CIRCLEVILLE — It wasn’t by plan that freshman Brooklin Harris had a breakout game for the Logan Lady Chiefs Tuesday night. It just turned out that way.
The game just came to her and she took full advantage.
“The girls did a really good job of simply finding the open person,” Logan coach Jessica Harris said after the 5-foot-6 guard with the same last name came off the bench to score 18 points as the Lady Chiefs knocked off previously-undefeated Circleville 50-46 at Circleville High School.
“We didn’t have any plays drawn up for anybody specifically,” coach Harris added as Logan hiked its record to 2-1. “The girls just went out there and played. We moved the ball a little better than we did the last game (a loss to Gahanna) and found the open man.
“We didn’t really care who was shooting the ball, as long as somebody was. (Brooklin had) a confident, in-rhythm shot. I’m glad she stepped up.”
While Harris more than doubled the point production of her first two career games (no points against Dublin Jerome and eight against Gahanna), it was a night of missed opportunities for the Tigers (3-1).
Circleville, which fell behind 30-22 at halftime, did not go away in the second half. The Tigers had several pushes thwarted either by making mistakes or turnovers at crucial times or seeing the Lady Chiefs hit clutch shots to keep them at bay.
“We knew they were probably going to pressure us and we didn’t do a very good job handling their pressure at times,” said Circleville coach Steve Kalinoski. “We got a little tired I thought late in the game and had some sloppy turnovers (20 total). We knew that was going to be a key, to handle their pressure, and for the most part we didn’t do a great job with it… and the times we did we didn’t go down and finish some of our shots.
“The second quarter (when Logan outscored Circleville 17-6) was pretty much the difference in the ballgame,” he continued. “We didn’t know a whole lot about Harris. We’d seen them play once and I don’t think she scored. We knew (Emilie) Eggleston was a pretty good shooter and we tried to stay close to her.”
Harris had nine of Logan’s first 16 points and finished 5-of-6 from beyond the 3-point arc, scoring 12 points in the first half. Eggleston, a 5-11 junior, scored 16 points, getting 14 of them in the first half.
“Give (Brooklin) Harris credit,” Kalinoski said. Her making “five threes was a big part of the game. We knew they were going to shoot threes; they hit nine threes and we hit zero. We know that’s a big part of their offense. I give them credit. They hit some nice shots.
“And I thought they outplayed us, too,” he continued. “They got a lot of loose balls and I was a little disappointed in our hustle. We take a lot of pride in our defense and I thought we had a lot of breakdowns.”
And Logan took advantage.
“I trusted in the team,” coach Harris stated. “As a coach I get just as panicked as what they do sometimes, but the girls responded pretty well after we made some slight adjustments. The girls won that game by hustling and by winning those 50-50 balls. I trusted them to do the same there at the end and that’s what they did.”
Circleville got a terrific game from 6-0 sophomore Kenzie McConnell, who had a 21-point, 11-rebound double-double and was more than a handful for the Lady Chiefs in the low post. The Tigers are missing another excellent post player, 6-1 junior Meghan Davis, who is out until January with an injury.
Harris and Eggleston benefitted from senior Beth Starlin’s unselfish play. Starlin handed out a career-high nine assists as Logan had a helper on 14 of its 16 field goals.
Ironically, Logan shot 39 percent from the floor (16 of 41) and identical 9-of-23 totals from both 3-point range and from the free-throw line (39.1 percent). Circleville shot much better from the field overall (nearly 49 percent) but missed all eight of its tries from the perimeter.
Circleville broke a 10-10 tie in the final minute of the opening quarter on a Sidney Gray jumper and a bucket underneath by McConnell before Harris took an Emmalee Dicken feed and nailed a 3-ball from the right of the key in the waning seconds to draw Logan within 14-13 entering the second period.
There, Circleville led 18-16 before Eggleston powered runs of 7-0 and 11-2 to put the Lady Chiefs ahead to stay. She tied the game with a couple free throws before converting back-to-back put-backs and later nailing a three-ball off a Starlin drive-and-dish.
Logan extended its lead to 28-20 before a McConnell bucket closed the gap to six with 17 seconds remaining. But Starlin found Lexis Fickel underneath for a crucial bucket with four seconds left in the half to make it 30-22 Lady Chiefs at the intermission.
The second half was almost all about Logan finding answers when the Tigers would get close. Key triples by Starlin and Harris helped keep the Lady Tigers at bay in the third period.
Two power-move buckets by McConnell helped close the Tigers within 38-33 in the final seconds, but Logan senior Kaymbre Zimmerman tossed in a buzzer-beating three from the left of the key to put Logan in front 41-33 heading to the final stanza.
The Tigers were able to get within 45-41 with 2:44 remaining on Brie Kendrick’s nice 15-foot elbow jumper, but Harris drained a dagger of a corner-three off a Starlin feed with 1:27 left to give the Lady Chiefs a seven-point edge.
Logan then missed the front end of three straight one-and-one situations but got the rebound on two of them.
“Boxing out played a huge factor tonight,” Harris said. “I think they learned from (the Gahanna) game what boxing out will get us. I thought they did a really good job finding somebody and putting a body on them — I’m not saying they were perfect every time, but they were making an effort to make it happen — and we were strong with the ball. I think that did well for us. We ripped the ball through. We were expecting contact and expecting the traps so the girls knew that.”
The Tigers committed a couple costly turnovers that could have gotten them closer, then Avery Thompson netted two free throws with 36.8 seconds left for a 50-41 Lady Chiefs lead.
Circleville took advantage of a couple Lady Chiefs mental miscues in the final seconds to score five quick points and close within four but had already used all of its timeouts and thus couldn’t stop the clock.
The Lady Tigers hope to draw upon lessons Tuesday night when they visit Teays Valley for a Mid-State League Buckeye Division game on Friday.
“They’re going to pressure us to death,” Kalinoski said of the Lady Vikings. “We knew this was (going to be) a good game for us because we’re going to see that (full-court pressure) Friday. We know we have to keep working on taking care of the basketball in the full-court and the half-court.
“It was a good game for us tonight but we fell a little short,” he added. “I give Logan a lot of credit. They came in and played a real nice ballgame tonight.” “It was nice to see them bounce back from Gahanna (a 65-49 loss in their last game),” Harris said. “We could have very easily put our tails between our legs (and gave up) but they bounced back and saw (if) they go out there and play as hard as they can things will kind of happen in their favor with the more effort that they give.” Logan 50, Circleville 46
Logan 13 17 11 9—50
Circleville 14 8 11 13—46
LOGAN 50 (2-1): Brooklin Harris 6 1-8 18, Emmalee Dicken 1-0-2, Lexis Fickel 2-0-4, Beth Starlin 1 0-2 3, Avery Thompson 0 2-3 2, Abbie Dicken 0, Emilie Eggleston 5 4-6 16, Kaymbre Zimmerman 1 2-4 5. Totals 16 9-23 50. 3-pt FG: Harris 5, Eggleston 2, Starlin, Zimmerman.
CIRCLEVILLE 46 (3-1): Peyton Pirini 2-0-4, Tori Bircher 1 2-2 4, Sidney Gray 2-0-4, Shayna Hoop 3 2-4 8, Brie Kendrick 2 1-4 5, Kenzie McConnell 8 5-6 21. Totals 18 10-16 46.
FG: Logan 16-41 (.390), Circleville 18-37 (.486). 3-pt FG: Logan 9-23 (.391), Circleville 0-8 (.000). FT: Logan 9-23 (.391), Circleville 10-16 (.625). Rebounds: Logan 25 (Starlin 6, E. Dicken 5), Circleville 32 (McConnell 11). Assists: Logan 14 (Starlin 9, E. Dicken 2, Eggleston 2), Circleville 7 (Bircher 2, Kendrick 2). Steals: Logan 16 (Starlin 4, Eggleston 4, Harris 3), Circleville 6 (Perini 2). Turnovers: Logan 15, Circleville 20. Fouls: Logan 15, Circleville 16. JV: Logan 47, Circleville 24.