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February 20, 2014

Improved Berries shooting for regional title

Improved Berries shooting for regional title

Logansport is making a return trip to the Class 4A Kokomo girls basketball regional on Saturday.

The Lady Berries are the lone team there with regional experience from last season. The many Berry fans that attended the regional a year ago saw top-notch competition.

Logan coach Jerry Hoover said to expect the same.

“I think it’ll be like a heavyweight championship fight over there,” he said. “We have to think that we have a chance to win it.”

The No. 11-ranked Berries (22-2) face Fort Wayne Carroll (10-12) at noon, following the 10 a.m. game between No. 4 Homestead (23-1) and No. 14 Fishers (20-4). The championship game is at 8 p.m.

The Berries have shown big improvement since the start of the season to get themselves in the position to repeat as Sectional 7 champions. The Berries ran through a gauntlet of McCutcheon, Harrison and Marion to claim their 11th sectional title and third since 2007.

The Berries enter the regional as a confident bunch.

“It’s going to be tough but we’re going in with the same mindset we had last year and we’re not just there to be in it, we’re there to win it,” said senior guard Whitney Jennings, a leading Miss Basketball candidate.

Jennings leads the state in scoring at 32.1 points per game. The 5-foot-5 guard adds 8.5 rebounds, 7.7 assists and 5.4 steals per contest.

She enters the regional sixth all-time in state history in career scoring (2,548 points), fourth in assists (683) and eighth in steals (395), according to HickoryHusker.com.

Jennings is an Iowa recruit, and teammate Nakeya Penny is also getting some Division-I interest. Penny, a 5-10 junior, is averaging 18.8 points and 6.1 rebounds per game.

Jennings and Penny are the only two players that saw extensive varsity time during last year’s tournament run, although Sydney Bullard got some run as well. Bullard’s play has stepped up in recent weeks and her 12 rebounds were a key in the sectional win over McCutcheon.

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