January 5, 2014

Berries too much for No. 7 Knights

By Beau Wicker Pharos-Tribune

---- — LAFAYETTE — Not only has Logansport’s girls basketball team been one of the top teams in the state in recent years, the Berries have proven to be a resilient bunch.

Last season the Berries recovered from their only regular-season loss with a win over a Hamilton Southeastern squad that featured eventual national player of the year Taya Reimer. On Saturday the Berries bounced back from a loss to Gary West on a buzzer-beater earlier in the week by rolling a ranked Lafayette Central Catholic squad.

The Class 4A No. 6 Berries led by as much as 33 points late in an 84-61 win over the Class A No. 7 Knights.

Logan coach Jerry Hoover was pleased with how his squad played against the Knights (6-3), a perennial Class A power in all sports.

“Anybody that knows anything about basketball knows that this is a tough place to play,” he said. “There isn’t anybody that wants to come here and play. So I thought it was fine.

“We played better defense today than we have in awhile.”

Hoover went down the list of his entire team when saying who played well.

The Berries (12-1), who played their fifth game in eight days, started faster than they did in the loss to Gary West. They also defended for four quarters and rebounded much better — they outrebounded the Knights 45-36 for the contest. And it always helps when the shots fall.

Whitney Jennings bounced back from an off shooting night with a sensational 20-for-29 shooting performance from the field. The 5-5 senior finished with 44 points, 15 rebounds, seven steals, four assists and two blocks.

She is now the 12th all-time leading scorer in state history with 2,234 points. She is also fifth in career assists with 578 according to

Nakeya Penny added 18 points, six rebounds, four assists, three blocks and two steals in the win. Maddie Dalton was also in double figures with 10 points. Kennedy Curl had five points and seven boards. Sam Kain had four points, and Sydney Bullard added three points and six boards.

“It was a good team win,” Hoover said. “I thought that Syd did a pretty good job. Sam did a good job early getting a couple putbacks. Dalton played a good game. Kennedy Curl played a good, aggressive game. Katrina Neuendorf, she played well.”

Cameron Onken, a 5-10 sophomore guard who has already received Division-I interest, led the Knights with 26 points. Emily Denhart added 18.

The Berries led 18-12 after one quarter, 37-24 at halftime and 59-38 after three. The lead grew to as large as 82-49 with 1:45 remaining.

Hoover was pleased with how his squad got back into the winning column. They return to North Central Conference play when they travel to Huntington North next Saturday.

“My favorite coach is Bear Bryant,” Hoover said. “One of my favorite stories about him is they had won 41 or 42 games in a row and four national championships, and he got beat by somebody. Sports Illustrated calls him up and says ‘what are you doing on Monday’ after the Saturday game. He said, ‘by God, we’re trying to figure out how to stop this losing streak.’

“There’s so much truth to that, because if you lose and you don’t nip it in the bud like that, you’ll get to losing and you’ll start losing some more. So given circumstances, we came back and played well.”