Warren boys face Logan Elm

VINCENT- While Warren is the defending D2 district and regional boys basketball champion, Logan Elm is the top seed in the tournament.

When the two schools tip off in a district championhip game at 8:30 p.m. Saturday at the Ohio University Convocation Center, there really won’t be a favorite – only a survivor.

“It’s going to be a great game,” said Warren head coach Blane Maddox. “Like us, they play a nice schedule.

“Logan Elm is a well-coached team that plays together well. They shoot the ball well, and do a lot of things right.”

So do the Warriors (21-3).

Warren is coming off a hard-fought 57-52 come-from-behind triumph over Circleville in a district semi at the Convo last Friday night. Later, that same evening, the Doug Stiverson-coached Braves (22-2) had to rally in the second half to defeat Minford 57-46. LE trailed most of the contest until late in the third period.

The Warriors were down 29-27 at halftime before outpointing the Tigers 16-9 in a pivotal third quarter.

“At halftime, it came down to how bad did we want it,” Maddox said.

Reece Patton paced the royal blue and white cagers with 17 points. West Liberty recruit Evan French added 16. Michael Hall had 11.

This winter, French leads the Warriors in scoring, averaging 21 points per game. Both Patton and Hall are averaging 15 ppg.

It’ll be interesting to see how Warren’s Big 3 will be defended by the shorter Logan Elm cagers.

Warren is also expected to start Andrew Drayer and Aaron Mazurkiewicz.

Andrew Henthorn and Blake Kidder will be the first Warriors off the pine.

Against Minford, uptempo LE employed a blend of full-court pressure and a three-quarter court trap, along with a man and 2-3 zone defense, to try to neutralize the Falcons’ post presense. Minford had one player who was 6-foot-6, 320 pounds (Jared McCray).

“We’re expecting them (LE) to put a lot of pressure on us,” Maddox said. “They go about six deep, so we’re going to have to attack them.”

Dillon Young, a 6-foot senior, scored a game-high 24 points against Minford. On the season, he’s averaging about 20 ppg.

“He makes them go,” Maddox said. “We’re going to have to contain him and respect the others.”

Young was far from a one-man show against the Falcons as 6-3 senior Logan Thompson netted 10 points and grabbed seven rebounds, 6-foot freshman Ridge Young chipped in with eight points and 6-2 senior Casey Tyler added seven points and nine caroms. Another Brave to keep an eye on will be 6-foot senior Trent Congrove.

“We’re going to need to keep them in front of us, contest their shots, and use our length,” Maddox said.