CARTERVILLE, Ill. — Three Rivers struggled early with John A. Logan's track meet style. After falling behind by 22 in the fi rst half, Three Rivers made a late comeback attempt but ultimately couldn't keep up with John A. Logan (Ill.) for 40 minutes. In a pace-pushing performance, the Volunteers shot 54 percent from the fi eld and sprinted up the fl oor after every make or miss, turning in a 106-89 win against the Raiders. Three Rivers (1-2) suffered from a forgettable 3-point shooting performance that caused its offense to sputter, and the defense was unable to keep up with Jayden Scrubb, David Sloan and Clivonte Patterson. "They were very athletic. I think they had 12 players back from last year, and they were a veteran team," coach Gene Bess said. "We have two back. You can tell your players what's going to happen, but they don't always listen really good, and we let them really take it as us and shove it down our throats early." Three Rivers trailed by 22 at halftime.
Scrubb and Patterson led all scorers with 27 points. Scrubb added 10 rebounds for a double double, and Patterson shot a red-hot 10 of 13 from the floor. Sloan added his own double-double with 19 points, 13 assists and seven boards. His assist numbers matched those of the entire Three Rivers roster. Despite Three Rivers matching up better in terms of size with John A. Logan than it did Wabash Valley, which gave the Raiders their first loss Saturday, Three Rivers was still minus-14 on the glass, although part of that number could be explained by John A. Logan (2-0) simply not missing shots consistently. "We have a lot of new guys. Most of them, I think, were shooters, and someone else did their rebounding for them. They just haven't acclimated themselves yet to the college game," Bess said. "Everybody is going to have to rebound." The Raiders were well within reach early, down 28-21 just over halfway through the opening half. A 9-0 run, though, was all the Volunteers needed to pull away and keep a comfortable lead the rest of the night. Three Rivers made a surge in the second half to pull its deficit within single digits with 8 minutes remaining in the game. A 16-4 run was sparked when Poplar Bluff product Willie Lucas made a 3-pointer with 11:23 left in the game. Lucas added three more when he was fouled on a layup, earning an and-1 opportunity and converting the free throw. Tallon Fonda was fouled by Antwan Campbell on a scoop layup off the glass for another 3-point play opportunity. He converted the free throw as Three Rivers came storming back. "We came back in the second half and started playing harder and much better," Bess said. Patterson and Sloan scored much-needed buckets for the Volunteers to pull the lead back to 16. Tristan Jarrett knocked down a triple and Fonda added two more with a putback layup. Redshirt freshman Miganeh Jama converted a layup to trim the deficit to 81-72, the first time the score had been within single digits since the 7:39 mark in the first half. The Raiders couldn't make up more ground, though. After both teams traded baskets, the Volunteers finished the game on a 14-7 run to earn the win. Overall, Three Rivers struggled shooting from beyond the arc, going just 5 of 21. "Your shot's not going to always go down, but your rebounding ought to be consistent," Bess said. "When you shoot it quick, your rebounding won't be quite as good usually unless you shoot it off the break. … If you work it and shoot a 3 and don't get any rebounding, then the bad shooting sticks out, but that's the price you pay." Freshman Jay Hines and Jarrett were bright spots for the Raiders in terms of scoring production. Hines went 8 of 10 from the floor for 20 points. Jarrett finished 23 points, five assists and five rebounds on a 45-percent shooting clip. Three Rivers will play the second game of five straight away from home at 3 p.m. Saturday at West Kentucky Community and Technical College.
Nate Fields - Daily American Republic