By Brad Morris
After watching the Teays Valley offense nearly grind to a halt with a five-point second quarter on Friday, coach Brian Barnett walked to the locker room for halftime already thinking about the adjustments that he wanted to make.
His players beat him to it.
“(Logan Elm coach Doug Stiverson) and his staff always have their kids well-prepared and I felt they did a nice job of playing hard-nosed defense, being physical and controlling the tempo of the game for much of the first half,” Barnett said. “That was the first thing I was going to address at halftime, but the guys came into the locker room already talking about how we needed to do a better job of dictating the speed and tempo of the game.”
The Vikings erupted for 20 points in the third quarter and had their lead swell to as many as 24 points before settling in for a 50-36 Mid-State League Buckeye Division win over the host Braves.
Kole Nungester and Brody Fields paced the Vikings with 12 points apiece, Sam Miller scored 11 points and controlled five rebounds, and Ryan Allton chipped in nine points, all at the free throw line.
Carson Summers opened the scoring with a jumper to give the Braves their only lead of the night at 2-0. The Vikings scored 12 of the final 13 points in the quarter, led by Nungester and Fields each contributing five points on a pair of field goals, to take a 12-3 lead.
The two teams combined for a paltry seven points, seven turnovers and two field goals during the second quarter that ended with the Vikings holding a 17-5 advantage.
Teays Valley shot 7 of 12 (58.3) percent in the third quarter and had four players contribute to the scoring. A 14-0 run by the Vikings extended a 10-point lead to 35-11 with 1:19 remaining in the quarter.
“We did a lot better job of getting up-and-down the court, controlling the tempo, executing our passes a little better and getting good shots there in the second half, and especially during the third quarter when we made that run,” Barnett said.
Fields opened the run with a triple from the right wing and then went to the free throw line on the next trip down the hardwood to drain a pair of free throws.
Two baskets from Brayden Primmer, sandwiched around a layup by Fields and three free throws courtesy of Nungester, closed the run.
The Braves continued to battle, led by junior forward Brody Sabine scoring 15 of his game-high 16 points in the second half, with 11 of those coming in the fourth quarter.
“I can’t say enough about the way our guys competed and battled for 32 minutes, led by our senior leadership from Drew Tomlinson and Gavin Griffey,” Stiverson said. “We were able to control the tempo in the first half, but we struggled with our execution at times and knocking down shots.
“In the second half, I felt our guys did a better job of moving and taking care of the basketball and knocking down shots.”
Logan Elm scored on four straight possessions, ignited by baskets from Drew Tomlinson and Summers and capped by two layups courtesy of Sabine, that trimmed the Teays Valley advantage to 44-34 with 1:07 remaining.
“Brody missed the first six weeks of the season roughly with an injury and has been working himself back into the flow of things over the last 10 days or so,” Stiverson said. “He had a great summer of basketball for us and progressed with his game and the people here saw an indication of that tonight with Brody playing with confidence, attacking the basket and knocking down shots.”
That was as close as the Braves came for the rest of the evening, as Allton made six free throws in the final minute to put the Vikings’ ninth win of the season on ice.
Nemiah Waugh followed Sabine with six points and Summers pulled down five rebounds to go with his four points.
The Braves (4-8, 3-5) are back in action on Saturday, hosting Athens for a non-league game. The Vikings (9-3, 8-0) continue league play on Tuesday when they entertain Amanda-Clearcreek.
Teays Valley 50, Logan Elm 36
TEAYS VALLEY — Kole Nungester 3-3-12, Brody Fields 5-2-12, Ryan Allton 0-9-9, Ivan Smith 1-0-2, Brayden Primmer 2-0-4, Sam Miller 5-1-11. Three-point goals — Nungester (3). Total — 16-36 15-18 50.
LOGAN ELM — Drew Tomlinson 1-2-4, Gage Arnett 1-0-3, Carson Summers 2-0-4, Alden Williams 1-0-3, Brody Sabine 7-1-16, Nemiah Waugh 3-0-6. Three-point goals — Arnett, Williams and Sabine. Total — 15-36 3-7 36.
Quarter scores 1 2 3 4 F
Teays Valley 12 5 20 13 50
Logan Elm 3 2 11 20 36
Coming to Circleville this September!