Like his Central teammates, Jabriel Allen had a slow start Friday against Logansport in Muncie Fieldhouse. The senior shot 1-for-6 from the field in the opening quarter, and the Bearcats trailed by three points at the end of the period.
Like the rest of the Bearcat squad, Allen had a much better second quarter and beyond.
The Bearcats started the second period on a 12-2 run and took a five-point halftime lead. Central didn’t look back in a 55-38 win over Logansport.
Allen scored 10 points in the second quarter to help propel the run. He finished the game with 23 points on 8-for-16 shooting from the field.
“I saw him make a couple moves I’d not seen in a while tonight,” Central coach Matt Fine said. “He had a great power-pull up on that wing down there. And that was a burst, a full-speed move that he made and that was big-time.”
Central (6-10, 1-4 North Central Conference) started the third and fourth quarters on runs as well to distance itself from Logansport (9-7, 2-3 NCC). The Bearcats outscored the Berries 10-3 to start the third period and limited them to two points in the fourth quarter while outscoring them by 10 points in that period.
“We got off to a slow start, but we moved on after that,” Fine said. “Our goal, and it sounds simple, but we talk about winning the second quarter, winning the third quarter.
“And we didn’t finish the third quite like I wanted us to. We got up (39-27) and then they made a run and we were up seven at the end of three. But we still won the quarter. And that’s what we talked about, ‘Let’s win the third and we’ll put us in good position for the fourth.’ “
The win is Central’s first victory of the season in the NCC and follows a double-overtime loss at Huntington North on Jan. 25. It has two remaining conference games, Feb. 7 at home against Anderson and Feb. 15 at Marion.
“It means a lot to us,” Allen said of the win. “The legacy that they have here at Muncie Central, we’ve never been at the bottom of the NCC conference. And this year we are, and we have a chip on our shoulder. And we’re trying to prove ourselves to everybody in the conference, and even ourselves that we’re worthy of being in the NCC.”
Central was without the tallest player on its roster, 6-foot-5 Jay’lin Barnes, who missed the game due to a injury sustained in Thursday’s practice. Despite the loss, the Bearcats outrebounded the Berries 28-20, led by Allen’s eight boards. Kaleb Mallory and Tim Barrett each added six rebounds.
Mallory was the other Bearcat to crack double-figure scoring with 13 points. He was a perfect 5-for-5 at the free-throw line. Antonio Penny was Logansport’s leading scorer, finishing with 17 points. Bo Bullard had 11 points for the Berries.