The Canal Winchester High School boys basketball team battled evenly with Logan Elm through three quarters in an MSL-Buckeye Division game on Dec. 16 before closing the contest on an 18-11 run to earn a 63-55 victory.

The Canal Winchester High School boys basketball team battled evenly with Logan Elm through three quarters in an MSL-Buckeye Division game on Dec. 16 before closing the contest on an 18-11 run to earn a 63-55 victory.

Coach Kent Riggs said his squad is bracing for an even tougher challenge on Saturday, Jan. 28, when it travels to Logan Elm. He expects the game to be played in front of a boisterous crowd.

Last season, the Indians beat the Braves 43-38 at home but lost 43-20 at Logan Elm.

"Logan Elm gave us a tough ballgame at our place, and it's always harder to beat them at their place," Riggs said. "The atmosphere of playing at Logan Elm will be a good test for us because they draw a large crowd and they always seem to get excited for us. This is going to be their hall of fame night where they induct some new members, so it's going to be a great atmosphere for a high school basketball game."

Logan Elm beat Amanda-Clearcreek 52-42 on Jan. 20, as 5-foot-11 sophomore guard Dillon Young scored 25 points, 6-2 senior guard Anthony Vagnier scored 12 and 6-4 senior forward Blake Riffle scored 10. Logan Elm was 9-3 overall and 4-3 in the MSL-Buckeye before playing Teays Valley on Jan. 24.

In the Indians' first meeting with Logan Elm, Young scored 24 points and Riffle scored 14. Thomas Nolan had 21 points to lead the Indians, with Shemar Waugh and Alex Fox each scoring 12.

"Young scored 20-some points against us the first time we played Logan Elm, so we need to do a better job of defending him," Riggs said. "We need to be aware of where he's at and keep a defender on him."

Riggs would like to see the Indians continue to execute their offense as well as they did in the second half of a 62-53 league victory at Fairfield Union on Jan. 20.

The game was tied at 18 at halftime, but Canal Winchester outscored Fairfield Union 44-35 in the second half. Nolan had 21 points, four assists and one turnover and Waugh had 11 points, six assists and one turnover.

Through 13 games, Nolan was averaging 3.5 assists, 1.3 steals and 3.4 turnovers, and Waugh was averaging 3.5 assists, 2.9 steals and 3.9 turnovers.

"I thought we played the best half of basketball that we've played this year," Riggs said. "We've moved Austin Whitlatch from center to power forward, and (Zach) Morehead and (Brandon) Manley have done a good job of splitting time at our center position. Waugh and Nolan have been our leading scorers, but we'd like to see a better assist-to-turnover ratio during the second half of the season. The encouraging thing is they had their best ratio against Fairfield Union."

Nolan was averaging a team-high 15.6 points through 13 games, followed by Waugh (13.5), Whitlatch (7.9) and Fox (6.8). Whitlatch was averaging a team-high 8.6 rebounds, followed by Fox (5.9).

Riggs was pleased with the progress his team displayed during a five-game stretch in which it beat Circleville 53-47 on Jan. 6, lost to Teays Valley 55-53 in overtime on Jan. 10, defeated Hamilton Township 75-40 on Jan. 14, lost to Rocky River 58-56 in overtime on Jan. 15 and defeated Fairfield Union.

"I think we've been making progress and we've played really well against a competitive schedule lately," Riggs said. "Nolan and Waugh both have the ability to create shots for other guys, and I'd like to see us get more people involved in our offense. The main thing I want to see us improve on is our shooting percentage (41.7 percent through 13 games) by getting a better shot selection. If we can keep getting better defensively, too, I think we'll turn some of these close losses into wins."

•The wrestling team opened its MSL-Buckeye dual match schedule on Jan. 19, defeating Fairfield Union 42-21 and Logan Elm 36-33.

Going 2-0 for the Indians that day were Ben Craig (106 pounds), Emmanuel Barnes (120), Nick Hammond (132), Zach Snyder (145), Royce Calloway (160), Aaron Graber (182) and Max Lacey (220).

"We won both of these matches even though we had to move up four junior varsity kids to wrestle in place of varsity starters who weren't there for a number of reasons," coach Trent Brooks said. "Our freshman, Aaron Graber, came through for us in the last match against Logan Elm with a third-period pin to give us the win. That was one of the most exciting endings to a dual match that I've been a part of."