Although still raw with talent, Chestnut Log opened the season on a six game winning streak and averaged 72 points per game, an impressive number considering that middle schools play only seven minute quarters.
In first place entering the final game of the first half of the season, Chestnut Log had a set back when they lost at home, in overtime, to Chapel Hill. It was only the second time CLMS has lost at home over the past three seasons.
“I have to take my hat off to them,” said Chestnut Log head coach Allen Ward. “They have historically been a well coached, very physical team. You have no choice but to respect them.”
Despite the loss, Ward was able to turn it into a positive for the team, and giving Chestnut Log something to grow on. CLMS won their next four games before entering into another battle for the first spot against Factory Shoals last week. Chestnut Log defeated FSMS earlier in the year. Factory Shoals won the seventh grade championship last season.
In the game on Jan. 24 at Factory Shoals, CLMS won what Ward said was “ugly, and an extremely low scoring game for us.” Chestnut Log started well and took the lead for the first two minutes. Factory Shoals then took the lead and stayed up between 6-8 points until the end of the third quarter where CLMS found themselves down by three. In the fourth quarter, Chestnut Log dominated, winning 43-35.
After the hard fought victory, CLMS rolled over Fairplay Middle School on Friday 67-29.
Leading the team this season has been Jacori Wilson, a 6-foot-3 athlete, who can play three positions. He is averaging 24 points and 15 rebounds a game.
Grant Howard plays the point and has surged in the second half of the season with 10 points and eight assists per game. Joseph Solomon is also having a strong second half, averaging 20 points per game.
Damion Howell guards the glass and stands an imposing 6-foot-4 and wears a size 17 shoe. Kemontre Johns is the returning captain to the team and is an assists and defense specialist.
“Although we started small in the beginning of the season, we are now finally starting to get to where we need to be,” Ward said. “I feel that at this point our starters can score over 20 points a game if necessary.”
Chestnut Log will play Yeager today at 5:30 pm. and then will look to avenge their only loss when they take on Chapel Hill Friday at 5:30 p.m. The game will be at Chapel HIll.
The middle school basketball tourney will tip off on Feb. 8.