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January 19, 2014

Blackmon, Giants way too much for Berries

MARION — If Friday night was a night to showcase two of the state’s brightest stars — Logansport’s Whitney Jennings and Marion’s James Blackmon Jr. — it certainly could have been deemed a success.

But after his Logansport Berries boys team was demolished by Blackmon’s Marion Giants 98-64, LHS coach Pat Skaggs was in no mood to look at the bright side of things. He expected his squad to compete much better than it did and was certainly not pleased with the final result.

“They’re a great team, but I don’t think they’re 40 points better than us,” Skaggs said. “Obviously I was looking for a better performance from our guys. The effort wasn’t there, the intensity wasn’t there, you name it. We looked timid and scared.”

Skaggs even wished he could give the many Berry fans that made the trip over to Marion a rebate.

“We had such a great fan section and crowd come over here tonight. I’d like to thank them. Unfortunately they had to watch that. I guess I’m thankful that Marion let our season ticket holders get in for free or I feel like I’d have to give them $5 each for driving over here,” he said.

At least the Berries (8-2, 0-2 North Central Conference) will be able to tell their grandkids that they played against Blackmon in front of a packed house at Bill Green Arena. There were 6,000 to 7,000 fans in attendance, with at least a couple grand from Logansport.

Blackmon has IU fans abuzz with how well he can shoot the ball. Many consider him the top player in the state. He missed the Giants’ previous game with a knee injury and it showed, as they had a hard-fought win over Class 2A Oak Hill.

But he was back Friday night and didn’t disappoint, as he shot 14 of 21 from the field including 5 of 9 from 3-point range en route to a game-high 40 points. He entered averaging 35.6 ppg.

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