Logan Men Crush Earle C. Clements Job Corps
BY JOHN D. HOMAN
Logan Media Services
VINCENNES, IND. – Strong second-half performances by freshmen Julian Hernandez and Sondale Conner lifted the John A. Logan College men’s basketball team to a resounding 97-59 non-conference win over the Morganfield, Ky.-based Earle C. Clements Job Corps Saturday evening at a tournament in Vincennes, Ind.
Hernandez knocked down four consecutive 3-pointers to finish with 12 points, while Conner drained four conventional field goals over the final 20 minutes and finished with 15 points overall. He was 7-of-9 from the field for the game.
“Sondale is a very versatile player, who continues to improve as the season progresses,” said Vols head coach Kyle Smithpeters. “He’s fun to watch and will be a nightmare for opponents to defend.”
Conner said he was simply doing his job.
“My mindset is just to play hard and be aggressive on both ends of the floor. The more time I get on the floor, the more comfortable I am with my game.”
Smithpeters also praised the play of Hernandez, who finished tournament play with 26 points in two games and was 9-of-10 from the field, including 7-of-8 from beyond the arc.
“Jules hardly missed a shot. When he’s hitting like that, the inside opens up more for our big guys.”
Logan led 49-35 at the half, but saw the lead trimmed to 10 early in the second half before Smithpeters called a time out to address his players in no uncertain terms.
“I know it was a tough game to get motivated with, but good teams can’t have long mental lapses,” he said. “We may be young, but when you have the opportunity to put a team away, you put them away. If you let up in our conference, you may not be able to recover. And as strong as our league is you can’t afford too many losses.”
Conner and Hernandez were not the only standouts for the Vols Saturday against Earle C. Clements. Freshman Jay Johnson led the team in scoring with 16. Another freshman, James Williams, was also in double digits with 12. Sophomore Aaron Adeoye, who leads Logan in scoring, was held to nine points.
Freshman Pierre House tallied eight off the bench. Sophomores Jamie Jones and Drew Bonner also chipped in offensively with six and five points. Freshman Kaylen Shane had five, as well. Connor Wheeler contributed four. DeVaughn Johnson notched three and Michael Schmidt added two.
Shavon Green paced the Eagles with 25 points.
The Vols converted 34-of-66 shot opportunities, including 7-of-15 triples.
Logan is now 5-1 overall and returns to action Nov. 28 at Lincoln Trail College in Robinson, the conference opener for both the women and men.
“I think we’ve played a pretty good non-conference schedule which I hope has helped prepare us for the league schedule,” Smithpeters said. “The next couple of weeks are going to be pretty tough.”
After the game at Lincoln Trail, the Vols come home to face an undefeated Shawnee team (Saturday, Dec. 1) and then travel to Southwestern Illinois (Wednesday, Dec. 5) and St. Louis (Sunday, Dec. 9) to face nationally-ranked Moberly, Mo.