Blue Lions survive Braves’ comeback attempt

by JOHN HOWLEY / sportingpumpkin.com

Logan Elm battled back to within a couple of scores but couldn’t overcome Washington Court House’s lead as the Blue Lions left with a 63-58 win Saturday afternoon. 

After a three from Tanner Lemaster, the Blue Lions had their largest lead of the game at 45-24 three minutes into the second half. 

Washington Court House added only two free throws to its score the rest of the period and Logan Elm narrowed the gap to 47-32 by quarter’s end. 

It was a 60-43 game with three minutes left as Logan Elm made one last push. 

Aiden Williams sunk a three with 1:38 left and Nemiah Waugh followed with a basket 20 seconds later. After Washington Court House hit one of two free throws, Carson Summers came down and scored for the Braves with 40 seconds showing. 

The Braves fouled and WCH missed the front end of a one-and-one. Waugh scored with 21 seconds on the clock to get the difference back to single digits at 61-52. After another quick foul in which only one free throw was converted, Waugh connected from three-point range to make it 62-55. 

Another quick foul sent Washington Court House to the line where one of two shots were sunk and Logan Elm’s Drew Tomlinson ended the game with a three-pointer to make it a five-point final difference.

Drew Tomlinson had 10 of his 15 points in the second half Saturday. (see more game photos)

Saturday’s action wrapped up the regular season for Logan Elm (8-14).

“It’s a great game for us to have leading into the tournament,” Logan Elm coach Doug Stiverson said. “Going into the fourth quarter I thought our kids played with a little bit of an edge to them. That’s what you have to do come tournament time. 

“You have to play free and that’s what we did in the fourth quarter. We were more aggressive going to the basket, a little more aggressive defensively and that’s what you have to play with when you get into the tournament, that little bit of an edge. You can’t worry about losing. You start worrying about that and that gets in your mind and you’re going home anyway.”

Waugh led all scorers in the game with 23 points and Tomlinson added 15 for the Braves. 

Lemaster led the Blue Lions with 19 and John Wall had 17. 

Washington Court House had a 32-18 rebounding edge led by Lemaster with eight and Michael Bearden with six. Waugh led Logan Elm with five and Tomlinson had four. 

The Blue Lions had 20 turnovers in the contest while the Braves had nine. 

One of those Logan Elm turnovers helped the Lions turn the tide of the game. 

The Braves scored the first two baskets of the game and had led 13-9 in the first quarter when Washington Court House scored three straight baskets to go up 15-13 with 33 seconds left. Looking to hold the ball for the last shot and a chance to tie the score, Logan Elm turned the ball over and Wall scored with two seconds on the clock to make it a four-point game. Court House scored the first two baskets of the second quarter to start a 17-7 period that had it up 34-20 at the half. 

“A lot of time, everybody thinks about the last couple minutes of the game, but it’s those little things throughout the game that really come back to bite you,” Stiverson said. “Those things early matter, especially end of quarters. We talk a lot about finishing the quarters strong and a lot of times that leads to momentum going into that next quarter. So that was a big play early in the game.”

Carson Summers drives against Washington Court House’s Micheal Bearden Saturday. (see more game photos)

Logan Elm will begin tournament play as the 15 seed hosting No. 18 McClain Saturday at 7 p.m. The winner will move on to face No. 2 Fairfield Union on the 22nd. 

Washington Court House will take on the winner of Athens/Hillsboro game on Feb. 22. 

Washington Court House 63, Logan Elm 58

Washington — Garrett Rickman 3-0-8, John Wall 7-1-17, Michael Bearden 1-0-2, Brayden May 2-1-5, Raleigh Haithcock 1-0-3, Tanner Lemaster 7-4-19, Isaiah Haithcock 4-1-9. Three-point goals — Rickman (2), Wall (2), R Haithcock, Lemaster. Total — 25-39 7-17 63.

Logan Elm — Drew Tomlinson 4-5-15, Gage Arnett 2-2-7, Carson Summers 2-2-6,  Aiden Williams 2-1-7, Nemiah Waugh 10-1-23. Three-point goals — Tomlinson (2), Arnett, Williams (2), Waugh (2). Total — 20-49 11-15 58.

Quarter scores 1 2 3 4 F

Washington 17 17 13 16 63

Logan Elm 13 7 12 26 58

Logan Elm’s Alden Williams is fouled by Washington Court House’s Raleigh Haithcock Saturday. (see more game photos)

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