November 4, 2015

BY JOHN D. HOMAN
Logan Media Services

CARTERVILLE –A 15-4 run late in the second half sealed an 87-80 non-conference win Tuesday for John A. Logan College over visiting Three Rivers, Mo. Tuesday.

The Vols, now 3-0 overall, jumped out to an 11-0 lead to start the game, but the Raiders (2-1) stormed back to pull within two at the half at 37-35. Three Rivers then took the lead at 41-39 and again at 68-66, however, Logan had an answer each time.

Sophomore point guard Justin Lukens of Herrin buried a 3-pointer from the left corner to regain the lead at 69-68. Jarvis Calhoun followed suit and the Vols had the breathing room they needed to claim the victory.

“Those were big threes,” said JALC head coach Kyle Smithpeters. “That’s a very good ballteam we beat tonight. They have size. They have shooters. I wanted to see how we were going to handle it when we got punched in the mouth, not just once, but two or three times. And for a new group, I thought we handled their pressure pretty well.”

Smithpeters said he didn’t think his team would be able to outrebound a much bigger Raiders’ team, but Logan won the battle of the boards, 36-to-26.

“To be plus 10 on the boards is really saying something. Despite how many freshman we had in the game, they stepped up and did their part.”

Leading scorer for the Vols was Carbondale product, Devontavius Payne. The sophomore guard was spectacular, finishing with 23 hard-earned points on 7-of-16 shooting from the field. He was also 9-of-11 from the free-throw line.

Sophomore forward Ranell Crossland followed with 15 points. He was 5-of-11 from the field and 4-of-7 from the charity stripe. Also hitting for double figures was Tamas Bruce with 10. The sophomore led the team in rebounds with six.

Freshman sensation Michael Tucker checked in with nine points and five rebounds before fouling out of the game. Jalen Perry and Calhoun flipped in eight points each. Lukens dropped in seven. Rashaun Richardson accounted for three points and led the team in blocks with three. Armon Benford and Jerome Davis tallied two points apiece.

Three Rivers was paced by Gabe Grant’s 30 points. He was 10-of-19 from the field and 10-of-12 from the free-throw line. Camron Reedus tacked on 23.

Logan converted 29-of-59 shots from the field or 49 percent. The Vols made good on 4-of-13 from long range and 25-of-39 free tosses (64 percent).

The Raiders only knocked down 26-of-63 shots (41 percent), but did manage nine triples.

Logan, ranked No. 22 in the nation, returns to action Saturday at Mineral Area College in Park Hills, Mo. Game time is at 3 p.m.