Brock Netter, Staff Writer
ASHVILLE — Isaac Ward just hit another 3-pointer, and Thursday’s game ended 12 hours ago. That’s the type of zone he was in.
The senior guard buried eight triples on the evening and finished with 37 points and three assists, leading Logan Elm (11-1, 9-1 MSL) to a 61-48 victory over Teays Valley.
“It all started with Isaac coming out extremely aggressive and knocking down his first six or seven shots,” Logan Elm coach Doug Stiverson said. “But at the same point, we moved the ball really well and got him those open looks as well. It helps when you have a very unselfish team that always looks for the open man when they get hot.”
It wasn’t just that Ward had the hot hand all night, it was his confidence in taking shots from near the volleyball line and caressing nothing by nylon.
The Vikings tried nearly everything to prevent Ward from shooting, but he had no problem letting it fly. He opened the game for the Braves by scoring the team’s first 17 points, including a pair of shots from said volleyball line, setting an early tone and sending a clear message that he wasn’t going to let him team lose.
He finished the quarter with 19 points, including an assist to Gabe Chalfin as the Braves led 21-14.
“Isaac is our go-to guy, and to see that first quarter was incredible,” Chalfin said of Ward. “He was able to keep that pace for the rest of the game and lead us. Once he gets going, it forces teams to face guard him and he’ll still get his looks, but he also finds us in our spots as well.”
As Ward sat to begin the second, Braylen Baker came off the bench and scored the first five points for the Braves before Chalfin buried a triple to help them go to halftime with a 31-24 lead.
“Gabe got us going on the defensive end, but also hit a couple big shots and played hard like he usually does,” Ward said of Chalfin. “We don’t win this game without him, that’s for sure.”
Teays Valley (7-7, 7-4 MSL) continued to hang around using its size on the inside with Camden Primmer and Eli Burgett, but it couldn’t narrow the lead to two possessions.
Meanwhile, Jason Sailor buried a triple, followed by a steal and pullup jumper from Ward, pushing the lead back up to nine points before closing out with a 43-36 lead.
The Braves continued to keep their distance, but were looking for that knockout blow. They got it as Tanner Holbert drilled a triple and Chalfin connected inside that pushed the lead up to 54-42, which was enough cushion to close out for the victory.
“Gabe, Braylen and Jason all did a great job of filling in the gaps and knocking down shots as well,” Stiverson said. “Tanner hit a huge shot as well. The big key for us in the second half was rebounding the basketball. Teays Valley is a big and very physical team, and we know we’re not a big team but we rebound very well as a team and play solid defense.”
After Ward, Chalfin finished with seven points, seven rebounds and four assists while Sailor added seven points.
For Teays Valley, Primmer finished with 11 points, followed by Burgett with 10 points and five rebounds.
Logan Elm returns to action on Saturday at Liberty Union, while Teays Valley travels to Fairfield Union that same evening.
Logan Elm: 21-10-12-18 — 61
Teays Valley: 14-10-12-12 — 48
Logan Elm: 21-43 FG, 7-8 FT, 12-26 3pt., 15 rebounds (Chalfin 7), 4 turnovers, 11 assists (Chalfin 4). Scoring: Ward 37, Chalfin 7, Sailor 7, Baker 5, Holbert 3, Wietelmann 2.
Teays Valley: 19-38 FG, 8-12 FT, 2-11 3pt., 23 rebounds (Burgett 5), 11 turnovers, 7 assists. Scoring: Primmer 11, Burgett 10, Liam Sachs 9, Weiler 9, Meddock 7, Luke Sachs 2.