LOGAN — Playing for both the varsity and junior varsity teams, Gabe Smith has been a good soldier for the Logan Chieftains basketball program this season.
Thus, it was quite appropriate that he enjoyed the best game of his high school career on Military Night.
Smith scored 16 points as the Chieftain reserves downed visiting Newark 49-45 as part of a basketball tripleheader Saturday evening in Jim Myers Gymnasium.
Twelve of his 16 points came in the second half as the Chiefs (9-10) won a back-and-forth battle with the junior Wildcats (2-16).
Logan led 10-6 after one quarter and 22-16 at halftime, with Cole Baron scoring eight points in the first half, before Newark eked out a slim 38-37 advantage heading into the final seven minutes.
The lead changed hands four times and was tied on four other occasions in the third quarter alone, with Smith putting the Chiefs ahead with buckets three different times.
Tyler Bell netted a clutch three late in the third quarter after Newark had taken a four-point lead, then Baron made a layup early in the fourth period to put the Purple & White ahead to stay and Nick Kost added a pull-up jumper.
Newark scored to draw within 41-40, but that man Smith hit from the right of the lane and added another bucket with 1:05 left for a five-point cushion.
Matt Mutzner converted 3-of-4 free throws in the final minute to give Logan a six-point lead; then, after the Wildcats hit a three-ball with 16 seconds left to cut their deficit in half, Kost clinched the win by meshing the front end of a one-and-one two seconds later.
Baron added 10 counters for the winners and Kost scored seven, with Bell adding five, Lane Little four, Mutzner and Caleb Cummings three apiece and Evan DeLong one.
Three Wildcats scored in twin digits: Kaysey Brokaw had 15 and Dustin Stoneburner and Nick Cherubini each added 12.
During the ensuing Military Night ceremonies, prior to the varsity game, Smith proudly held one of the military flags as current and former military personnel gathered behind him. It was a fitting ending for the 6-foot-3 junior.
Freshmen fall: One night after reaching the .500 mark, the Logan freshman team saw visiting Newark rally for a 25-22 victory to open Saturday night’s tripleheader.
The Chiefs (8-9) led 12-7 at halftime before the Wildcats forged a 19-17 edge heading into the fourth period, where they held on for the win to snap Logan’s four-game winning streak.
Jordan Mosack scored eight points for Logan, with Sam Evans netting four, Kevin Boals and Chase Walter three apiece, and Isaiah Smith and Domonic Micochero two apiece.
The freshman and reserve Chiefs begin the final week of their respective seasons Tuesday night when they play at Alexander.