CARTERVILLE — John A. Logan picked up its fifth win in a row on Thursday with a 92-64 victory over Wabash Valley College.
The win keeps the Vols in first place of the Great Rivers Athletic Conference and pushes their record to 7-1 and 4-0 in conference play. The Warriors' loss snaps a five-game win streak as they move to 5-2 and 1-1 in the GRAC.
Logan took a 44-30 lead into halftime and never looked back. Cam Alford led the Vols in scoring with 18 points and 14 at the half while Xavier Ball (14), Jamarion Sharp (12), Roman Douglas-Watkins (12), Sydney Curry (12) and Detrick Reeves Jr. (10) all finished in double-digits.
“Tonight was a great night for our offense to click and it was because of our ball movement,” said Logan coach Kyle Smithpeters. “The ball wasn’t sticking a whole lot, we got transition points, a lot of second chance points, made some at the free throw line and with this team I told them they’ll score. I’m not worried about us offensively, it’s fun to coach and as long as we can lock down defensively, our offense will take care of itself.”
The Vols earned most of their points from beyond the 3-point arc with 11 as a team. Ball made a team-high four 3s while Reeves Jr. made a pair himself. Alford got the party started with Logan’s first 3-pointer of the game and feels good about the offense moving forward.
“We turned it up defensively,” Alford said of his team's win streak. “After the game we lost earlier in the season to Mineral Area, we really reflected on ourselves and it humbled us. This team is a blessing, I’ve never been on a team this talented. We’re all cool with each other so I think the chemistry is really clicking.”
With Logan leading 42-26 just before the end of the first half, Alford drove the lane and missed a layup which led to Douglas-Watkins soaring through the lane for a putback dunk. The play brought electricity to the small attendance of fans at the game.
After the game, Sharp, a 7-foot-3 center set to attend Western Kentucky after his sophomore year with Logan, talked about the feeling of playing in front of a few more fans than he was earlier in the year.
“It feels good...it’s not as much as we want but having fans is great,” said Sharp. “I feed off their energy so I like it.”
Sharp ended his night with 12 points, seven rebounds and four blocks. The sophomore presents a huge obstacle in the paint that led Wabash Valley to shoot just 43 percent from the field.
With 5:40 remaining in the game, the Vols got a layup from Reeves Jr. after a slick backdoor cut to extend their lead to 80-56. Smithpeters was able to sub in his backups and the victory came on a night where Logan's leading sophomore, Mario McKinney, saw just two minutes of playing time.
That led Smithpeters to lean more on freshman Dawson Yates, whom he praised for his defense in McKinney’s absence.
“You take Mario McKinney and Mario wants Dawson to guard him every day because he doesn’t take plays off,” said Smithpeters. “When you have a group with this much talent that says a lot about a freshman.”
TreVon Smith led the Warriors in scoring with 19 points after shooting a 3-for-5 clip from three. Jamison Epps finished right behind him with nine points and Deshaun Nittles finished third on the score sheet with eight points.
Logan hits the road for a 3 p.m. contest on Saturday at Shawnee Community College.
Wabash Valley plays a 3 p.m. Saturday game at Olney Central College.