By Brad Morris
Once Logan Elm adjusted to the zone defense that Athens employed during the second quarter on Saturday, the Braves found themselves back in business on offense and closed out a 49-37 non-league win over the visiting Bulldogs.
Brody Sabine and Nemiah Waugh scored 19 points apiece to lead the way offensively for the Braves. Waugh also grabbed seven rebounds and dished out three assists and Sabine accounted for five rebounds. Carson Summers contributed six rebounds to go with his four points, and Drew Tomlinson had five rebounds and dished out four assists to go with his basket.
Sabine was featured prominently during a 15-0 run by the Braves that turned an early 3-2 deficit into a 17-3 lead.
The Logan Elm junior wing was 5 of 6 (83.3 percent) shooting during the period and scored 14 points.
Drives by Waugh and Sabine allowed the Braves to regain the lead at 6-3. Sabine then buried a pair of threes from the top of the key and another from the right corner before closing the run with a drive down the right baseline.
“I was really pleased with the start our guys got off to,” Logan Elm coach Doug Stiverson said. “We moved the basketball really well and played with a lot of confidence as a group.
“Our guys did a nice job of executing our offense and finding the hot hand, which was Brody Sabine in the first quarter. He did a nice job knocking down threes and attacking the basket.”
Alden Williams scored from the left block to open the second quarter and extend the Logan Elm lead to 20-5, but that basket turned out to be the only points that the Braves could score during the quarter as they missed their final seven attempts from the field during the first half.
Athens cut its deficit down to 20-18 going into halftime and then briefly took its first lead since the score was 3-2 with a three from the right corner by Sam Trainer approximately two minutes deep into the third quarter.
“We struggled in the second quarter and had some trouble against the zone defense that Athens switched to,” Stiverson said. “We went into halftime and made some adjustments, and I felt the guys responded to those well in the third quarter.”
Tomlinson fed Summers for layup that ended the Braves’ scoring drought and gave them the lead for good on the ensuing possession. A steal and layup from Waugh and a jumper by Summers pushed the lead to 26-21.
Waugh helped the Braves finish the quarter strong with a layup and three from the top of the key and Gage Arnett closed the period with an old-fashioned three-point play to give the Braves a 34-28 advantage.
“Brody and Nemiah did a nice job leading us offensively tonight, but we also had different guys step up at different times with some key baskets,” Stiverson said. “Carson scored a couple of baskets to help us get going again in the third quarter and then Gage had a nice three-point play later in the period.”
Sabine scored the opening five points of the fourth quarter on a three and pair of free throws to push the lead into double figures at 39-28. Waugh then closed out the win by scoring the final 10 points for the Braves, all at the free throw line.
“We struggled at the line early, only making two of our first eight attempts, but our guys were on point after that,” Stiverson said. “Nemiah did a great job getting to the line there in the fourth quarter and making all of his attempts.”
Landon Wheatley tallied 19 points to share game-high honors with Sabine and Waugh and pace the Bulldogs (4-10).
The Braves (5-8) resume Mid-State League Buckeye Division play on Tuesday with a trip to Hamilton Township and then host rival Circleville for a Saturday matinee.
“We compete very hard as a group and our guys are pretty solid on the defensive end,” Stiverson said. “What we are looking to do is extend the spurts we have offensively a little more and that’s going to help us out.”
Logan Elm 49, Athens 37
ATHENS — Sam Trainer 2-0-5, Landon Wheatley 7-2-19, Kieran Murphy 2-1-6, Levi Neal 2-0-5, Zachariah Mullins 1-0-2. Three-point goals — Wheatley (2), Trainer, Murphy and Neal. Total — 14 3-5 37.
LOGAN ELM — Drew Tomlinson 1-0-2, Gage Arnett 1-1-3, Carson Summers 2-0-4, Alden Williams 1-0-2, Brody Sabine 6-2-19, Nemiah Waugh 4-10-19. Three-point goals — Sabine (5) and Williams. Total — 15 14-22 49.
Quarter scores 1 2 3 4 F
Athens 5 13 10 9 37
Logan Elm 18 2 14 15 49