MOUNT VERNON — The Mount Vernon boys basketball team was only behind one, 21-20, at halftime to the Logan Chieftains Wednesday, but the visitors outscored the Yellow Jackets 22-10 in the second half to hand Mount Vernon a 43-30 loss.
“I thought our players gave great effort, especially at the defensive end,” Mount Vernon coach Nick Coon said. “The urgency level was there and we did a good job defensively holding them to 43 points. Unfortunately, on the flip side of that, we had a hard time scoring.”
Points were somewhat hard to come by in the first quarter, but a Spencer Bills bucket in the waning seconds of the frame put the Jackets ahead 10-8 after eight minutes of action. Five different Mount Vernon players scored, while Bo Myers notched six points for the Chieftains in the first.
Another six points from Myers in the second quarter pushed Logan to a game-high 13 points in the period. Mount Vernon again had the last say in the quarter, with Jontey Greene hitting a runner with a couple seconds left on the clock, sending the game to the break with Logan ahead 21-20.
The Jackets scored the first three points of the third quarter to go up 23-21, a lead which it held for several possessions, but then the Chieftain offense exploded for 10 points to close out the frame. Logan doubled up Mount Vernon’s five points in the third quarter to go ahead 31-25 with one quarter to go.
The visitors ballooned their lead to double digits in the fourth quarter and were in front 39-27 with 3:43 to go. The Jackets were again held to five points in the quarter, while Myers’ six points in the fourth pushed the visitors to 12 points to close out the game.
“In this game, we can’t fault our kid’s effort,” Coon said. “It was there and the urgency level was there. That’s something we can build off of and hopefully clean up on the basketball things moving forward.”
Blake Miller has been a mainstay on the Jacket JV squad this winter, but he saw his first varsity action of the season Wednesday and he made the most of it. He drained three buckets, including one from deep, and hit both of his freebies to lead the Jackets with nine points.
“I think it was good for Blake to have the maturation process at the JV level and be a focal point of an offense before jumping up to the varsity level,” Coon said. “That was not given to him. That was earned by him. … It was good to see him be rewarded for all that effort that he’s put into his game.”
Evan Boatwright splashed home a three on his way to notching seven points and Connor Fisher had six points, including the team’s other 3-pointer. Bills, Greene, Carson Carpenter and Jaxon Snyder each had two points in the loss.
Myers topped the scoring sheet for the Chieftains with 23 points on nine 2-pointers and five makes from the charity stripe. Caleb Bell nailed two shots from behind the arc on his way to 12 points. Layton Cassady had four points and Wes Brooks and Coby Bell each chipped in with a bucket apiece.
Mount Vernon fell to 6-9 on the year and their mark in the Ohio Cardinal Conference remains at 3-4. The Jackets have a quick turnaround, hosting Ashland Friday with freshmen action kicking off at 4:30 p.m.
“We can build off tonight’s energy, urgency and effort level,” Coon said. “(Ashland) is a quality basketball team. They’ve had some good wins already in the OCC. It’s going to be a challenge, but hopefully we bring that same effort and urgency Friday.”
NOTES: At the JV level, Logan made a massive comeback, outscoring the Jackets 16-9 in the fourth quarter to pick up a 50-47 win. Nolan Meier led the Jackets with 15 points, while Beau Bridges and Gary Rucker each added nine points. Nolan Robinnette had 11 points for Logan and Colten Castle and Justin Wolfe added eight points apiece.