December 20, 2015

BY JOHN D. HOMAN
Logan Media Services

CARTERVILLE – It’s a loss that’s going to sting for a while as the John A. Logan College women’s basketball team failed to hold a 20-point second-half lead (54-34) and fell to visiting Mineral Area College out of Park Hills, Mo., Saturday afternoon, 77-75.

The defeat is the second straight for the Volunteers, who finish the first half of the schedule a surprising, yet inspirational 11-2.

While there were many big plays that led to the Cardinals’ comeback, including 9-of-21 shooting from beyond the arc, it was free-throw shooting that was clearly the difference in the ballgame.

Mineral Area knocked down 24-of-29 tosses (83 percent), while the Vols struggled mightily, making good on only 24-of-42 (57 percent).

“That really was the game,” said JALC first-year head coach Amanda Shelby. “We talk about it (the importance of making free throws) in practice. You have to step up and put two in. You have to concentrate. But today, we sure didn’t.”

Logan was led offensively by freshman forward Tiaunna Watkins’ 21 points. She was 4-of-10 from the field and 12-of-17 from the stripe. Freshman Kaili Bacon of Carbondale followed with 14 and Goreville’s Haley Darnell added 11. Carbondale’s McKena Miller was held to eight points and fouled out of the game with just under a minute to play.

Elverado High grad, Cheyenne Abbadusky, enjoyed perhaps her best outing of the season, scoring seven points, grabbing three rebounds and tying for the team lead in steals with three in limited minutes.

As a team, the Vols connected on 23-of-57 shots from the field (40 percent) to the Cardinals’ 22-of-49 (45 percent). Logan won the battle of the boards – 32-to-24.

“I just wish we could have left for the break with a ‘W’ instead of having that foul taste in our mouths,” Shelby said. “But we’ll think about it over Christmas break, and hopefully, come back real hungry and ready to go in the conference.”

Logan plays host to Olney Central on Wednesday, Jan. 6. Game time is set for 5 p.m.