by Beau Wicker
BUNKER HILL — For the second straight game to start the season, Logansport’s boys basketball team went up against a team with a 6-foot-10 big man in the middle.
And for the second straight game, the Berries found a way to win.
Logan recorded a 71-61 victory at Maconaquah Saturday night to improve to 2-0 on the season.
The Berries’ seniors again carried them to victory. Jayson Higgins was again a zone buster and finished with a career-high 23 points that included four 3-pointers. Antonio Penny had 21 points and 10 rebounds and again made several big plays down the stretch, as did Bo Bullard, who scored a career-high 20 points to go with nine boards.
“We were able to get out on transition a little bit more. We put up 71,” Logan coach Mark Victor said. “The offense was a little ahead of the defense.”
While the Berries (2-0) were sharper offensively than they were Wednesday in their overtime win at Peru, Victor thought his squad took a step backwards defensively.
“We just couldn’t stop anybody. We played a little bit of zone, they torched that a little bit. We didn’t handle the big guy [Micah Pier] very well. It’s a learning experience, it’s a process. This is a tough place to play. I know we’ve come over here and had our hats handed to us a couple times. It’s good to come out with a win,” he said. “It was a different style of game. Once again we got it up to 12, we just couldn’t break it open. But our kids hang tough. They hit the free throws down the stretch for the most part. We got a few stops when we had to. It gives us a few things to work on. It was a good weekend. Now we can get ready for the county tournament on Wednesday night.”
Pier, a 6-10 senior, led the Braves (0-1) with 21 points. K.J. Walton added 16.
The Braves shot 0 of 13 from 3-point range for the game.
“We have to have those outside shots if we’re going to win the ballgame,” first-year Mac coach Andy Steele said.
Steele thought the Berries had an advantage in that it was their second game of the season as opposed to the first like it was for the Braves.
“I think Logansport came out and that was the team they wanted to be. The first game was just a lot of rough edges, they got more smoothed out than what we were,” Steele said. “We have good shooters, unfortunately they just weren’t falling for us. Also, with the first game, we didn’t know exactly how to handle their defenses.”
Pier was a bright spot for the Braves in the paint.
“He can get up and down with us,” Steele said. “Luckily his knees all summer long have been good for him, he’s not in pain, so he’s able to run with us.”
The Berries led most of the way, including 26-12 three minutes into the second quarter. But the Braves got back to within 33-28 at halftime and were within 57-54 with 3:30 left in the game.
But unlike Wednesday against Peru, the Berries didn’t wait until overtime to end the drama in this one. Penny, Higgins and Bullard again led the charge as Logan outscored Mac 14-7 down the stretch.
Logan faces Cass at 8:15 p.m. Wednesday in the county tournament following the girls game.