By TIM BALL
For the Pharos-Tribune
MARION — Logansport’s basketball team ran into a much taller Marion team Thursday night at Bill Green Arena. The Giants’ height, which averaged more than three inches per starter over the Berries, played a big factor in its 64-41 thumping of Logan in North Central Conference action.
Marion (14-4, 5-1 NCC) badly out-rebounded the Berries 41-28 as the Giants’ 6-foot-7 twin towers of Billy Pettiford and hefty center T.J. Jones dominated the glass, both pulling down 12 boards. Moreover, the Giants put the clamps on Logan’s offense, which shot a frustrating 29 percent (15-of-51) for the contest.
“We competed well in the first half, but our field goal percentage was just very, very poor the entire game,” LHS coach Al Rhodes lamented. “We rushed things underneath due to (Marion’s) size. Their guards didn’t give us open shots. So we were just soundly out-played.”
The Berries (12-5, 3-4 NCC) did hang with Marion for the first 16 minutes, despite the huge rebounding difference and getting four shots swatted away by Jones and Pettiford.
Zach Deitrich and Kory Rombold each got some good looks in the paint on other occasions, only to have the basketball spin out of the hoop.
“We missed a lot of lay-ups,” Rhodes said. “Those have to go in the basket.”
Still, Logan trailed just 12-9 after the first break.
Then after falling behind 18-10 at the 5:03 mark of the second quarter, K.C Victor scored five straight points to spark an 11-3 Berry run. Logan tied the game at 21 when Rombold fed Deitrich for a lay-up with 2:10 left before halftime.
A David Tribbett steal, one of four he had in the game, led to a Jacob Peattie lay-up to again knot the score at 23. But Pettiford, who stepped out and knocked down four triples in the game, buried one from behind the arc with 30 seconds remaining to thrust Marion ahead 26-23 at the break.
The competitiveness Logan displayed in the second stanza, however, disappeared in the second half as the Berries got a heavy dose of Marion’s leading scorer, Julius Mays, the rest of the way. Mays exploded for 19 of his game-high 23 points after intermission as he single-handedly out-scored the Berries.
Mays eight points in the third helped the Giants build a 43-28 lead at the end of the period. The Berries, meanwhile, suffered through a 2-of-10 quarter from the field.
Marion put the game out of reach early in the fourth behind 11 more from Mays.
“Mays really hurt us,” said Rhodes. “He controlled the game at both ends and you got to take your hat off to him.”
Marion coach Joe Luce felt the 6-foot-2 Mays took advantage of the match-ups he had against the Berry guards, more so than his front-line players.
“I thought our match-ups offensively with Mays, as far as the size differential with the players that were put on him, was a big deal,” he said. “(Logan’s) post guys, I thought, were as good as anybody we’ve faced.”
Rombold and Victor each tallied 12 to lead Logan.
“I thought we would do better (against Marion’s size),” Rhodes said. “You can’t beat a team like them when you don’t compete on the boards.”
By TIM BALL