LANCASTER, Ohio -- Fairfield Union senior guard Ryan Magill stepped up to the line with :5.4 on the clock in the fourth quarter of a tie game and proceeded to do what big time players do, bury shots when they count.
Magill knocked down both free throws giving his team a 54-52 lead.In the final possession Logan Elm senior Isaac Ward brought the ball down the court, weaved through the defense, set his feet for the shot, and got up a three to win the game that looked good all the way. Unfortunately for the Braves, Ward’s shot barely missed, hitting both sides of the rim and falling out.
Fairfield Union (4-6, 3-3) hung on to get the huge MSL-Buckeye win Friday night, giving Logan Elm (9-1, 7-1) it’s first blemish on the record this season. The Falcons were led by a trio of scorers in double figures, with Magill as the game’s leader with 18 points, followed by senior Charlie Bean with 14, and sophomore Ted Harrah with 11.
In the loss, Logan Elm saw seven players get in the scoring column. Most notably, their trio of senior guards which included Ward with 16 points, Gabe Chalfin with 13, and Jason Sailor with nine.
The game started off with both teams going back and forth in fast paced action. Both defenses applied great pressure early on and forced the other team into tough shots. The scoring heated up in the second quarter as the players began trading baskets left and right.
Magill and Sailor both hit a pair of threes in the quarter, while Ward and Bean both got into the fun as well. Fairfield Union was down by one going into the final possession of the half when Magill drove into the lane and finished a tough shot through a foul.
Immediately after the whistle Logan Elm’s bench was given a very bad technical from one of the referee’s who seemed to have misunderstood a Logan Elm assistant coach.
Either way, Magill converted two of the three free throws from the line. The Falcons then got the ball back with only a few seconds left and Harrah knocked down a turn around jumper from the short corner. The six-point final possession gave Fairfield Union a 30-25 lead heading into halftime.
The Falcons came out of halftime with the same energy as they extended their lead to 10 towards the end of the third. Ward came up with a huge basket before the buzzer that sparked some life into Logan Elm’s game.
The senior guard was vocal on the bench about picking up the intensity and fighting for the remainder of the game. And that they did.
The Braves chipped away at the lead possession after possession. A 10-2 run late in the fourth cut the Falcons lead to just two with a little over a minute remaining.
After Magill missed the front end of a one-and-one, Ward went coast to coast and drew a foul, sending him to the line with a chance to tie the game with :10.2 remaining. With ice in his veins, Ward knocked down both.
Magill responded however with clutch free throws of his own that would go on to be the game-winning points. The senior did what Ward had just previously done, getting downhill and drawing contact.
Magill buried both of his free throws, giving Fairfield Union a 54-52 lead. In a final effort looking to complete the late game comeback, Ward brought the ball up the floor with under six seconds remaining, weaving through defenders, setting his feet, and getting a clean look at a game-winning three.
The shot hit the front of the rim, then the back of the rim, and barely fell out.
The Falcons survived the late scare in what was a very entertaining game. Both of these teams have college level talent on their rosters and it showed Friday night.
Fairfield Union returns to action on Monday when they host Teays Valley. Logan Elm will look to bounce back on Tuesday when they travel to Washington Court House.
Ryan Magill (6’4 G / Fairfield Union / 2021): Magill is the heart and soul of this Fairfield Union team. The Marietta commit led his team once again in Friday night’s huge upset over Logan Elm. Magill was the game’s leading scorer with 18 points as he found success all over the floor. Showcasing his offensive skill set, the big guard knocked down two threes, finished some tough shots around the rim, and hit his smooth midrange that he loves. At 6-foot-4, Magill can handle the ball really well and takes care of the rock especially. He is asked to guard the best player as well as be his team’s leading scorer on a nightly basis. He uses his length well to help him guard and rebound on both ends. The future Pioneer will be a great player at the next level.
Isaac Ward (5’10 G / Logan Elm / 2021): Ward is a scholarship player, no doubt about it. The senior had a fantastic performance Friday night, doing it all on both sides of the floor. Ward played great on the defensive end, hustling from start to finish. He had great ball pressure, amazing closeouts, and even drew an offensive foul. On the offensive end Ward has so many tools. He has great control of the ball, great speed, and great footwork and that makes him really hard to guard. The five-foot-ten point guard utilized his hesitation moves and some head fakes to get himself and teammates clean looks. He was getting deep into the paint often for good kick outs as well as pushing the ball ahead in transition. He also has a smooth jumper as he showed tonight knocking down a deep ball and some mid range shots. The most impressive part of his game Friday night was his resilience and leadership, carrying his team in their comeback effort. The senior’s future is currently undecided, but the fact is he can play and teams should want him on their roster.
Charlie Bean (6’4 W / Fairfield Union / 2021): Charlie Bean was excellent in Friday night’s victory for Fairfield Union. The other half of the dominant senior duo added 14 points on two threes and one powerful two hand dunk. The six-foot-four wing is a solid scorer and has a great frame paired with solid athleticism. Bean’s future is currently undecided as he is weighing mostly D3 options, however he has received some D2 interest recently. Friday night Bean scored effectively from different spots on the floor, finishing tough around the rim, knocking down catch and shoot threes, and soaring up for that big slam late in the fourth. The senior is nice off the bounce as he loves the mid range shot and can get to the rim with his athleticism. He also used that physical talent to guard the ball well and grab big rebounds.
Ted Harrah (6’5 F / Fairfield Union / 2023): Possibly the most intriguing prospect on the floor Friday night, the sophomore big man impressed with his performance in the victory. The six-foot-five forward showed off a natural feel for the game inside the post, being patient backing defenders down and passing extremely well. Harrah found a cutting teammate from the post, had a dump off pass to the opposite block, and had a few great skip passes for threes. He doesn’t have a big offensive skill set just yet, nor does he move incredibly well for a big. Most of his post scores were made possible by his size and strength. However he had one of the most impressive scores of the night, hitting a turn around jumper from the short corner to beat the buzzer in the second quarter. There is a lot of potential in Harrah and it will be interesting to see how he develops.