Updated Mon, Mar 3, 2014 1:21 pm
Nothing could stop senior Dillon Young on his mission to get to the district finals as his double-double led the Logan Elm Braves to a 57-46 victory over the Minford Falcons Friday night at the Convocation Center.
The Braves were able to jump out to an early 7-4 lead until Minford senior guard Cody Stapleton knocked down back-to-back threes. The pair of trifecta’s pulled the Falcons ahead 14-11 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Minford was able to maintain a three-point lead going into halftime despite early foul trouble from senior big man Jared McCray who pulled in seven rebounds in less than eight minutes of play in the first half.
Despite being outrebounded 23-13 in the first half, Logan Elm kept up its intensity the entire game refusing to submit to Minford’s physical play under the basket.
“I thought tonight against a really physical basketball team, a team that rebounded the ball extremely well, our kids fought and fought extremely hard,” head coach Doug Stiverson said. “It was physical and they got some offensive rebounds but I thought our guys stuck with it and didn’t lose their composure.”
No player exemplified this never-quit mentality more than Young who connected on a layup after stealing the ball away from Minford guard Kyle Wiseman with 3:04 left in the third quarter. The layup gave the Braves their first lead since 4:40 left in the first quarter.
Young came out once again in the fourth quarter as he nailed a shot from behind the arc while drawing a foul in mid-air with 6:51 left in the game. Logan Elm's leader was able to knock down the free throw to complete the four-point play to give his team a 41-36 lead.
The senior’s crucial four-point play was part of his game-high 24 points on the night and sparked an 8-0 run for Logan Elm. Young also corralled in a team-high 10 rebounds.
“Dillon’s been our leading scorer but to rebound the ball I thought that was a huge key for us tonight,” Stiverson said. “We had the ball in his hands a lot and we were able to get some guys in foul trouble and you know he just played a great overall basketball game for us tonight.”
Minford was led byMcCray’s, a future offensive lineman for Ohio University's football team. His double-double of 14 points and 12 rebounds led the charge for Minford, but his limited playing time due to foul trouble proved to be detrimental in the semifinal loss.
With the win, Logan Elm (22-2) advances to take on the Warren Warriors (21-3) in the district final.
Stiverson stressed the importance of cleaning up on unnecessary turnovers against a “well-balanced, athletic” Warren squad but more importantly continue to play their style of basketball that got this team to the finals in the first place.