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Logansport star overpowers HNHS

January 9, 2012
Huntington North High School

Logansport star overpowers HNHS

Jennings drops 40, Lady Viking girls lose

Tough Matchup
Huntington North's Lyndsey Foster plays defense on Logansport's Whitney Jennings during Saturday's conference game. Jennings netted 40 points to lead the Berries past the Vikes.


With 5 minutes, 22 seconds left in the third quarter of Saturday's North Central Conference matchup between Huntington North and Logansport, the Vikes appeared poised for the upset, leading the powerful Berries 30-28.

What happened over the next 6:08 was nothing short of unbelievable, astonishing and brilliant - and something that won't soon be forgotten by anyone lucky enough to be inside North Arena to see it.

Berries' sophomore star Whitney Jennings absolutely caught fire, scoring 21 points on 9-of-10 shooting during a 23-2 Logansport run, a spree that turned the Vikings' upset bid into a 20-point game seemingly in the blink of an eye. Propelled by the Jennings-led spurt, the Berries knocked off Huntington North, 61-47.

Jennings, a 5-foot-5 point guard with spotless dribbling skills, finished with 40 points on 18-for-29 shooting while the rest of the Berries (13-2) went 6 for 21. She also added six steals, three assists and four rebounds, and had just one turnover despite having the ball in her hands for a majority of the game.

The second-half outburst was special even by Jennings' lofty standards. She entered the contest averaging 24.9 points and had at least 19 in every game this season. Jennings poured in 19 points in the third quarter alone and netted 26 in the second half on her way to a new career-high.

"She's a good player - we know that - but we don't know how good," said Logansport coach Jerry Hoover. "You saw her play as well as she's ever played. She's been offered by Indiana, been offered by Iowa, and I think (Saturday) you saw what they see."

As the wick was running out on Jennings six-minute onslaught, even the Huntington North crowd was buzzing. Jennings torched the nets with a variety of moves and knocked down several shots with Viking defenders draped all over her, including a pair of hanging, fadeaway jumpers from the short corner. Rarely did any of her jump shots or free throws - even in warm-ups - hit the rim.

To put it all in perspective, Huntington North (2-10) shot the ball at a clip slightly above its season average, and it outscored Jennings by just seven points.

"We saw her last year as a freshman, and she's really good," said Vikes coach BreAnne Dyer. "I watched the Kokomo-Logansport game, and Logansport's 3-point shooters went crazy on the wing, so I knew we had to man-up. If you look at the box score, we held everyone else. She just got 40. She's a smart, good player."

Taylor Pursifull totaled nine points and 10 rebounds for Huntington North. Allyson Trout added 13 points but it came on 4-of-15 shooting. Paige Coolman hit all four of her field goal attempts for eight points.

The Vikings hung with the powerful Berries in the opening half thanks to some lights out shooting. Huntington North went 9 for 20 from the field and trailed 28-25 at the break.

Pursifull hit a jumper and Cora Frame drilled a 3-pointer as Huntington took a 30-28 lead 1:33 into the second half.

It was all Jennings from there.

She dropped in 12 straight points and scored 21 of the Berries' next 23, fueling a 23-2 Logansport run that twisted a 30-28 deficit into a comfortable 51-32 lead.

As great as Jennings was, it was Logansport's switch to a 2-3 zone that stymied the Vikings' offense. After a red-hot first half, Huntington North hit just one field goal over a 9:28 stretch in the second half and finished 7 for 26 following halftime.

"We stopped attacking," Dyer said. "We wanted the girls to attack towards the basket instead of passing around the perimeter. We never quite got it.

"Once Whitney gets it off a turnover or a missed basket, she's hard to stop when she's on the attack and has her momentum going. In the first half, our shots were falling and she only had 14 points. In the second half, our missed shots were essentially turnovers because she got the ball and attacked us."

The win kept Logansport on pace with Marion atop the NCC standings while Huntington North, who has alternated wins and losses in its last four games, slipped into a tie for sixth place.

The Vikes return to North Arena at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday to host Jay County (9-4).

Junior Varsity: Huntington North won the junior varsity game, 41-29. Maddie Klender had 11 points and seven rebounds. Caitlyn Shrock scored nine points and Aly Grabner added seven.

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