By Brad Morris
Logan Elm not only put the finishing touch on an outright Mid-State League Buckeye Division championship on Thursday, the Braves also avenged their lone loss of the season with a 49-43 win on visiting Fairfield Union.
“I’m just extremely happy for our guys to check this off,” Logan Elm coach Doug Stiverson said. “We threw them to the fire as freshmen, they stuck with it and to finish their senior regular-season as league champions is something our guys definitely earned and deserve.”
The league crown is the first since 2016 and the first outright one for the Braves since 2014. It was especially sweet after suffering a 54-52 loss to the Falcons last month.
The Braves (14-1, 12-1) fell behind 6-0 early, but trimmed their deficit to 10-7 at the end of the first quarter.
Logan Elm used a 16-7 second quarter to take a 23-17 lead into halftime. The Braves were a sharp 8 of 11 (72.7 percent) in the period, led by Gabe Chalfin and Isaac Ward each scoring five points and Braylen Baker adding four.
“We were kinda spurtty on offense after only being in the gym once this week,” Stiverson said. “That’s not an excuse, because I’m sure most teams are in a similar boat given the weather.”
Fairfield Union (7-10, 6-7) trimmed its deficit to a basket entering the fourth quarter, but the Braves controlled the final period by a 14-10 margin.
Ward and Chalfin scored six points apiece during the period.
“Isaac and Gabe both stepped up and did a nice job of hitting some tough shots and scoring big buckets down the stretch,” Stiverson said.
The Braves had an opportunity to open additional daylight between themselves and the Falcons, but the normally sharp free throw shooting Braves missed six in the fourth quarter and shot just 4 of 13 (30.7 percent) for the night.
Ward paced the Braves with 22 points, Chalfin tallied 11, and Trace Smith and Tanner Holbert added five apiece.
Ryan Magill poured in a game-high 24 points for the Falcons, but was held to just two points in the fourth quarter. Charlie Bean and Ted Harrah followed with eight points apiece.
“Fairfield Union hurt us with the three over there, so we did a nice job of defending that and held them to just one three-pointer (on Thursday),” Stiverson said. “I felt like we made Magill work very hard for his points, but he’s a tough matchup with his size and he’s a nice player.”
The Braves conclude league play for the season today at Hamilton Township.
Logan Elm 49,
Fairfield Union 43
FAIRFIELD UNION — Ryan Magill 8-7-24, Charlie Bean 1-6-8, Ted Harrah 4-0-8, 1-1-3. Three-point goals — Magill. Total — 14 14-18 43.
LOGAN ELM — Jeremy Wietelmann 1-0-2, Isaac Ward 9-2-22, Braylen Baker 2-0-4, Trace Smith 2-0-5, Gabe Chalfin 4-2-11, Tanner Holbert 2-0-5. Three-point goals — Ward (2), Smith, Chalfin and Holbert. Total — 20 4-13 49.
Quarter scores 1 2 3 4 F
Fairfield Union 10 7 18 8 43
Logan Elm 7 16 14 12 49
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