January 30, 2013

Seniors a key to No. 3 Berries’ success

Logan girls host Winamac for senior night tonight.

by Beau Wicker

— Logansport junior guard Whitney Jennings gets a lot of publicity and recognition for her ability to play basketball, and deservedly so.

The 5-foot-5 junior is once again putting up astronomical numbers. She’s averaging 25.1 points, 8.4 assists, 4.6 rebounds and 4.1 steals per game this season, and she enters tonight’s regular-season finale against Winamac just 31 points shy of 1,700 for her career already.

But the major contributions of the Berries’ strong senior class should not be overlooked. Logan coach Jerry Hoover said all four of his seniors will have a chance to go on and play in college, which usually means big things for a high school basketball team.

The seniors will be honored for senior night tonight when the Class 4A No. 3 Berries (20-1) host Winamac (15-4).

Rachel Jennings is the leading scorer among the seniors. The 5-8 guard is averaging 14.7 ppg. She leads the state in made-3 pointers with 58 and is shooting 46 percent from behind the arc.

She missed the Twin Lakes game last week with an illness and was still feeling the effects in the New Castle game.

“I think she’s all right now,” Hoover said. “Any time you get 15 ppg a game, that’s a lot. She’s improved a lot on her defense. Her defense has gotten a lot better.”

Kiley Victor has certainly been one of the Berries’ most valuable players all season. The 5-11 forward is averaging 5.1 ppg and a team-high 7.6 rpg.

“She’s got the best feet besides Whit in the school. Great quickness,” Hoover said. “She’s up in the leadership in the North Central Conference in rebounds. Defensively she’s just done a great job.”

Madyson Price is a player that has been coming on strong of late. The 5-9 forward scored 12 and 11 points in the wins at Twin Lakes and New Castle last week. She had seven points in a win at Benton Central and then eight at Marion in recent games. She’s averaging 4.9 ppg.

“Price has been a pleasant surprise, really,” Hoover said. “We always thought she had some ability, and she’s used her ability this year to the absolute maximum, and she continues to get better all the time. There at New Castle, they closed the lead and she gets a couple lay-ins and spreads it out again. Game after game, at Marion, she got a couple baskets underneath there early that helped us. And she has developed into a pretty decent defensive basketball player.”

Seanna Redman started the first 10 games of the season before suffering a torn ACL injury at Anderson on Dec. 15. She was averaging 2.4 ppg before she got hurt and was one of the Berries’ top defenders. She chose to postpone surgery and will try to return this season playing with a brace.

“We may get a few minutes out of her, we just don’t know,” Hoover said. “I hope that chapter on Redman isn’t closed yet, because the further we go in the tournament, the better chance we have of getting her to play a few minutes here and there.”

Hoover added Redman’s leadership will be missed next season.

“We’re going to really miss her because of what she does for the team,” he said.

Rachel Jennings, Price and Redman played soccer in the fall. Victor played volleyball. Price and Redman play softball in the spring, and Rachel Jennings plays tennis.

“No question, they’ve done a lot for athletics, not just for basketball, but athletics in this school. They’re all multi-sport athletes,” Hoover said.

Nakeya Penny, a 5-11 sophomore, is averaging 13.5 ppg and 4.5 rpg for the Berries. Krista Kyyroenen, a 6-1 foreign exchange student from Finland, adds 2.6 ppg off the bench.

Winamac enters with the 11th most votes in Class 2A. The Warriors are 4-2 since losing standout junior post player Stephanie Shorter to a broken off (left) hand on Jan. 12. She was averaging 17 ppg and 7 rpg before her injury. Winamac coach Jeff Wagner has said he hopes to have Shorter back by sectional time next week.