by Beau Wicker
A year ago Logansport’s girls basketball team downed visiting Carmel by 22 points, and the Greyhounds have graduated two Division-I guards from last year’s team.
But Logan coach Jerry Hoover knows that any time a team faces Carmel in sports, it’s going to be a big challenge.
“The trouble with this matchup is Carmel plays No. 1s, No. 2s, No. 3s every game. This is no big deal for them,” Hoover said. “This is new territory for us.”
The Class A No. 4-ranked Berries (10-0) host the Greyhounds (6-4) tonight for a 7:30 p.m. varsity tipoff.
Carmel is the state’s biggest school with an enrollment of 4,770 located in one of the most affluent areas in the Midwest. And the Greyhounds have won over 100 state championships in all sports.
Hoover said there’s no secret to the Greyhounds’ huge amount of success.
“Shoot, they’ve got 4,000 kids down there and all of them running around with more money than they know what to do with, and they spend it on private lessons and individual this and individual that,” he said. “So they’ve got a nice team, they really do.”
In their last two games the Greyhounds have a 13-point win over Kokomo and a 3-point loss to defending Class 4A state champion North Central. Three weeks ago they had an 8-point loss to Class 4A No. 1 Hamilton Southeastern, a possible opponent for Logan in next week’s Hall of Fame Classic in New Castle.
J.J. Williams averages 15.2 points, 6.1 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game to lead Carmel. She’s followed in scoring by Emily Kmec (8.9 ppg), Katelyn Nordhoff (8.3), Kyree Freeman (8.3) and Amanda Shaw (7.0).
“They’ve got a point guard [Williams] that I’ve seen her play twice and she got 20 points both games,” Hoover said. “They’ve got a freshman [Kmec] that’s kind of a rangy girl that is probably 6-1. She just shoots lights-out 3s. They’ve got a senior [Nordhoff] that shoots really nice from 3. They’ll probably play us a 2-3 zone. Our girls are looking forward to it. This is what we play for. I tell them, there’s going to be a good crowd here [tonight]. That’s what you play for.”
The Berries are coming off their biggest win of the season, a 61-48 win at Anderson in what was a key victory in the defense of their North Central Conference title.
Whitney Jennings scored 14 of her game-high 24 points in the final nine minutes of the contest, outscoring Anderson 14-6 by herself during that time. The Berries outscored the Indians 15-0 over the final 4:40 of the game.
Jennings is averaging 25.5 points, 8.8 assists, 4.6 steals and 3.8 rebounds to lead Logan. Rachel Jennings averages 16.4 ppg, Nakeya Penny averages 15.6 ppg and 6.2 rpg and Kiley Victor adds 4.5 ppg and 7.6 rpg.
Logan lost starter Seanna Redman to a torn ACL injury in the Anderson game. Hoover said the plan now is for Redman to undergo physical therapy and delay surgery until after graduation. He said doctors think she can possibly return before the end of the basketball season.
He added 6-foot-1 Krista Kyyroenen will be inserted into the starting lineup and that Madyson Price will remain in her super sub role off the bench. Sydney Bullard and Samantha Kain are in the mix for varsity time in the main rotation.
Berries to play in Region Roundball Rumble
Also, Logansport’s girls basketball team has been selected to play in the Region Roundball Rumble. The Berries will face East Chicago Central at 5:30 p.m. (EST) on Jan. 1 at the Hammond Civic Center. East Chicago Central (5-5) was a regional finalist in Class 4A a year ago.