By Brad Morris
Coming off a big win over former Mid-State League Buckeye Division co-leader Bloom-Carroll earlier this week, coach Tim Leist was concerned about a trip to Logan Elm on Thursday being a trap game for Amanda-Clearcreek.
And his concerns were validated with the Aces only able to take a 20-15 lead into halftime.
“This is a game that has concerned me since we beat Bloom-Carroll on Tuesday night,” he said. “First, Logan Elm is a young but much improved team that has shooters who can score the basketball. (Logan Elm coach) Jennifer Blue is doing a nice job of bringing that group along.
“We also never shoot the ball very well when we go over to play in the (Spangler Memorial Gymnasium). And then anytime your team comes off a huge win, there is always that fear of having a letdown and I felt like our energy was lacking in the first half.”
Amanda-Clearcreek kicked it in gear during the final two quarters, outscoring the Braves 27-13 to pull away for a 47-28 league win.
“We challenged the girls at halftime to shake off those cobwebs and they came out in the third quarter, played with a lot more energy and started knocking down shots,” Leist said.
The Aces used a 14-7 third quarter to put some distance between themselves and the host Braves.
Freshman Kaylie Wilson scored a pair of baskets, including hitting one of the Aces’ three triples during the quarter, and Taylor Evans and Ebby Hutchison added a three-pointer each.
“Kaylie became a starter during the Nelsonville-York game earlier this month and she’s stepped into that role and has brought a lot of energy to the floor, especially on the defensive end,” Leist said. “She knocked down a couple of big shots there in the third quarter and you can see her confidence growing on the offensive end.
“We saw flashes of what Kaylie is capable of last summer, so it’s nice to have another scoring option on the floor, especially after we lost Grace Davis early this season.”
Hailey Sowers and Emily Buckley scored four points apiece during the fourth quarter and Katie Kemmerling knocked down the eighth and final three-pointer of the night for the Aces.
Leist highlighted the Aces having five turnovers in the second half after committing 11 during the first two quarters of play.
“Logan Elm did a nice job of getting into the passing lanes and using its athleticism to generate some turnovers there in the first half,” he said. “We were more careful with the basketball in the second half and aware of what Logan Elm can do.”
Buckley led all scorers with 18 points, including scoring eight of the Aces’ 10 points in the first quarter and finishing the first half with 11 points.
“Emily stepped up and did a great job of leading us on the floor for the whole night and especially during the first half,” Leist said. “She had the most energy by far during the first half for us and without Emily’s production, we probably would have gone into halftime trailing.
“She’s an X-factor as a senior with her leadership and being a good player on both ends of the floor.”
Kiki Ingram scored 13 points and Kimmy Petty chipped in nine to lead the Braves.
“I felt like we played one of our better defensive games of the season, because we follow Logan Elm on the schedule and get to see a lot of film on them. They have some good shooters, like Kiki, Kimmy, Hannah Rhoads and Kennedy Groff who can knock down shots and are dangerous,” Leist said. “We did some things defensively that we did the other night against Bloom-Carroll, trying to take away one of Logan Elm’s leading options.
“We are executing at a pretty good level right now on defense, which is a good thing going into February.”
Both teams continue league play on Saturday, as the Aces (11-8, 6-6) travel to Fairfield Union and the Braves (4-16, 0-12) host Bloom-Carroll.
Amanda-Clearcreek 47, Logan Elm 28
AMANDA-CLEARCREEK — Katie Kemmerling 1-0-3, Emily Buckley 5-6-18, Rachel Weaver 0-1-1, Hailey Sowers 2-2-7, Taylor Evans 1-1-4, Ebby Hutchison 1-0-3, Kaylie Wilson 3-1-8, Addy Pugh 1-0-3. Three-point goals — Buckley (2), Kemmerling, Sowers, Evans, Hutchison, Wilson and Pugh. Total — 14 11-17 47.
LOGAN ELM —Kimmy Petty 3-2-9, Hannah Rhoads 1-0-3, Enaja Fischer 1-1-3, Kiki Ingram 4-4-13. Three-point goals — Petty, Rhoads and Ingram. Total — 9 7-11 28.
Quarter scores 1 2 3 4 F
Am.-Clearcreek 10 10 14 13 47
Logan Elm 6 9 7 6 28