By Brad Morris
After allowing Washington Court House to end the first half on Monday with a 5-0 run, Logan Elm coach Jennifer Blue issued a challenge to her team at halftime.
“I wasn’t real happy with how we ended the first half and let them get back into the game, so I challenged the girls to step it up in the third quarter and said the first three minutes of the period was going to help decide the game,” Blue said.
The Braves responded by shutting out the host Blue Lions with a dominating third quarter on their way to a 34-22 non-league win.
Logan Elm (1-5) snapped a 33-game losing streak with the victory. The last time the Braves had won a game before Monday was a 38-34 verdict over Amanda-Clearcreek on January 28, 2021.
“We have five freshmen on the team, but even two of our older kids had never won a game at this level due to the COVID-19 season (of 2020-21),” Blue said. “We had a tough season last year and then we have a freshmen class this season that is talented but making the adjustment to playing varsity basketball against older girls.
“Our girls work hard, they come into practice every day and grind and they are learning what it takes to have success at the varsity level. I’m extremely happy for our girls and so proud of them for how they closed the game tonight and broke through with a big win.”
The Braves entered the second half nursing a 17-15 advantage, but quickly went to work with a 10-0 run to push their lead into double digits.
Kennedy Groff drained a 14-foot jumper off an offensive rebound by Claire King. Kimmy Petty had a stick back and layup, and Kiki Ingram hit a runner and beat the third-quarter buzzer with a layup to send the Braves into the fourth quarter with a commanding 27-15 lead.
The Braves limited the Blue Lions to six missed shots and also forced six turnovers in the period.
“We turned up the defensive pressure, we really communicated on the floor and did some positive things that we haven’t done on that end of the floor until tonight,” Blue said. “When I told the girls that they had just shut Court House out there in the third quarter, they couldn’t believe it and were pumped.”
Washington Court House (0-5) didn’t score its first field goal of the second half until Eliana Racine made a runner with 4:22 remaining.
The Blue Lions committed 21 turnovers for the game, with the Braves scoring 18 points off those extra possessions.
“The girls did a nice job of playing more under control when we forced a turnover,” Blue said. “If we had a clear path to the basket for a layup then one of the girls took it, but if it wasn’t there then we pulled out the basketball and ran our offense.”
Ingram posted a game-high 12 points and also had six rebounds and five steals. Petty followed with 10 points, Hannah Rhoads tallied six points and King added eight rebounds to her four points. Groff chipped in five steals.
“We had a lot of nice contributions,” Blue said. “Kiki had an amazing game on both ends of the floor, Kimmy knocked down some quality shots, Claire was a rebounding machine and then Hannah Rhoads made a couple of big threes in the first and fourth quarter.”
Allie Mangold had 10 points to pace the Blue Lions.
The Braves continue non-league play when they host Westfall on Wednesday at 5 p.m.
Logan Elm 34,
Washington Court House 22
LOGAN ELM — Kimmy Petty 5-0-10, Hannah Rhoads 2-0-6, Kiki Ingram 6-0-12, Claire King 2-0-4, Kennedy Groff 1-0-2. Three-point goals — Hannah Rhoads (2). Total — 16 0-6 34.
WASHINGTON COURT HOUSE — Allie Mangold 4-1-10, Calleigh Wead-Salmi 1-0-2, Eliana Racine 2-1-5, Maggi Wall 1-0-3, Calee Ellars 1-0-2. Three-point goals — Allie Mangold and Maggi Wall. Total — 9 2-6 22.
Quarter scores 1 2 3 4 F
Logan Elm 7 10 10 7 34
Wash. C.H. 4 11 0 7 22