Boys basketball: Sorsaia lifts Redskins in overtime
HURRICANE, W.Va. -- For 100 years, Hurricane High School had been shut out of the State Tournament.
Henry Sorsaia wasn't about to let a 4-minute delay derail the Redskins' train to Charleston this time around.
Sorsaia, Hurricane's 6-foot-4 junior forward, scored eight of his team-high 18 points in overtime Tuesday night, leading the Redskins (20-5) to a 64-58 win over Logan (8-17) in a Class AAA Region 4 co-final at Hurricane High. The win puts Hurricane in the State Tournament for the first time in school history.
The Redskins reached the state quarterfinals as a Class B team in 1952 and 1953, but that was prior to eight teams making the State Tournament at a central, all-inclusive location. They had never qualified as a Class AAA school.
"To come from eight wins I think we had my freshman year to a 20-win season now and the State Tournament, it means a lot to us," Sorsaia said. "It means a lot to our seniors like Rasaan (Harris) and Ian (Miles).
"The program hasn't been good the past few years, but we really turned it around."
The drought looked in the fourth quarter like it might continue, as the Redskins allowed an eight-point halftime lead to fade while taking rushed shots, many of them from low-percentage spots on the floor. Logan took a 40-35 lead early in the fourth when junior forward Brynden "Worm" Street followed his own miss with a bucket.
It wasn't long after, however, that Hurricane's scoring depth reared its head.
Miles had led the team with nine first-half points, but was relegated to the role of distributor after halftime. With the Redskins trailing by five, Harris hit an unlikely 3-pointer that riled up a capacity crowd that had largely gone silent after halftime, again tipping momentum in Hurricane's favor.
"We got up four or five in the fourth quarter and Harris hit a huge 3 with somebody in his face," Logan Coach Mark Hatcher said. "That daggone ball didn't spin one time through the air and goes in.
"He's a great player. He's won a lot of respect from me this year because he does it all."
Harris had missed his first six shots from the floor and had just two points at halftime. The teams traded leads after Hurricane's Trey Dawson put the Redskins up 41-40 with 6:18 left, but when Harris hit another long-range bomb with 2:08 left in regulation it put Logan in a catch-up mode from which it could not escape.
Harris, the team's senior point guard, injured his ankle in practice Monday.
"It's about 50 percent right now, but it's a mind over matter thing. My team needed me," he said. "I was just trying to step up."
Still, two key elements led to the need for overtime. The second was Logan reserve Trent Dalton hitting a tying 3-pointer with 3 seconds left on the clock. The first was Hurricane's inability to make its free throws. The Redskins were 6-of-18 from the line in the fourth quarter and overtime.
The most pivotal issue of the matchup had - at that point - still not been exposed. Logan senior center T.J. Tomblin, who had battled foul trouble the entire game and was never an offensive factor, fouled out with 1:12 left in regulation. Hurricane third-year Coach Lance Sutherland said his team's direction in the overtime was little more than a matter of reading the handwriting on the wall.
"For 32 minutes I'd been yelling at Henry: 'Go post up! Go post up!' Finally the light went off," Sutherland said. "He goes and posts up, we feed him the ball and that's that.
"Sometimes he'd post up there earlier and we never got him the ball. Thank God we got it to him."
Sutherland, whose mother was a cheerleader for the 1952 and '53 Hurricane teams, fought being overwhelmed by the moment.
"It's something that, when you step back and take a look at it, it's hard to fathom," Sutherland said about breaking the school's tournament drought.
"We've never been there, you know? But now we are, and we can't be satisfied with that. I wish my dad was here to see it, but that's the way it goes."
Harris finished with 13 points while the Redskins also received double-digit scoring from Miles and Dawson, who finished with 12 and 10 points, respectively.
Logan senior forward A.J. Reynolds led the Wildcats with 18 points and grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds.
Contact Preps Editor Derek Taylor at email@example.com or 304-348-5170. Follow him on Twitter @ItsreallyDT