Richmond has a chance to get on the plus side in the North Central Conference.
Standing in the Red Devils’ way is Logansport and the Berries’ ultra-talented senior, Antonio Penny. Tip-off is 8 p.m. Friday at Tiernan Center.
Penny leads Logansport with 21.5 points per game and is the Berries’ third all-time leading scorer. But he’s not the only weapon in Logansport’s arsenal.
Teammate Jayson Higgins is scoring 16.5 points per game, and Bo Bullard has logged quality minutes for Logansport.
“The thing we’ve noticed the most about them is I think they’re a little bit more balanced than they’ve been,” RHS coach Joe Luce said of the Berries. “Obviously Penny is a really good player, but they’re getting lots of support to help him out.”
Logansport is 8-5 overall, 1-1 in the North Central Conference with a 66-46 loss to Anderson and a 72-48 victory over Marion.
The Marion victory started a two-game win streak for the Berries, who most recently knocked off Lewis Cass 55-47.
Penny scored 24 against Marion and 18 in the win over Lewis Cass.
“We need to make sure that not only do we keep an eye on him, defensively, we have to guard shooters, too, because they have guys knocking down shots,” Luce said.
Richmond is 10-5 overall, 1-1 in the NCC and on a two-game win streak of its own.
The Red Devils earned back-to-back victories last weekend, toppling Muncie Central in Muncie for the first time since the 1988-89 season, then turning around for an overwhelming 90-59 victory over Gary Roosevelt the next evening.
“We hope to continue moving forward and just getting better,” Luce said. “We had, I thought, a really good defensive effort at Muncie Central. The Saturday night game (Gary Roosevelt) was a little chaotic, and they’re struggling, but still a good opportunity for our young guys to get on the floor.
“We want to continue to build confidence in our guys.”
Charles Hampton netted a career-high 31 points against Gary Roosevelt. The senior leads RHS with 14.1 points per game.
Joel Okafor averages 10.6 points for the Red Devils, with Davious Webster adding 8.8 points per game.
“We’re going to have to rebound and box out definitely against every conference team,” Hampton said. “Just play our game. We have to make sure all five guys on the court are playing, and we’ll be fine.”
Kokomo is 3-0 in the NCC, and Anderson is 2-0.
Richmond, New Castle, Huntington North and Logansport are currently packing the middle at 1-1.
Signs are pointing to a new champion this season. Defending conference champ Muncie Central is currently 0-3 in NCC play.
The Red Devils have finished second in the conference the past two years.
“It’s a wide-open race,” Luce said. “They do recognize the fact that one loss is still an opportunity to get to a point at the end of the season you can play for a championship. While we’re disappointed we’re sitting where we’re at — we’d like to be 2-0 — we’re optimistic that we can be a player in this race.
” … We just hope to have a good crowd. We realize we lost a few games that probably distracted a few people from coming out and checking us out. We have a good young ballclub that is going to keep getting better, and we just encourage people to come out and give us a chance and watch our guys play.”