LOGANSPORT — With the North Central Conference championship possibly hanging in the balance, Logansport’s Miss Basketball candidate, Whitney Jennings, was at her best.
And she also got a lot of help from her friend, Nakeya Penny.
Jennings scored 45 points and Penny added 31 to lead the Class 4A No. 6 Berries to an 84-72 win over Anderson on Saturday afternoon in the Berry Bowl.
Both totals were career highs for Jennings and Penny. Jennings became Logan’s overall all-time leading scorer in the process, passing boys leader Caleb Springer. Jennings now has 2,067 career points.
Logansport (8-0, 2-0 North Central Conference) won its 16th NCC game in row. Anderson (5-3, 2-1) has certainly provided the biggest challenge in league play over the last three seasons.
“I may be the happiest I’ve been since I’ve been at Logansport because every time I’ve seen Anderson I didn’t think we could beat them,” said Logan coach Jerry Hoover, who lost four key seniors from last year’s 25-2 regional finalist team.
Da’Sha Boyd scored a carer-high 30 points to lead the Indians. The IU East recruit was 11-of-22 from the field including 4 of 11 from 3-point range.
Chelsea Bentley had 13 points and seven boards, and Dabronia Williams added a double-double of 11 points and 11 boards. Ania Daniels added eight points and Samia Carter had six.
Anderson coach Chad Cook looked to the start of the second half as the turning point in the game. Logan led 36-35 at halftime and opened the third quarter with a 13-2 run over the first three minutes to take a 49-37 lead.
Cook then went to a full-court, double team on Jennings that helped create a quick 7-0 burst for the Indians to make it 49-44. He wished he would have went to the strategy a bit earlier before his team was down by 12.
“The start of the third quarter I wanted to come out with it then but I decided not to, but I could tell our team needed a spark. If we would have went into that right then, it might have woke us up and we would have come out strong, but instead we went down 12 right there,” Cook said.
Hoover called a timeout after the Anderson run and had one message to his team: keep getting the ball to Jennings despite the fullcourt double team.
“That’s why I called timeout,” he said. “‘Get the ball to Whitney and let her take care of the ball and we’ll win this ballgame.’”
Jennings, an Iowa signee, added 11 rebounds, five assists and five steals and didn’t commit a single turnover in the contest. She was 13 of 24 from the field and 19 of 23 from the foul line.
“You’re playing a really good team there, a really good player that makes things really tough. You play good defense and tough shots are hit,” Cook lamented. “We forced them into some tough ones and then their other players happen to roll some in. A lot of balls seemed to roll up the other side of the rim and roll in for them today and we shot 5-footers that we always hit that we missed. It just didn’t quite go our way but when you’re playing a really good team like that you’ve got to be really sharp. I give Logansport a lot of credit for what they did.”
Penny was 7 of 12 from the field, 2 of 3 from 3-point range and 15 of 19 from the foul line. She added five rebounds, two steals and a block.
“It’s a big game, a conference game, you’re going to bring out the best in people,” Cook said. “She beat us off the dribble a couple times that we didn’t want that to happen. But we were so concentrated on stopping
Whitney that you end up giving up a little bit there. We didn’t really ever get to a point where we had to come double Whitney, but we ended up doing that to try to make a spark happen.”
Added Hoover: “I tell you what, Nakeya Penny 31, Whitney 45, there are not many duos like that in the state. We just played pretty well.”
The Indians were within 61-55 after three quarters but the Berries opened the fourth with a 6-0 run to take a 12-point lead. Jennings started the run with a steal and basket, hit two free throws in the one-and-bonus and Penny sank a 15-footer.
The Indians got to within 74-67 on a Williams 3-pointer with 3:30 left to play but would get no closer.
The Berries got into the bonus with 5:16 remaining in the first half 7:18 left in the second. They hit 34 of 42 free throws in the game with Jennings and Penny shooting all of them.
The Indians outrebounded the Berries 40-33 in the game including 19-10 on the offensive glass. They outscored Logan 21-6 from the 3-point line but were outscored 34-13 on the foul line.
They won the turnover battle 15-9.
Logan shot 24 of 52 from the field (46.2 percent) to Anderson’s 26 of 65 (40 percent).