December 13, 2014

BY JOHN D. HOMAN
Logan Media Services

CARTERVILLE – Carbondale High School grad Devontavius Payne and St. Louis native, Martavian Payne, combined for 38 points Saturday to lead the John A. Logan College men’s basketball team to a stunning 76-51 win over a very talented Wabash Valley ballclub.

With the victory, the Volunteers improve to 4-1 in the Great Rivers Athletic Conference and 10-2 overall. The Warriors fall to 2-3 in league play and 5-4 overall.

A freshman non-starter, Devontavius Payne paced the offense with 21 points. He was 8-of-13 from the field and 4-of-5 from the free-throw line. He added three rebounds and an assist.

Martavian Payne finished with 17 points on 6-of-14 shooting from the field and 2-of-3 free tosses. The sophomore added six rebounds and two assists.

Also in double figures for the Vols was sophomore guard A.J. Riley with 12 points. He was 5-of-11 from the field and 2-of-3 from the charity stripe. Riley also collected seven rebounds. Ranell Crossland tacked on seven points. Jordan Martin bagged six. Russell Woods and Tamas Bruce each netted four. Connor Wheeler drained a 3-pointer and Tyler Scott had one field goal. Woods was tops in rebounds with eight.

As a team, the Vols knocked down 29-of-60 shots from the field (48 percent), including 6-of-20 from long range (30 percent) and 12-of-19 free tosses (63 percent).

Wabash Valley checked in with 20 field goals made in 65 attempts (31 percent). The Warriors were a chilly 2-of-15 from beyond the arc (13 percent) and horrendous at the stripe (9-of-26 or 35 percent).

The Vols led 27-21 at the half even with 13 turnovers and surrendering 11 offensive rebounds.

“I thought we were fortunate to be up six at the half after giving up so many offensive rebounds,” said JALC head coach Kyle Smithpeters. “Defensively, we’re doing a lot of things well. I had no problem with our effort level today.”

Smithpeters said Devontavius Payne continues to impress.

“Not a bad job for a guy coming off the bench. The energy level that he brings when he comes into the game is fantastic. He’s done everything we’ve asked of him and more.”

As for Martavian Payne, the third-year coach said the sophomore is about as reliable as it gets.

“Every 3-pointer he shoots, you think it’s going in because he’s had so much success here these last two years,” Smithpeters said. “We tell him all the time to shoot it. Today, his shot wasn’t falling as often, but at the end of the day, the stat line usually looks pretty good. I thought Tae did a particularly good job on the boards, too, in getting those six rebounds.”

Logan, which didn’t earn its 10th win last year until Jan. 23rd, will get one more game in before the holiday break. The Vols play host to West Kentucky Tech out of Paducah Friday in Carterville. Game time is set for 4 p.m.