by Rick Conrad
For the Pharos-Tribune
After a throttling at the hands of Richmond last week, Logansport's boys basketball team got back to its winning ways with a hard-fought 50-49 win over New Castle on Friday night at the Berry Bowl.
The Berries (9-6, 2-2 North Central Conference) recorded their first win over New Castle (9-5, 2-2) in four years.
The Berries did so facing a bit of adversity as head coach Mark Victor served a one-game suspension due to his ejection from the Richmond game.
Successfully filling in for Victor was varsity assistant coach Jay Jones.
“Our goal was to defend the perimeter against New Castle. They are an offense that can put up the 3, and they shoot a lot of them, so we had to make an effort to get out there and defend the 3-point line,” Jones said.
The Berries began the night showing great patience on the offensive end of the floor.
“They play such a sagging man-to-man defense that we had to move the ball from side to side to make their defense move,” Jones said. “Once they did that we were able to take advantage of some of the match-ups for scores.”
Keeping New Castle in the game in the first were untimely fouls against the Berries as the Trojans outscored Logan 7 to 1 from the line trailing Logan 17-14 after the first.
The second quarter saw each team turn up the heat defensively as neither squad shot well from the field. The highlight of the quarter came at the :53 mark when a trio of Berries successfully trapped Korey Ryan and stole the ball near mid-court. Racing ahead was Antonio Penny who was fed the ball. The result was an open throw-down for the Berries standout. By halftime Logan opened up a 29-24 lead over the visitors.
Both teams started the third shooting poorly from the field but started to zero in near the mid point of the quarter. Logan sharpshooter Jayson Higgins had been misfiring on his attempts from the field until the 3:02 mark. His 3-pointer allowed the Berries to tie the game at 32-32. Following a stop against the Trojans, Bo Bullard nailed a 3 from the wing to make it 35-32 before the Berries took a 37-36 lead into the final quarter.
The fourth quarter saw each squad trading leads throughout. With 10 seconds left in the game Higgins was fouled and sent to the free throw line with a chance to add to a 50-49 lead. The senior missed on the front end of the bonus and the Trojans pulled down the rebound. With time winding down Ryan missed from 10 feet away and big 6-foot-6 Kyle Goolsby came down with the board and missed from 5 feet out at the buzzer to preserve the Berries’ win.
Ryan led all scorers in the game with 25 points for the Trojans. Leading the Logan attack was Penny with 24 points.
“We had to come out and play our game plan,” Penny said. “We knew they were going to be sitting in the corners so we needed to get over and defend when they went there. Usually, when a team smacks us in the face we don’t have an answer for them. [Friday] I think we had an answer.”
The Berries travel to Muncie Central next Friday night.