December 20, 2014

BY JOHN D. HOMAN
Logan Media Services

CARTERVILLE – There is always room for improvement, but one would be hard-pressed to find fault with the way the John A. Logan College men’s basketball team performed Friday.

The Volunteers steamrolled the Stars of visiting West Kentucky Tech, 107-73. Logan shot a remarkable 65 percent from the field (42-of-65) and was also 15-of-21 from the free-throw line (71 percent) in picking up win No. 11 on the season against only two losses.

Seven JALC players reached double-figure scoring as led by sophomore guard Martavian Payne’s 19 points. The St. Louis product was 6-of-7 from the field, including 5-of-6 from long range.

Another sophomore guard, Herrin High grad Bobby Mannie, turned in his best effort of the season with 15 points on 5-of-7 shooting from the field.

“I’m just happy that I was able to get some shots to fall,” Mannie said. “My teammates did a good job of getting me some open looks. I feel we’re coming together as a team much better now. We’re focused on winning. We’re not concerned about our stats.”

Freshman forward Ranell Crossland tallied 13 points. Sophomore post player Jordan Martin and sophomore guard transfer Jeremiah Jackson, seeing his first action of the season after recovering from a leg injury, notched 12 points. Sophomore transfer Tyler Scott dropped in 11 points and sophomore center Russell Woods added 10.

Vols head coach Kyle Smithpeters was impressed with his team’s play.

“We had a week to get ready for this game and I was hoping we could put together a strong 40 minutes, and for the most part, we did. I’d say we played a good 36 minutes. We’re getting closer to that 40.”

Smithpeters said it was nice to see Jackson finally recovered from an ankle injury that had kept him sidelined the entire season.

“He’s kind of that weapon we’ve been waiting for. He’s quick, he can shoot, and brings some positives to our lineup.”

Jackson said he was elated to get back in the mix.

“It felt good to be back on the floor and it was a confidence booster to score in double figures,” he said. “I’ve been trying to stay positive from the bench, but it was hard to watch and not get to play. I’m just glad to finally show what I can do.”

Logan returns to action after the holiday break Wednesday, Jan. 7 against the No. 1 junior college team in the nation, Vincennes University. That game will be played in Vincennes, Ind. at 6 p.m.