January 13, 2013

BOYS BASKETBALL: Penny again leads Logan past Cass in rivalry game

by Beau Wicker

— Though a local sectional title is no longer on the line, it’s still a big game when Logansport and Lewis Cass square off in boys basketball.

The Berries continued their recent dominance of the series with a 55-47 win Saturday night in front of a good-sized crowd at the Berry Bowl.

The Kings still haven’t beaten the Berries since the Basil Mawbey era ended in 2008.

None of the Berries’ county rivals have had any success since Antonio Penny was inserted as the starting point guard early in his freshman season, as the Berries have gone undefeated against their county foes over the last four years.

Penny had another big game against Cass, as the 6-foot-2 senior point guard finished with 18 points and seven assists on Saturday night.

“I’ll be glad when he leaves,” Cass coach Jon Kitchel said. “He’s just so hard to handle. It changes your game plan, and then when you’ve got that threat on the wing like [Jayson] Higgins, we had to decide whether we were going to 2-3 or man. We didn’t really want to 2-3 because of Higgins, but we knew that we didn’t have anyone that could stop Penny on one-on-one situations.”

Higgins had 20 points and was 6 of 13 from 3-point range for the game. He scored 11 in the third quarter to help turn a 23-19 halftime deficit into a 37-32 lead after three. He drilled a key 3 midway through the fourth that gave the Berries a 43-36 lead, and they were able to hold on the rest of the way.

“You kind of have to pick your poison with Penny and Higgins. They both hurt us,” Kitchel said. “Higgins just had some real daggers that he hurt us with. He’s just a pure shooter.”

Bo Bullard added 12 points for Logan. He was 8 of 10 from the foul line for the game. Nate Bullard added two points and a team-high eight rebounds.

Cass was trying to pull off a big weekend sweep of county rivals after a win at Class A No. 7 Pioneer on Friday night. The Kings had their chances down the stretch to at least keep up with the Berries but missed on some free throws and point-blank shots.

Austin Keisling led the Kings with 18 points and 10 rebounds. He missed about three minutes during a key stretch in the fourth quarter with a shoulder injury but was able to return. The Kings went scoreless when he was out, when the Berries turned a 40-36 lead into 44-36.

“We went over a minute stretch where we missed some open layups and an open 3, and that was the difference in the game because we were playing catchup and had to foul after that,” Kitchel said. “They hit their free throws.”

Blake Hadley added 14 points for Cass, and Jordan Miller had 10 points and nine boards. Ryan Aldridge chipped in five points.

The Berries (8-5) recorded a weekend sweep of Marion and Cass (6-4) and were able to snap the Kings’ four-game winning streak.

“I thought we were really sluggish in the first half,” Logan coach Mark Victor said. “I thought we really responded well in the second half. We got into our offense better. We got a lead, which meant they had to get out of their zone, which they did.

“It’s a great team win.”