By Beau Wicker
---- — Logansport’s boys basketball team rolled to double-digit wins in its first two games of the season.
But on Tuesday night the Berries had to mount a furious fourth-quarter comeback to get past rival Lewis Cass.
The Berries finished the game with a big run to beat the Kings 77-68 at the Logansport Savings Bank Invitational at the Berry Bowl.
“I felt like we got outplayed probably three-fourths of the game, but fortunately for our guys they hung in there,” Logan coach Pat Skaggs said.
The Kings (1-1) led 66-61 with 3:20 remaining after a putback basket by freshman Evan Ohman.
Andrew Wamsley then grabbed an offensive rebound and hit 1 of 2 free throws for the Berries (3-0). Travis Palmer rebounded the miss and scored to make it a 2-point game.
“Travis Palmer came in and gave us a major lift there. He kind of energized us,” Skaggs said. “His offensive rebound putback for us there was the best play of the year so far. That was a huge play.”
Cass coach Jon Kitchel called timeout at that point with his team still in the lead.
“We said we were going to run weave. We were in the double bonus. We had our best free throw shooters in,” he said. “We came down and took a poor shot, and things just kind of went downhill from there.
“We’ve got to be smart and when we get a lead to close things out. We’ve got good ball-handlers and good free throw shooters.”
Carter Skaggs hit the go-ahead 3 with 2:22 remaining to give the Berries a 68-67 lead.
On the Berries’ next possession, Andrew Wamsley scored on a three-point play off an in-bounds pass to make it 71-66 with 1:26 remaining.
Blake Hadley quickly scored to make it a 3-point game before Matt Jennings scored on a drive and later hit two free throws to give the Berries a 7-point lead with 24.7 seconds left and they were able to hold on from there.
Carter Skaggs scored 15 of his game-high 22 points in the fourth quarter for Logan. He entered the contest averaging 32.5 ppg through the first two games.
“He obviously didn’t shoot as well tonight. You’ve got to give Lewis Cass credit for that,” Pat Skaggs said. “We’re still too impatient on offense and we’ve got a lot of work to do. Fortunately for us Wamsley really came to play for us and had a big game. I’m sure he had a double-double. He needs to bring that every night for us. He’s a solid low-post player and it was good he did that.”
Wamsley had 17 points in the win. Freshmen Jalen Adaway and Jennings added 10 and nine points, respectively. A.J. Smith had seven and Palmer added six.
Hadley led the Kings with 20 points. Ryan Bixler scored 15 and Owen Ohman and Austin Keisling added 11 apiece.
The Berries led 27-25 at halftime. They got the Kings in foul trouble and controlled the backboards, but the Kings hit some big 3-point shots early.
The Kings took a 48-46 lead after three quarters and built the lead to as big as 5 as their fullcourt pressure got to the Berries.
“We had them exactly where we wanted them, we just didn’t close it out,” said Kitchel. “Their length and athleticism really hurt us, especially in the first half. We made some adjustments there in the second half. The biggest adjustment was we weren’t intimidated by them. Adaway came out there and blocked a couple shots. Our game is attack the basket and we got real tentative taking it to the basket.”
The Kings also battled foul trouble most of the night and were outscored 27-11 from the foul line for the game. They had two technical foul calls called on players that led to four made free throws for the Berries. Jennings canned a 3 after the second tech for a 5-point possession that gave the Berries a 60-56 lead with 5:10 to play
“We let our emotions get in the way,” Kitchel said. “Logansport is such a big game for us, and we did things we normally wouldn’t do. We got two techs and that’s not us. But it was just emotional techs. You can’t do that against Logansport on their home floor in the county tournament.”
Evan Ohman fouled out with 3:10 to play and Keisling fouled out with 1:26 left.
“Evan Ohman is really important to us at the end of the game because he can hit free throws, he can hit the jumper. He’s long,” Kitchel said. “He’s young and he gets emotional and we’ve got to keep that in check. But he’s going to be a real nice player for us the next four years.
“[Keisling] had a rough night. This will be the worst game he’ll ever play in his life. He just had a rough shooting night, he was in foul trouble early. A lot of times when you get in foul trouble early on in the game it takes you out of the flow. He just never got into the flow of the game.”
Pat Skaggs was happy to escape with the win after his squad ended the game with a 16-2 run.
“I never felt comfortable on defense the whole night. They have excellent guard play with Hadley and Keisling, and they have some guys that can shoot,” he said. “We knew we were going to have our hands full and we did.”
The consolations and finals will be held on Friday beginning at 6:30 p.m.