Once Miami Trace turned up its full-court pressure on Saturday night, Logan Elm was never able to find an answer in a 70-64 non-league road loss.
The Panthers erased a 13-point deficit in the fourth quarter, thanks to a 30-8 run that took advantage of nine turnovers by the Braves.
“Miami Trace went into scramble mode once they got behind by double digits in the fourth quarter and their pressure was very effective. We weren’t able to handle it,” Logan Elm head coach Doug Stiverson said. “They generated turnovers and took advantage of every single one of our mistakes.”
DeAndre Pettiford scored 14 of his team-high 29 points in the fourth quarter and added five rebounds. Miami Trace also turned to Cameron Carter for six of his 13 points and Tyrae Pettiford for eight of his 12 points during the 32-point outburst in the fourth quarter.
“Miami Trace has some outstanding athletes that we won’t see in our league,” Stiverson said. “Both DeAndre and Tyrae Pettiford are extremely quick and have great vertical ability.”
A three-pointer by Preston Schultz put the Braves ahead 53-40 in the opening minute of the fourth quarter.
The Panthers decided to turn up the heat and go to a full-court press, generating three turnovers on the next four Logan Elm possessions. Miami Trace ran off seven straight points, capped by a dunk from Tyrae Pettiford to cut its deficit to 53-47 and force a timeout by the Braves.
“We didn’t make good decisions on offense when they pressured us,” Stiverson said. “We dribbled the ball too much and we didn’t make the right passes when we needed to.
“We have to make better decisions and also pick our spots on when we want to attack the basket. At times, it seemed we were hesitant on whether to make a pass or not with the lead.”
Logan Elm (4-2) seemed to finally adjust to MT’s pressure defense by scoring on its next two possessions via a three-pointer from Ridge Young and a three-point play by Stephen Saxton to increase the lead to 59-50.
But the Panthers (4-4) continued on the attack by scoring on their next five possessions, thanks in part to three more turnovers by the Braves.
DeAndre Pettiford started the run of 11 straight points with a three-pointer and then hit two free throws. Carter eventually tied the game by hitting a layup and was fouled in the process by Schultz. Carter couldn’t complete the three-point play, but Tyrae Pettiford grabbed the rebound and put it back to give the Panthers their first lead since the opening minute of the third quarter.
Young tied the game by hitting a jumper, but the Panthers simply started another run of nine straight points.
DeAndre Pettiford scored a three-point play with 1:46 left to put the Panthers ahead for good at 64-61. Tyrae Pettiford then came up with a steal and finished it with a two-handed flush. Two free throws each by Darby Tyree and Tyrae Pettiford then put the game away.
The Panthers shot 10 of 14 (71.4 percent) during the quarter.
“Miami Trace shot the ball extremely well and they made more plays down the stretch than we did,” Stiverson said. “Miami Trace played pretty well in the first half, but we were able to weather the storm and were down by just three points at halftime.
“They went on another big run in the fourth quarter and we were never able to answer and settle back in.”
The fourth quarter was one of the worst periods of play this season for the Braves, but remarkably came after perhaps one of their best.
Logan Elm scored on five of its first seven possessions to open the second half and turned a three-point deficit into a 35-29 lead.
The Braves went on to outscore the Panthers 27-12 during the third quarter. They shot 9 of 16 (56.3 percent) from the field and also outrebounded the Panthers 8-3.
Young had 17 points during the run and hit 6 of 9 (66.7 percent) shots.
The Panthers were held to 4 of 11 (36.4 percent) shooting during the quarter and committed five turnovers.
“We executed extremely well on offense in the third quarter and made the extra pass,” Stiverson said. “Ridge had a great third quarter and really carried us scoring for most of the night.
“I also felt our defense in the third quarter was much better. We kept Miami Trace out of the paint and forced them to take contested shots. We also rebounded better. We played about as well as we could in the third quarter.”
Both teams shot well from the field, as the Panthers connected on 26 of 51 (51 percent) shots and the Braves hit 24 of 50 (48 percent) attempts.
Young led the Braves with 35 points. Schultz had 13 points, Dylan Smith had nine points and six rebounds and Saxton added seven points.
The Braves host Hamilton Township on Tuesday in a Mid-State League Buckeye Division game.
Miami Trace will play London in the opening round of the McDonald’s Holiday Tournament Tuesday, Dec. 29 at 8 p.m. at Miami Trace High School. Also that night, Madison Plains will play Greeneview at 6:30 p.m. at MTHS.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
LE 16 7 27 14 — 64
MT 19 7 12 32 — 70
LOGAN ELM — Young 14-2-35, Schultz 4-1-13, Saxton 2-3-7, Smith 4-1-9. Three-point goals — Young (5) and Schultz (4). Total — 24-50 7-10 64.
MIAMI TRACE — D. Pettiford 10-4-29, Carter 4-5-13, T. Pettiford 5-2-12, Pittser 4-0-8, Tyree 3-2-8. Three-point goals — D. Pettiford (5). Total — 26-51 13-15 70.