CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- It's been a strange season so far for veteran Capital coach Carl Clark and his staff.
The Cougars lost their top five scorers from a year ago - all seniors - and have had seven players drop off the roster from the beginning of this season for various reasons.
Understandably, the Cougars have also lost some games, carrying a 5-6 record into tonight's date at Huntington, but they've remained more than competitive.
In fact, Capital's last three games have gone into overtime - a 69-62 loss to Class AAA power South Charleston and victories against a pair of winning-record teams, Winfield and Nitro.
The youthful Cougars have also beaten state-ranked George Washington and lost by a point to 8-2 Hurricane. In all, they've played six games decided either in OT or by three points or fewer.
"We're hoping we can keep them together,'' Clark said, "and keep improving and learning. We've had a lot of experience in the last few years, and we've been playing seniors, but the seniors this year don't have a lot of experience - they've only played [junior varsity].
"This is an unusual year. We are starting younger kids. Hopefully they will be back next year and have some experience. I think these kids are learning and they're staying in games - three overtime games in a row and four overall. They're beginning to learn how to win.''
Clark hopes he can say as much when semester grades come out next week, a time that typically renders some of his players academically ineligible.
Carrington Morris, who leads the Cougars in scoring at 16.2 points per game and is the team's only double-figure scorer, played only the first nine games last season before being ruled ineligible.
"Academics is another situation,'' Clark said, "when the grades come out. Last year, we lost two starters and a sixth man to grades.
"It's just a battle to keep kids on the floor. When you stop moving in the right direction, you may lose one way or the other. All we can do is keep working, trying to improve and have the kids keep learning. Hopefully we'll bring our best foot forward.''
Clark, in his 19th season at Capital, has moved into the top 10 in all-time Kanawha Valley coaching wins with 280.
New game at Logan
When you think of Logan basketball, you generally think of the Wildcats' traditional high-flying, high-scoring teams. But that's changed a bit this season.
Logan has been grinding more often than not and has scored more than 60 points in a game just once. Entering Friday's game against Westside, in fact, the Wildcats didn't have a single player sporting a double-figure scoring average - Worm Street's 9.9 mark led the team.