by Chris Breach
For the Pharos-Tribune
The Berries are still looking to find a way to finish games against good teams.
Logansport’s boys basketball team (4-2) was in position to pick up a key non-conference road win against a potential sectional opponent, but Lafayette Jeff (3-3) was the one to make the plays down the stretch to secure a 51-41 victory Saturday night in boys basketball action.
“Really, it’s just all about toughness,” said senior guard Antonio Penny, who led the Berries with a game-high 27 points. “The game was hanging in the balance, and we’ve just got to go out there and take it.
“It was either they were going to take it, or we’re going to fight harder and we’re going to take it. [Saturday], they took it from us.”
The Berries battled back from a seven-point halftime deficit to get within 25-24 on a Penny putback with three minutes and 47 seconds left in the third quarter. After Jeff bumped the lead to 31-27, a Jayson Higgins 3-pointer got Logan to within 31-30.
Two free throws by Jeff’s Devin Haney came before Higgins hit a short jumper for a 33-32 count with eight minutes left.
“I thought we made a nice run there in the third quarter, and we got it close,” Logan coach Mark Victor said.
Penny got the first bucket of the fourth quarter by either team for a 34-33 lead with 5:09 left in the game. Logan would regain the lead at 36-35 on a basket by Andrew Wamsley with 3:47 left but would go more than two minutes before scoring again.
“(Jeff) kind of made a big play here and there, and that kind of was the difference in the game,” Victor said.
Jeff countered with a 3-pointer from Quarin Hood and two buckets and a free throw from Tyler Buchanan to surge ahead 43-36 with 2:01 remaining. Logan failed to get the rebound off a missed free throw and committed two fouls in the sequence.
“Somehow they snuck in a got a rebound and got a put-back, and that was a big turning point in the game,” Victor said.
Jeff got another basket off a turnover and two free throws around a Penny basket to lead 45-38 with 1:02 left. Logan would get no closer.
“A play here or a play there that could’ve turned the tide just didn’t quite happen,” Victor said.
Logan battled to a 12-12 tie at the first stop but fell behind 23-16 at the half as Jeff scored the last four points of the second quarter. It set up Logan’s rally in the third.
“We just need to play every game like we did in the third quarter, and we’ll be more well balanced,” said Higgins, who finished with six points.
The Berries will try to regroup for their first NCC game against Anderson in the Berry Bowl on Friday.
“We’ve just got to put these two losses behind us and move on from there,” Penny said.