December 18, 2015

BY JOHN D. HOMAN
Logan Media Services

CARTERVILLE – Six players scored in double figures Friday evening as the John A. Logan College men’s basketball team cruised to a 116-92 home win over West Kentucky Tech to close out the first half of the season.

Logan improves to 13-1 overall and is a perfect 6-0 on the home floor.

The Volunteers vaulted to an early double-digit lead and held a 59-40 advantage at the intermission. Logan built leads of 20-plus points over the final 20 minutes. The closest the Stars would get was a 17-point deficit.

Freshman sensation Michael Tucker paced the offense with 20 points, including 8-of-11 shooting from the field, while also leading the team in rebounding with 10.

Sophomore guard Devontavius Payne followed with 19, converting 7-of-9 shots. Jalen Perry (6-of-11 from the field) also hit for 19. Tamas Bruce (6-of-7 field goals) enjoyed one of his best games of the season as he dropped in 17 points and yanked down eight rebounds. Jarvis Calhoun checked in with 12 points and Armon Benford knocked down 10.

Adding seven points apiece were Rashaun Richardson and Jerome Davis.

“They (Stars) hit some tough shots on us, but we also gave them some easy ones tonight,” said Vols head coach Kyle Smithpeters. “I thought we really struggled adjusting to the flow of the game. We opened up our hips too much and let guys drive on us. I am happy with scoring 116 points, but we have to work on our defense. We can’t keep giving up 90-plus points.”

Smithpeters said he was concerned about the match.

“To me, it was the most dangerous game of the year for us so far as the kids’ minds are 300 miles away. They are looking forward to getting home for the holidays and who can blame them? Overall, I thought our effort was pretty good. We stayed focused enough to get the job done.”

Smithpeters said he did not anticipate a 13-1 start by any means.

“To have so many freshmen on the roster; to have to miss several games without one of our best players (two ankle injuries to sophomore Ranell Crossland); and to play a six-game road stretch…I have no complaints. It’s been great. Every game we play from here on out will count toward the region, so we will have to come back after the break ready to go.”

As a team, Logan made good on 44-of-76 shots (58 percent) Friday, including 9-of-17 from beyond the arc (53 percent). The Vols were a rather pedestrian 59 percent from the free-throw line (19-of-32).

West Kentucky Tech also placed six players in double figures. Anthony Lee and Wilfred Gonzales accounted for 17 apiece. Zach Kimbler and Jake Williams netted 15 each.

The Vols won the rebounding battle 48-to-25 and only turned the ball over 11 times.

Logan returns to action after the holiday break at home against Olney on Wednesday, Jan. 6 at 7 p.m.