Tigers use fast start to defeat Braves

By Brad Morris


Circleville coach Cody Carpenter traced the roots of a decisive first quarter on Saturday afternoon back to the previous three days of practice.

“We had our three best practices of the season coming into this game and our preparation was outstanding,” he said. “After we lost (51-43) to Unioto on Tuesday, we had a team meeting because we felt like our season was in decline with how we’ve been playing recently.

“We moved some guys around, made a few changes and I was extremely pleased with the way our guys competed to win the rivalry game with Logan Elm.”

The Tigers led the entire way by scoring the first 15 points in the game on their way to a 50-38 Mid-State League Buckeye Division win over the host Braves.

“I told our guys after the game that what separates championship teams from the rest is preparation,” Carpenter said. “We’re not a championship team, but that’s something we want to strive for in our program and hopefully this afternoon was a step forward to eventually achieve that goal.”

Circleville’s Briley Cramer scores two of his game-high 19 points during the first quarter on Saturday in a 50-38 win over Logan Elm.

Briley Cramer led all scorers with 19 points and also contributed seven rebounds and four assists for the Tigers. Nolan West tallied 12 points and Slater Search accounted for 11 points, nine rebounds and four assists.

The Tigers scored on their first six possessions of the game and amassed a 15-0 lead with still 2:35 showing on the first quarter clock.

Cramer opened the afternoon with an old-fashioned three-point play that was quickly followed by a triple off the shooting hand of Nolan West and a jumper by Search.

Baskets by Matt Bradley, Cramer and Search and a free throw by Cramer finished the opening salvo by the Tigers.

“What made the run stand out to me was our team was executing at a high level on both ends of the court and our defense led to transition opportunities that fed our energy and allowed us to dictate the pace of the game,” Carpenter said. “I know Logan Elm doesn’t have Tanner Holbert or Braylen Baker, but they are still a dangerous team, especially playing on this court and with how fundamentally sound they are as a basketball team.

“We told our guys coming into the game that it was essential to get off to a good start and push the tempo that we wanted to play at, and that’s what they did.”

Circleville’s Slater Search grabs a rebound.

After having their first seven possessions end with four missed shots and three turnovers, Gage Arnett ended the Circleville run by scoring on a runner.

The Tigers finished the quarter with a 17-4 lead, but the Braves started to find their footing in the second quarter by scoring 10 of the next 12 points.

Alden Williams connected on a three-pointer to start the run for the Braves, Arnett hit a reverse layup and Brody Sabine scored on a putback and knocked down a triple from the right corner to cut the Circleville lead to 19-14.

“I felt like we came out and got some decent looks at the basket in the first quarter, but we couldn’t hit most of them and Circleville came out and played a pretty nice period,” Logan Elm coach Doug Stiverson said. “I was proud of the way our guys kept competing and we were finally able to knock down some shots there in the second quarter and get it down to a two-possession game.”

Joe Wray ended the run by hitting a jumper, Cramer scored on a pair of drives to the basket and West connected on a three to help the Tigers extend their lead back to double-digits at 28-18 going into halftime.

“We knew Logan Elm was going to make a run and they put some good basketball together, but I was impressed with the way our guys weathered the storm and came back to give us a 10-point lead going into halftime,” Carpenter said.

The Tigers never led by fewer than 10 points during the second half and extended their lead to as many as 15 points.

Sabine and Nemiah Waugh paced the Braves with 11 points apiece, with Sabine also contributing five rebounds. Alden Williams had eight points and four rebounds, and Drew Tomlinson scored a pair of baskets and had three steals.

The Braves (6-9, 4-6) travel to the First Capital on Tuesday for a non-league game against Chillicothe, while the Tigers (8-8, 4-4) continue league play a day later when they host Fairfield Union.

Circleville 50,

Logan Elm 38

CIRCLEVILLE — Nolan West 5-0-12, Matt Bradley 1-0-2, Briley Cramer 5-9-19, Joe Wray 1-0-2, Parker Kidwell 1-0-2, Ian Warden 1-0-2, Slater Search 4-3-11. Three-point goals — West (2). Total — 18-35 12-23 50.
LOGAN ELM — Drew Tomlinson 2-0-4, Gage Arnett 2-0-4, Alden Williams 3-0-8, Brody Sabine 4-0-11, Nemiah Waugh 2-7-11. Three-point goals — Sabine (3) and Williams (2). Total — 13-38 7-11 38.

Quarter scores 1 2 3 4 F
Circleville 17 11 9 13 50
Logan Elm 4 14 6 14 38

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