February 14, 2015

BY JOHN D. HOMAN
Logan Media Services

CARTERVILLE – A strong second half proved to be the difference Saturday as the John A. Logan College men’s basketball team rolled past Rend Lake, 81-61, after heading into intermission with the slimmest of leads at 39-38.

“I told the kids that if they didn’t come out with more energy in the second half, we were going to sit down and watch The English Patient two times tomorrow instead of practicing, so maybe that got them going,” joked Vols head coach Kyle Smithpeters. “We played harder in the second half. We quit feeling sorry for ourselves, and after holding Rend Lake to 23 points in the second half, we feel like a real team again.”

Smithpeters said the guards shot the ball better Saturday.

“It was good to see Tae (Martavian Payne) get his stroke back today. And I thought Jeremiah did a good job of shooting the ball, too.”

The Volunteers improve to 12-2 in the Great Rivers Athletic Conference and to 21-5 overall. The Warriors slide to 4-9 in the league and 12-14 overall.

Four Logan players scored in double figures. Leading the charge was sophomore post player Russell Woods with 15 points. He scored all his points over the final 20 minutes. Another sophomore, guard Martavian Payne, followed with 14 points. Sophomore post player Jordan Martin checked in with 13, all in the first half, and sophomore transfer guard Jeremiah Jackson tacked on 10 in a reserve role.

Freshman Tamas Bruce added six points off the bench. Freshman Devontavius Payne hit for five. Freshman Ranell Crossland totaled four points as did sophomores A.J. Riley and Bobby Mannie. Sophomore Connor Wheeler and freshman Justin Lukens accounted for three each.

The Warriors were paced by Greg McLain’s 17 points. Eric Williams netted 14. Dedric Byrd knocked down 12 and Armani Towns had 10.

JALC converted 32-of-62 shots from the field (52 percent), including 5-of-12 from beyond the arc (42 percent). The Vols were also a solid 14-of-20 from the free-throw line or 70 percent. Rend Lake, meanwhile, could only make 22-of-61 shots from the field (36 percent) and 5-of-17 triples (29 percent). Logan also dominated the boards, collecting 46 total rebounds (16 offensive) to Rend Lake’s 20.

The Vols, who clinched at least a share of the GRAC championship with the win Saturday, travel to Godfrey Wednesday to take on Lewis & Clark College in a Region 24 match. Game time is set for 7.