By Brad Morris
Logan Elm put itself in position to have an opportunity to win in the fourth quarter on Wednesday against Mid-State League Buckeye Division co-champion Fairfield Union, but the host Falcons pulled away down the stretch to claim a 45-33 Division II Southeast District sectional semifinal win.
The Braves fell behind 9-5 after a quarter of play but trailed just 16-12 going into halftime and 29-24 headed into the final period of play.
“Defensively, I felt our guys were really focused in on getting a stop each possession and played extremely physical the entire game,” Logan Elm coach Doug Stiverson said. “I also felt we were able to keep them a little out of rhythm offensively by changing our defenses at times in the game.
“I never felt like they really got comfortable on the offensive end. Our entire team battled defensively all night.”
Carson Summers led all scorers with 16 points on 6 of 13 (46.1 percent) shooting and Nemiah Waugh added 13 for the Braves on 6 of 12 (50 percent) attempts.
Waugh, a six-foot sophomore, became the Braves’ leading scorer this season, averaging nearly 14 points a game, after Braylen Baker was lost to a season-ending injury in the fourth game of the season and Tanner Holbert missed the season due to an injury suffered in Week 9 of the football season.
“Nemiah I felt really handled himself well being put in the spot of being our primary scorer this year when he had no idea coming in to the season he was going to have to do that,” Stiverson said. “That is a lot of responsibility for a sophomore. He had some really big games for us. I know he will continue to work hard and develop his three-point shooting and being better without the ball. That will be his next steps in developing over the summer and preseason.
Summers, a 5-11 junior, blossomed down the stretch and became another scoring option for the Braves, including dropping a career-high 25 points on McClain in a tournament-opening win last weekend.
“Carson over the last month really has stepped up his scoring, especially in our last 8-10 games,” Stiverson said. “I just think he became more comfortable finding his spots on the floor where he could score. His confidence grew tremendously and now needs to take that and build on his offensive skills in the offseason.”
Caleb Schmelzer paced the Falcons with 12 points and Caleb Redding had five of his 10 points in the fourth quarter.
The second-seeded Falcons (20-3), which defeated the Braves (9-15) for a third time this season, are slated to host Marietta (16-7) on Saturday in a sectional final.
Logan Elm loses seniors Drew Tomlinson, Gavin Griffey, Holbert and Baker to graduation.
“Our seniors are class acts on and off the floor for our program,” Stiverson said. “They represent everything we want in a Logan Elm basketball player. The way they handled all the adversity that they went through this year shows the character and perseverance that they have. They have been a great example to our younger players.
“I know that each one of them are going to be successful in whatever they chose to do.”
Division II Southeast District
No. 1 Fairfield Union 45,
No. 15 Logan Elm 33
LOGAN ELM — Gage Arnett 0-1-1, Nemiah Waugh 6-0-13, Carson Summers 6-1-16, Alden Williams 1-0-3. Three-point goals — Summers (3), Waugh and Williams. Total — 13 2-5 33.
FAIRFIELD UNION — Brennen Rowles 0-4-4, Isaac Schmelzer 2-0-4, Ted Harrah 3-1-7, Cole Johnson 0-2-2, Caleb Redding 3-2-10, Caleb Schmelzer 3-5-12, Ronnie Rowley 3-0-6. Three-point goals — Redding (2) and Caleb Schmelzer. Total — 14 14-21 45
Quarter scores 1 2 3 4 F
Logan Elm 5 7 12 9 33
Fairfield Union 9 7 13 16 45