LOGAN — Considering they were looking for the final shot of regulation play — and were willing to go to overtime if they didn’t make one — the Logan Chieftains got more than they bargained for Tuesday night. Oh, much, MUCH more.
Ashton Mahaffey slipped behind a couple out-of-position Teays Valley defenders, took a terrific feed from teammate Tegan Myers at the top of the key, and converted a layup with 12 seconds remaining to give the Purple & White a 56-54 lead over the Vikings in Jim Myers Gymnasium.
And then — as they’ve done every single home game this season — they again had to survive the final seconds. This time, it was with Cayden Alford and Mason Frasure each blocking a TV shot in the final three seconds to preserve that Logan 56-54 triumph.
Attending a Chieftain home game this season certainly hasn’t been good for one’s blood pressure or heart rate, to say the least. All four have literally been decided at the buzzer and, fortunately, the Purple & White are 3-1 in those games, the only loss being on a banked-in shot from midcourt.
Logan (5-4) let an eight-point, 15-7 edge in the opening quarter get away as Teays Valley (also 5-4) outscored the Chiefs 32-11 over the next 14 game minutes to turn its eight-point deficit into a 13-point advantage (39-26) with three minutes left in the third stanza.
“We came out of the gates a little slow, but our guys did a great job of battling back in the third quarter,” TV coach Brian Barnett said. “We switched presses to a 2-2-1 and that caused Logan a lot of problems.
“We did a good job after halftime pressuring the ball and converting on some of their miscues.”
In a game that certainly ran hot-and-cold for both teams, the Chieftains scored just four points in the second quarter and misfired on 11-consecutive shots in the third stanza before wiping out that 13-point deficit by making their final eight shots of the game.
“We turned up the heat defensively (with) some full-court man pressure,” said Logan coach Chris Rider, “and then we had, by far, the best fourth-quarter offensively as far as running our offense. Even though we were down 13, we just stayed with the execution of the offense and really had some good movement, got some good looks and got to the foul line.”
By halftime, when Teays Valley had rallied from that 15-7 hole to take a 21-19 intermission edge, Mahaffey had 11 of Logan’s 19 points and Alford five while Myers only had three.
He turned that around in the second half, however, scoring five points in the third period and then netting 14 during a 25-point Chieftain fourth quarter to finish with a game-high 22 — his fourth game of exactly 22 points this season (with a high of 25) — to go with five scoring feeds.
Mahaffey finished with seven rebounds, four assists, three steals and a season-high 19 points, including that bucket with a dozen seconds left that broke a 54-54 tie — much more about that in a bit — and Alford had eight points and eight boards.
Cameron Dyas-Rogers, a 6-foot-5 senior, had a 12-point, 10-rebound double-double for the Vikings. Jackson Smith nailed four triples — three of them in the first half — and led Teays Valley with 15 points while 6-4 sophomore Sam Miller also had 12 points as well.
“It was nice to get Cam back. I thought he played well and gave us some good minutes tonight,” Barnett said.
Smith put the Vikings up by that aforementioned 21-19 halftime count when he drained a three off the left wing in the final 16 seconds.
Logan was still down 41-31 entering the final period and, after Dyas-Rogers made a semi-hook shot in the lane in the opening minute, Teays Valley led by a dozen before the Purple & White found their offensive rhythm and began to force TV turnovers. The Vikings, who only had three miscues in the first half, would commit 13 in the second.
“We were a little sloppy at times with the ball offensively and defensively we were not able to contain their top two players,” Barnett said.
What was essentially four three-point plays — a pair of triples and three successful free throws by Myers after being fouled attempting a triple as well as a Frasure three-ball — quickly got the Chieftains right back in it, pulling them within 47-43 with 5:26 remaining.
Then, with the Vikings up 50-45 moments later, a cutting Alford accepted a Mahaffey helper under the basket and scored, Mahaffey made a steal and drove in for a layup, and Myers canned a pair of free throws to put Logan in front 51-50 with 2:36 remaining.
But the Vikings got a reverse three-point play when Smith made a free throw and missed the second, but Miller got the rebound thanks to a missed box-out and converted the stick-back to regain the lead with 2:22 left.
Myers drove the baseline to tie the game and then made a free throw with 1:28 to play before a Miller FT with 49 seconds left pulled Teays Valley even at 54-54.
The Chiefs then got the ball into the frontcourt and, as they had done a couple times earlier in the game, patiently worked for a good shot, a signature of a Rider-coached team.
“We’ve worked hard on our delay game,” Rider said. “These guys have done it for two-and-a-half years because we didn’t get half a season in last year. We were going to take it down to the end and go with about six seconds left. I wasn’t going to call time-out because I didn’t want their defense to get set.”
So let’s let Mahaffey, who found himself working for position on the left wing in front of the Logan bench, explain what happened at the clock ticked down.
“I saw the defense was switching a lot, but one player wasn’t really switching and I noticed that,” said Mahaffey. “So when I came off, my guy was switching (and) when he went up, I just shot down (towards the lane). Mason’s guy went up as well, so two (TV defenders) went up and I was wide open on the back side.”
Basically, two Vikings zigged one way while Mahaffey zagged in the other direction. Mahaffey was, in fact, SO wide-open underneath the basket that, when Myers zipped him the ball with a terrific find, the only thing to fear was the fear itself of missing such a chip-shot scoring opportunity in a clutch situation.
And Mahaffey admitted he was thinking just that.
“I caught the ball and looked around and made sure no one was near me,” he said with a relieved grin, “then I saw someone was coming, so I hurried up and got it up and it went in.”
The Vikings quickly inbounded and Miller drove the length of the floor looking for the equalizer, but the 6-6 Alford got to the low block in time to reject his shot out of bounds with 2.8 seconds left.
The two teams then called three consecutive time-outs to plan and plan again — exhausting all of their clock-stoppages in so doing — before Brayden Primmer was handed the ball to inbound it on the left-side baseline.
He patiently waited for Miller to cut toward him from the opposite side and got the ball to him, apparently open, in stride… but Frasure came out of nowhere to get a hand on the ball. The ball went loose and the Chiefs batted it into the backcourt and celebrated as the buzzer sounded.
It was a great team rebound triumph for the Chiefs, who were shut out in the opening quarter en route to a listless 63-31 setback last Thursday at Westerville North.
“The game in Columbus we looked tired and didn’t look like we really wanted to be there,” Mahaffey admitted. Tonight “we started that third quarter a little down, but it was really good that we picked it up that fourth quarter and came out with a W.
“We came into the huddle at the end of the third quarter and we just didn’t want to lose at home,” he added. “We’ve had some close games here (in Jim’s Gym) and we just wanted to win this one for the fans. It was a great game.”
Myers — the team’s leading scorer on the season (16.9 per game), who scored just one point at Westerville North while dealing with illness — actually found himself in bounce-back mode as Tuesday night’s game was playing out.
“I think Tegan got his legs,” Rider said. “He didn’t have his legs in the first half and was struggling a bit. Then when we started to run our offense, he started to get some inside stuff and hit two big threes and some free throws.
“This was just a great effort by everybody,” Rider added. “We’re tested and we didn’t panic. We just kept playing, made a couple adjustments, and it all worked out. It’s about the non-panic and the fight. We could have given up down 13 points, but we didn’t. You gotta love these guys.”
It didn’t hurt that a Logan offense that managed only 31 points in the first three quarters came up with 25 in the fourth period alone for a come-from-behind victory.
“What we shot from the field was a night-and-day difference between the second quarter (1-of-10) and the fourth quarter (8-of-12),” Rider pointed out. “We just had some patience. We upped the pressure and (the Vikings) didn’t handle it.
“They were trying to go at us with three bigs: Primmer at 6-5, Rogers at 6-5 and Miller at 6-4,” he continued. “They were going bigger, so we ended up trying to press them a little bit and took them out of what they were trying to do.”
The Vikings continue non-league action on Thursday with a trip to Groveport.
Logan 56, Teays Valley 54
TEAYS VALLEY 54 (5-4) — Kevin Scott 1 1-2 3, Cameron Dyas-Rogers 6-0-12, Reese Sauerbrun 0, Liam Sachs 0, Luke Sachs 0, Peyton Weiler 1 5-5 7, Jackson Smith 5 1-3 15, Brayden Primmer 1 2-4 5, Sam Miller 5 2-3 12. Totals 19 11-17 54. 3-pt FG: Smith 4, Primmer.
LOGAN 56 (5-4) — Ashton Mahaffey 7 2-4 19, Max Black 0, Mason Frasure 2 2-4 7, Tegan Myers 6 7-10 22, Owen Angle 0, Zach Frasure 0, Cayden Alford 3 2-6 8. Totals 18 13-24 56. 3-pt FG: Mahaffey 3, Myers 3, M. Frasure.
FG: TV 19-51 (.373), Logan 18-49 (.367). 3-pt FG: TV 5-14 (.357), Logan 7-21 (.333). FT: TV 11-17 (.647), Logan 13-24 (.542). Rebounds: TV 39 (Dyas-Rogers 10, Primmer 6, Sauerbrun 5), Logan 32 (Alford 8, Mahaffey 7, Myers 6, Angle 4). Assists: TV 10 (Sauerbrun 4, Weiler 4), Logan 14 (Myers 5, Mahaffey 4, Frasure 3). Steals: TV 4, Logan 9 (Mahaffey 3, Black 3). Turnovers: TV 16, Logan 13. Fouls: TV 19, Logan 19. JV: Logan 51, TV 31. 9G: TV 33, Logan 22.
Story used with permission from the Logan-Hocking Times. Any unauthorized use of this story without the permission of the Logan-Hocking Times is prohibited by law.