Logan Holbert knows he won’t set any scoring records on the hardwood this season for the Logan Elm boys basketball team.
But the senior isn’t afraid of putting up a shot when the opportunity presents itself, as it did in the third quarter on Friday against visiting Miami Trace.
“I’m not the type of player that is going to score a bunch of points,” Holbert said. “I know my role and I’m going to do everything I can so we can be successful as a team.
“But when I get an open shot, I’m not afraid to pull the trigger, especially when it’s a good scoring opportunity.”
Holbert scored seven of his career-high 12 points in the third quarter to halt a run by Miami Trace and ignite a 45-15 run to send the Braves to a convincing 75-46 non-league win.
“We had a number of guys step up and hit some really big shots over the course of the game,” Logan Elm coach Doug Stiverson said. “Logan hit a couple of shots that got us going in the second half and the rest of our guys followed and put together a pretty good half of offense.”
Logan Elm (5-2) bounced back from its worst loss of the season on Thursday, a 67-58 Mid-State League Buckeye Division setback the road against Bloom-Carroll, to claim its most impressive win so far this season. Miami Trace (5-2) currently leads the South Central Ohio League.
“This shows a lot about the mental toughness we have as a basketball team,” Holbert said. “That was a very physical battle (on Thursday) against Bloom-Carroll where we expended a lot of energy against a pretty tough team.
“We were able to bounce right back, refocus as a team and we did a nice job of playing together to beat a pretty good basketball team like Miami Trace.”
The Braves shot 22 of 42 (52.4 percent) from the field and a sizzling 23 of 26 (88.5 percent) at the free throw line.
Ridge Young had 17 of his game-high 27 points in the second half and finished the night a perfect 14 of 14 from the foul line. Holbert and Cody Anderson each had 12 points and Caymen Bryant added 10.
“We feel like we can play with anyone when we get that type of balance,” Stiverson said. “I felt like our guys did a nice job of being aggressive and playing with confidence.
“When we could push, we pushed and attacked the basket. When that wasn’t available, we did a nice job of running our offense, making the extra pass and knocking down shots.”
The script was flipped from the final result last season, when Miami Trace rallied from a deficit with a 30-8 run to defeat Logan Elm 70-64. The Panthers’ run on that December night was led by a full-court pressure that forced nine turnovers.
This time, the Braves were able to handle the Panthers’ pressure and put together a commanding 30-9 fourth quarter.
“I felt like we showed a lot of composure as a basketball team,” Stiverson said. “Miami Trace is a very athletic team that does a nice job of pressuring and creating off of turnovers.
“We were a little sloppy with the basketball to begin the second half, but other than that I felt like we did a nice job of handling the basketball against their pressure.”
Logan Elm entered the second half with a 28-22 advantage, but Miami Trace (5-2) opened the third quarter on a 9-2 run, powered by three baskets from Tyrae Pettiford and a three-pointer off the hands of Blake Pittser to give the Panthers a 31-30 lead.
Holbert canned a baseline jumper to give the Braves the lead again.
Following a putback from Seth Leach to give the Panthers their final lead of the night, Holbert banked in a three-ball from the top of the key to put the Braves ahead 35-33.
“We didn’t start the third quarter well with (four) turnovers due to us being careless with the basketball,” Holbert said. “My teammates did a nice job of finding me when I was open.
“Once I hit my first shot that gave me a lot of confidence, and I had some other open shots that I was able to knock down after that.”
Colin Clark followed with a putback basket, Young nailed two free throws and Holbert laid in two more. A free throw by Kamry Wright increased the Braves’ lead to 42-35.
Tyrae Pettiford cut the margin back to five by canning a jumper, but the Panthers fouled Young on a three with less than a second left. The LE senior drained all three free throws to send the Braves into the fourth leading 45-37.
Logan Elm dominated the fourth quarter with six players contributing to the offensive outburst that saw the Braves shoot 7 of 12 (58.3 percent) from the field and 14 of 16 (87.5 percent) at the charity stripe.
The Braves scored the first 11 points of the period, highlighted by Young scoring six points, including a four-point play when he made a layup and then connected on a pair of free throws due to an intentional foul being called on the play.
“When we’re that balanced scoring it makes things easier for Ridge on offense,” Stiverson said. “When we’re struggling to score outside of Ridge, it makes it easier for the defense to guard Ridge.
“When we look for each other and spread the basketball like we did tonight, things come easier not only for Ridge but the rest of our guys.”
Young finished the quarter with 12 points, with Anderson contributing six and Holbert adding five.
The Panthers struggled to get their offense going against the Braves’ 2-3 zone defense, often settling for three-pointers and off-balanced jumpers. Miami Trace shot just 3 of 17 (17.6 percent) in the fourth quarter and committed seven turnovers.
“When Miami Trace did get the ball high on the block, Colin Clark did a nice job of using his length and athleticism to contest and change some shots along with rebounding the basketball,” Stiverson said. “Colin made it harder for Miami Trace to run its zone offense.”
Tyrae Pettiford led the Panthers with 12 points, followed by Cameron Carter and Pittser tossing in nine each.
The Panthers host Greeneview on Wednesday in the annual McDonald’s Holiday Tournament.