Braves rally to clip Tigers at the buzzer


Despite being down nine early and having its top scorer leave the game in the third quarter, Logan Elm rallied and sunk a buzzer-beating three-pointer to knock off host Circleville Friday night. 

After trailing for all but two of the previous 31 minutes of the game Friday, Logan Elm went up 46-45 with 1:02 left on a pair of free throws from Alden Williams and Nemiah Waugh made it 47-45 with 30 seconds showing. 

Circleville tied it up on a drive by Briley Cramer with 20 seconds on the clock.

Waugh brought the ball up the floor for the Braves and tried to find an opening around the defensive pressure. He made his opportunity and got a shot off with 2.2 seconds on the clock that found the net to lift the Braves to victory.

“I realized they were not letting me drive as much, so my first instinct was to shoot the ball and, obviously, I got the shot off and hit it,” Waugh said. 

“Just the patience and the maturity that he shows for such an inexperienced kid,” Logan Elm coach Doug Stiverson said of the poise of his sophomore guard. “Just to play with that confidence and knock that shot down with that kind of patience and not leaving any time on the clock.”

Nemiah Waugh had 15 points, including the game-winning basket, for Logan Elm Friday. (see more game photos)

The Tigers played strong defense against the Braves to start the game, holding Logan Elm to one basket in the first six minutes, on the way to a 15-8 lead after one quarter and a 22-19 edge at halftime. After losing the lead for about two minutes in the third quarter, Circleville finished the period up 33-31.

“Our No. 1 thing for our key to success was who was going to be the most disciplined on both sides of the floor,” Circleville coach Cody Carpenter said. “I thought we played a great game until the gut check moments and Logan Elm was more disciplined. They found a way to win and we didn’t.

“Briley Cramer made a great play to tie it up there. I thought it was good defense by Ian Warden on the Waugh kid and he just made a great play.”

The exciting finish looked like it may not have been possible for Logan Elm after the Braves lost senior and leading scorer Braylen Baker with 5:24 left in the third to a knee injury. 

“We see it all the time where teams fall apart. To do what they did tonight was really, really impressive,” Stiverson said. “The maturity and toughness of them and sticking together – we kept telling them to trust each other and they did, and made big plays from different guys.”

“I think Coach Stiv did a pretty good job keeping the team together,” Waugh said. “He told us in the huddle that we had to stay together as a team.”

Logan Elm’s Braylen Baker had 13 points and four rebounds before leaving the game in the third quarter Friday. (see more game photos)

The Braves got good efforts from a number of players. 

“Drew Tomlinson with his defense tonight and hustle plays. He was that vocal leader when Braylen went down,” Stiverson said. “Gavin Griffey, our other senior out there, those two were really talkative once Braylen went down and kind of kept us together. Alden Williams came off the bench and hit some huge shots for us.”

Waugh ended the night as the leading scorer for Logan Elm with 15 points. Baker had 13 before he was sidelined, Williams put in 10 and Tomlinson had nine. 

Cramer led Circleville with 15 and Joe Wray had 12. 

Each team ended the night with 26 rebounds. Slater Search grabbed eight for Circleville and Tomlinson had six for LE. 

The Braves are back in action Saturday night hosting Miami Trace and it looks like they could be without Baker for an extended period of time. 

“It’s not going to be easy. But we’ve gone through it a little bit now. It’s kind of plugging in the pieces and adjusting,” Stiverson said. “Roles change and we have to adjust to that. I know these kids are going to play with heart and give it everything they’ve got.”

Even as the injuries pile up, Waugh said the team isn’t going to quit. 

“I’m still in shock a little bit, but I guess it sends a message to the league that even though we’re down a few players, we’re still going to fight until the end,” he said. 

Circleville is back in action Tuesday night at Amanda-Clearcreek.

Logan Elm 50, Circleville 47

Logan Elm — Drew Tomlinson 4-1-9, Gage Arnett 1-0-3, Braylen Baker 5-2-13. Nemiah Waugh 6-2-15, Alden Williams 3-2-10. Three-point goals — Arnett, Baker, Waugh, Williams (2). Total — 19-38 7-14 50.

Circleville — Preston Hulse 1-0-2, Briley Cramer 5-4-15, Joe Wray 5-0-12, Drew Thornsley 1-0-2, Ian Warden 3-0-6, Slater Search 4-2-10. Three-point goals — Cramer, Wray (2). Total — 19-38 6-15 47.

Quarter scores 1 2 3 4 F

Logan Elm 8 11 12 19 50

Circleville 15 7 11 14 47

Circleville’s Briley Cramer had 15 points to lead Circleville. (see more game photos)

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