February 14, 2015

BY JOHN D. HOMAN
Logan Media Services

CARTERVILLE – Freshman guard Haley Darnell drove the lane and scored and later added two crucial free throws with seven seconds left to help the John A. Logan College women’s basketball team post a 78-75 win over visiting Rend Lake Saturday.

Darnell finished with a team-high 19 points. The Goreville native was 6-of-15 from the field, including 2-of-4 from long range and 5-of-6 from the free-throw line. She also recorded five rebounds.

Joining Darnell in double digits were: Shelby Beussink (16), Alison Webb (15) and Abbi Denton (11). Tallying eight points apiece were Hailee Lampley and Maddie Rigdon. Lampley had to leave the game late with a sprained ankle.

Vols head coach Marty Hawkins was impressed with the victory.

“Look how much we’ve turned things around in recent games,” he said. “We lost by 47 at Vincennes and then lost by seven to them on Wednesday. Rend Lake beat us by 27 points up there and we beat them here today by three. I’m very proud of the improvement these girls have made.”

Hawkins said that his freshmen are now understanding what kind of commitment it takes to be successful at the collegiate level.

Beussink said Logan wanted to get back on the winning track.

“We wanted to even things up with them after that loss at their place earlier this season,” the freshman guard said.

As for getting little rest during the games, Beussink said you can’t think about that.

“You just push through it,” she said. “When they got within one, we knew that we couldn’t give in. Our mindset was to keep fighting. We weren’t going to let them take something away from us that we had earned.”

Denton, the team’s freshman point guard, felt similarly.

“As a team, we have stuck together, even though we are down to six or seven players,” she said. “I know I’m not going to go out of the game very much, so I just focus on what needs to be done. We have improved a lot since early in the season. I’m not sure exactly what the turning point was for us, but we are definitely much closer now. We have each others’ backs.”

The Warriors were led by Savannah Enlow’s 17 points. It was Enlow’s fourth triple of the game that brought Rend Lake within one at 76-75 with nine seconds remaining. Valencia Chandler and Brianna Hawkins each collected 14 points. Jada Ballew added 11.

As a team, Rend Lake converted 25-of-69 shots from the field (36 percent), including a more impressive 9-of-22 from long range (41 percent). Logan made good on 27-of-63 shots (43 percent) and was 4-of-8 (50 percent) on triples.

The Vols dominated the boards, 43-to-30 with Webb hauling down a game-best 16.

Logan, now 6-8 in the Great Rivers Athletic Conference and 11-13 overall, hosts Lindenwood-Belleville’s junior varsity squad at 5 p.m. Wednesday. Rend Lake is now 7-8 in the league and 10-12 overall.