By Kevin Wilson
TEXICO — Standing at just 5 feet, Elida eighth-grader Trenton Chenault is a pretty easy player for a defender to lose.
He made the Logan Longhorns pay for that with 3-pointer after 3-pointer, but the outside shooting was not enough to counter Logan’s height advantage inside during a consolation semifinal game of the 47th annual EPAC boys basketball tournament Thursday at the Texico Sports Arena.
With a 69-44 win, Logan (4-7) faces San Jon in Saturday’s seventh-place game at Greyhound Arena. Elida (1-9) faces House today in the ninth-place game.
Elida relied more on the 3-pointer as the game went on, with Logan pressure leading to fast-break layups and an early 26-9 advantage. Longhorn coach Jerry Franklin said the defense was really a ploy to keep his team from becoming complacent.
“It was more that we needed to get our intensity level up,” Franklin said. “Sometimes if we fall back in our zone, we have a tendency to watch.”
Elida coach Darrell Chenault wouldn’t have minded that prospect, as son Trenton and Dylan Radcliff hit six of the Tigers’ seven 3-pointers on the night. Wesley Gilmore, who led all scorers with 18, hit Elida’s other 3-pointer as the final buzzer sounded.
“Those three guys can shoot the ball,” Coach Chenault said. “It’s just that teams don’t use a zone very often.
“We’re just outsized so much that I’ve got to give credit to all eight of (our players). They keep getting back up and trying.”
Trenton Chenault and Radcliff hit back-to-back 3-pointers to cut the Logan lead to 40-28 in the third quarter. Chenault had a quick release on all four of his treys, which helped him overcome a height disadvantage and accounted for all 12 of his points.
“He surprised us, but he shouldn’t have kept surprising us,” Franklin said. “When they had good looks at the basket they finished.”
Elida kept the deficit at 12 through much of the third quarter, but William Daupinais hit a 3-pointer to end any hopes of a comeback.
Jake Abercrombie led Logan with 15 points, while Drew Perez added 11. Radcliff scored eight for the Tigers.