February 8, 2015

BY JOHN D. HOMAN
Logan Media Services

MOUNT CARMEL - Four players reached double figure-scoring as the John A. Logan College men's basketball team rolled to a 94-84 victory Saturday over Wabash Valley.

The Volunteers remain in first place in the Great Rivers Athletic Conference at 11-2 and are now 20-4 overall. The Warriors fall to 6-6 in the league and 13-11 overall.

Sophomores ruled on this evening for Logan, notching 77 of the team's 94 points. Leading the way was post player Russell Woods with 22 points. A.J. Riley followed with 19. Martavian Payne dropped in 17 and Jordan Martin accounted for 10 points to go along with a team-high 11 rebounds. 

Two freshmen were next in the pecking order offensively as Ranell Crossland contributed nine points and Devontavius Payne flipped in eight. Sophomore Bobby Mannie added five points and sophomore Jeremiah Jackson had four.

"I'm very proud of the kids," said Vols head coach Kyle Smithpeters. "That was our fourth game in eight days and I thought we really battled and did some good things tonight to get the win despite our lack of rest. To step up and make free throws like we did down the stretch (20-of-27 on the night), says a lot about our focus."

Logan led 49-35 at the half and built a 51-35 lead early in the second half before Wabash Valley went on a 22-6 run to tie the game at 57 all.

But the Vols didn't cave in to the pressure, going on an 11-0 run of their own to re-establish control of the game. 

"I've got a lot of trust in these guys. They don't panic," Smithpeters said. "We didn't really have to say much to the kids in the huddle after they tied us. We had several players step up, especially defensively, and we showed a lot of energy down the stretch."

Riley said having a big game meant a lot to him because he had been struggling offensively.

"My teammates have been picking me up and that helped a lot," he said. "As far as the team goes, I thought everyone responded well tonight. We didn't look past Wabash. We knew we would have to play hard to win."

The Vols host No. 2-ranked Vincennes University at 7 p.m. Wednesday. It will be "Herrin Night" at the college. All Herrin Unit 4 School District residents get free admission to both the women's and men's games and all Herrin students get a free popcorn and soda courtesy of The Bank of Herrin,