Brock Netter, Staff Writer
CIRCLEVILLE — When both players are on, Zane Trace’s Cam Evans and Triton Davidson make up one of the best duos in all of Southern Ohio.
Just ask Logan Elm.
The duo put the team on their backs, finishing with a combined 42 points, 21 rebounds and six assists to lead the way in a 56-47 victory over the Braves on Thursday.
“Coming into the game, some people had doubts about what we could really do on the road in an atmosphere like Logan Elm,” Evans said. “Playing there is incredibly tough, and they always play a physical style of basketball. But this is a huge confidence boost for us and especially our bigs like Triton and Nick [Nesser] to dominate like they did.”
Given that Davidson stands at 6-foot-3, he typically has a height advantage on an average night. When he combined that with his out-of-this-world athleticism and relentless hustle, he was unstoppable from the tip off.
He scored a pair of early buckets and grabbed three rebounds, two of which were on the offensive glass, to give the Pioneers an early 8-2 lead.
“I knew the minute we came out for warm-ups that this was my game,” Davidson said. “Everyone on Logan Elm was 5-foot-10 and that’s easy money on the inside for me. That’s all there was to it.”
Logan Elm quickly countered with a 7-1 run to tie the game at 9-9 before taking a lead going into the second at 15-13.
The Braves maintained a lead until Colby Swain buried a baseline jumper to put Zane Trace back ahead at 20-19. ZT created a two-possession lead at the half after Evans hit Davidson, who had 10 points and nine rebounds in the first half, on the inside for a layup to put the game at 27-23.
“Triton’s hustle is crazy, and he was grabbing offensive rebounds left and right,” Evans said. “We know that when we put up the shot, he’s going to grab the miss 90 percent of the time. We trust him, and our game plan was to get the ball to him and Nick on the blocks.”
Coming out of halftime, the Pioneers looked to make their momentum and create separation. Davidson connected inside before Evans buried a 3-pointer to push the lead up to 32-23.
That shot helped Evans begin to find his rhythm and he let the ball fly.
He buried another triple, a layup and two free throws in the third as he paced the Pioneers to a 41-35 lead going into the fourth.
“Coach came up to me and said to let the game come to me,” Evans said. “I hit a couple 3’s, which put me in a groove along with getting some fastbreak points. Just taking those shots helped me.”
Despite having the lead, the Pioneers went into a short slump from the field and Logan Elm capitalized behind Isaac Ward.
He scored the Braves’ next six points before Jason Sailor buried a triple to cap a 9-2 run that gave LE a 44-43 lead. However, Davidson converted a bucket followed by another Evans’ triple to put the Pioneers back ahead for good.
“They were shooting that ball and not missing,” Davidson said. “We’d score, they’d score, we’d score, it went back and forth. But we were able to get a couple stops and that was enough to stop their momentum.”
Evans finished with a game-high 22 points alongside seven rebounds and six assists, while Davidson added 20 points with 14 rebounds.
“I woke up and felt extra goofy which just gave me more energy,” Davidson said. “Sometimes it burns off in the second half or so, but it stayed with me all game and we did our thing. Everything just builds up from here and hopefully we can keep this thing going.”
Zane Trace is back in action on Saturday at home for a non-conference matchup with McClain.
Zane Trace: 13-14-14-15 — 56
Logan Elm: 15-8-12-12 — 47
Zane Trace: 17-35 FG, 10-16 FT, 4-12 3pt., 33 rebounds (Davidson 14), 12 turnovers, 9 assists (Evans 6). Scoring: Evans 22, Davidson 20, Swain 6, Nesser 5, B. Johnson 3.
Logan Elm: 13-24 FG, 4-6 FT, 5-16 3 pt., 14 rebounds (Chalfin 6), 8 turnovers, 2 assists. Scoring: Chalfin 22, Ward 11, Sailor 7, Wietelmann 3, Smith 2, Harrington 2.