January 26, 2015

BY JOHN D. HOMAN
Logan Media Services

CARTERVILLE – Sophomores Martavian Payne and Jordan Martin fired in 14 points apiece and three of their teammates also reached double figures as the John A. Logan College men’s basketball team defended the home turf Saturday, knocking off the Shawnee Saints, 75-66.

Logan improves to 15-4 overall with the win. The Vols connected on 23-of-48 shots from the field, including 3-of-7 from long range, and netted 26-of-40 free throws (65 percent). For one of the few times this season, the Vols were out-rebounded 36-to-27.

Logan head coach Kyle Smithpeters said Shawnee put up a good fight.

“They’re so well coached under John Sparks,” he said. “And they have one of the best players in the league in Justin Leon. He finished with 13 points on 11 shots, which is well below his average. I thought that A.J. Riley and Ranell Crossland did a great job defending him and that may have been the difference in the game.”

In addition to the 14 points posted by Martavian Payne and Martin, Logan also got 11 points from sophomore center Russell Woods, 10 from Crossland, and 10 from Devontavius Payne. Connor Wheeler and Riley hit for seven points apiece.

The game was tied 31 all at the half.

“We were up 14 or 16 points, but Shawnee battled and scrapped to keep it close,” Smithpeters said. “I was very proud of the first half by Devontavius. Overall, everyone did exactly what we asked them to do.”

Logan returns to action with a 7 p.m. game Wednesday at home against Southwestern Illinois. The Vols dropped the conference opener up in Belleville in November.

“I think the kids are looking forward to the rematch,” Smithpeters said. “We’re a lot different team now than what we were then. Hopefully, we can play well and get a win.”