WASHINGTON COURT HOUSE — A strong performance from three-point range on Tuesday allowed Logan Elm to capture a 50-44 non-league win over host Miami Trace.
The Braves connected on 11 of 24 three-point shots for 45 percent, with four different players hitting at least one three.
“It’s something we have to rely on,” Logan Elm coach Doug Stiverson said of the three. “They were playing zone tonight. Their 2-3 zone made it tough for us to get some things on the inside. We had to knock down some shots and we were able to do that.
“I thought our guys really battled well.”
For the Panthers, in something of a rare occurrence, only two players scored and both had the same point total. Senior Trevor Barker and junior Logan Rodgers shared game high-scoring honors, each with 22 points.
“Obviously, their size was going to be a big factor,” Stiverson said. “I thought our guys did a really good job. We wanted to make sure we were pressuring the basketball, making it tough, first of all, for them to enter it in there.
“Then, when they did enter it into the post, we wanted to really help out. Number three (Barker) for them really stepped up. He hit some big shots and got hot for them. That made it tough on us.”
Junior Isaac Ward led the Braves, making 4 of 7 three-point shots on his way to a team-high 20 points. Junior Gabe Chalfin scored 13 points (with three treys) and junior Jason Sailor also scored 13 (with three threes).
There was a lot of back and forth in the first half of play, especially the second quarter.
Logan Elm led by as many as seven points and the Panthers trailed by as little as one point, which was the margin at the end of the first quarter, 14-13.
The teams exchanged the lead five times in the second quarter.
Miami Trace took a 21-20 lead into the locker room.
The third quarter was the turning point in the game.
Miami Trace scored two points and had eight turnovers, while Logan Elm scored 14 points and committed one turnover.
The Braves held a 34-23 lead after three quarters of play.
“The third quarter was the difference,” Miami Trace coach Rob Pittser said. “We came into the game really concerned about Logan Elm’s three-point shooting. They have more capable three-point shooters on the floor than anybody on our schedule. They shoot more threes and make more threes than anybody we play.
“In the third quarter, they didn’t completely run away from us, but they built enough of a lead. With a team that has that many kids back, a six or seven-point lead can feel like a 10 or 15-point lead.”
Miami Trace got the start it needed with a 7-0 run to begin the fourth quarter.
Barker had a steal and a bucket for the Panthers to make it 38-34, Logan Elm.
There was a somewhat rare goal-tending call on the Panthers on Logan Elm’s next possession.
Up 40-35 with 2:49 remaining, Logan Elm went on a 6-2 run to extend the lead to 44-37 with just over one minute remaining.
At this stage, the Panthers had only committed three fouls in the second half.
Miami Trace (8-8) got busy and began to foul to stop the clock and send Logan Elm to the line.
In the final 34 seconds, the Braves made 6 of 6 free throws.
Rodgers scored the final basket of the game on a put-back to set the final tally at 50-44.
The Braves (9-4) resume Mid-State League Buckeye Division play on Friday at Liberty Union to close the first round of league play.