after one quarter 18-10 but saw that lead dwindle to 23-19 at the half. Logan’s intensity was one of the reasons for the comeback, Browning said.

“We all picked it up and started to get after it defensively,” Browning said said. “We did a good job boxing out. We were worried about their size. [Joseph] Udoh did not get in the paint much. We took him away from the basket. I’m proud of these kids. We want to get to Charleston and we hope Coach Green gets back and we can get some of our players eligible who are out. We hope to get them back soon and that will give us a lot more depth on the bench.”

Jarron Glick led Logan with 14 points. Scotty Browning and Corey Townsend had nine points each.

Nitro was led by Kolton Painter’s 14 points. Udoh netted eight points, while Trevor Lowe and Bryce Myers tossed in seven each.

Up by three points after three and in the early moments in the fourth, Nitro tied it up at 34 with a Lowe 3 with 6:37 to go. Logan then went on a 7-0 run to grab a 41-34 advantage. Glick put in a glasser, Slack scored on a fast-break layup and Scotty Browning scored on a baseline shot during the run. Logan later pushed the lead to 46-36, its largest of the game.

Nitro was able to cut it to 46-40 with a Udoh bucket with 1:06 left and to 47-42 with 41.4 seconds to go as Painter hit two free throws. Logan was able to put the win on ice as Glick netted two foul shots with 31.4 seconds to go to make it 49-42.

Nitro coach Austin Lowe met with his team for 45 minutes in the locker room after the game.

“We just didn’t make any shots,” Austin Lowe said. “We had some bad shot selection. We also lost two guys in the second quarter due to injuries. It’s hard to face adversity but we battled through it. We had a four-point lead going into the half but we had some issues in the third and fourth quarters. That’s why it took you an hour to get an interview tonight. We just have got to be better. We have a chance to get really good. We’ve just got to fix a few things. We have a chance to be a good team.”

It’s the only regular-season meeting between Logan and Nitro but the two could meet in the Class AAA regionals if both get that far.