By Paul Adkins
Civitas News Service
It will be Hatcher vs. Hatcher in a preseason basketball game this Saturday at Logan on Thanksgiving Weekend.
That’s when Chapmanville Regional High School boys’ basketball coach Allan Hatcher will bring in his Tigers to Logan’s Willie Akers Arena to take on the homestanding Wildcats.
Logan, of course, is coached by Mark Hatcher, Allan Hatcher’s son.
The game is the highlight of a day’s worth of preseason games at the field house.
Logan and Chapmanville are set to face off against each other at 3 p.m. The two teams do not meet in the regular season.
The Wildcats and Tigers are set to play in the fourth and final game.
At noon on Saturday, Mingo Central takes on Westside. Then at 1 p.m., Chapmanville will scrimmage against Westside. The 2 p.m. contest pits Mingo Central against Logan.
Logan is coached by 14-year mentor Mark Hatcher, who has led LHS to state championships in 2005 and 2010. Chapmanville is led by second-year coach Allan Hatcher, Mark Hatcher’s dad, who came to TigerTown last season after his most recent stop at Perry Central, Ky.
Mingo Central is coached by second-year man Brad Napier, a former longtime Mark Hatcher assistant.
“I’m inviting Brad and my dad here for a couple of games. I’ve got them here at my place with my referees that way I can cheat them real good,” Mark Hatcher joked. “Chapmanville and Westside were already scrimmaging and Mingo Central needed one so we decided to do it all together and make an event of it. It should be pretty nice. Those teams play their sectional here so this gives them a chance to play on this floor. Westside plays us here this season, so this gives them a chance to play on the floor.”
Mark Hatcher said it will be strange to coach against his dad and Napier.
“This gives me a chance to go against dad and Brad,” he said. “We’ve already talked about what we want to do against each other to help each other out like if they want me to press or to play a 1-3-1. We’re in different classes so it doesn’t matter. It should be pretty interesting and it’s going to be a good time. We hope that a lot of people turn out. We’re going to try to make an event out of it. It will be weird coaching against them. Brad and I were walking our dogs yesterday (Sunday) and met for a couple of hours. It is going to be different. It’s pretty good to scrimmage against guys that you are pretty close with. (Westside coach) Nick Cook and I are real close also.”
Allan Hatcher said it will be strange to coach against his own son even if it is a preseason game.
“It really is but it really didn’t work out that way originally,” he said on Tuesday morning, taking a break during the Tigers’ practice. “A team backed out and we were supposed to play Princeton and Westside. Mark was going to play two other teams but when Princeton backed out we didn’t want to play Mingo Central because they are in our same section, so it worked out that we were going to play Logan instead.”
Allan Hatcher said he has coached against his son Mark in summer games.
“In the summer time only,” he said. “We have coached against each other. This will be a situation where it will still be very competitive even though it’s a scrimmage. We play them in the fall league and it seems every time we play it is close. We’re looking for a good one.”
Hatcher went 14-10 in his first year at CRHS. The Tigers were beaten by Tolsia 38-35 in the sectional semifinals on the same Logan floor. The Wildcats were 8-16 last year and were ousted at Hurricane in the Class AAA regional final.
“We’re hoping the people from Chapmanville get behind this team because this is a good group of kids,” he said. “They have worked really hard in the off-season. They’ve got stronger. We’re really excited about this season. We want everyone to come out.”
All games at the Logan preseason panorama will be 20-minute halves. Admission is $5 for adults and $4 for students.
Chapmanville and Logan have not met in the regular season since the 2010-11 hoop campaign. Logan won both meetings that year by 67-60 and 64-43 scores.
The Wildcats and Tigers played each other regularly from 2002-11.
Logan is set to open the season Dec. 12 at Hurricane in a rematch of last year’s regional game.
Chapmanville begins the season Dec. 14 at home against Liberty Raleigh with the inaugural Nationwide Classic at 8:30 p.m. The classic will feature a daylong series of games beginning with the Chapmanville girls taking on Pikeview. The Logan girls, last year’s Class AAA state runner-up, will then take on five-time defending state champion Huntington St. Joe in Game 2. The Logan boys then face off with Scott in Game 3 before the Tigers take the floor.
“We’re real excited about the season and that first day with the Nationwide Classic,” Allan Hatcher said. “I’m excited about the prospects this year. Our kids are working hard and we really hope that the people in the Chapmanville community come out and are supportive of us.”