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Vols knock off Kaskaskia for first GRAC win

  • Teon Nesbitt looks to make a steal against Kaskaskia Monday night in Carterville.

    Teon Nesbitt looks to make a steal against Kaskaskia Monday night in Carterville.

By Spyder Dann
updated: 2/2/2021 9:23 AM

The John A. Logan men's basketball team -- who was the preseason No. 1 Division 1 JUCO team in the country -- lost that status on Monday afternoon after a weekend loss to No. 19 Mineral Area College.
On Monday night, the Vols, now No. 7 in the country, began on their trek to reclaim their place atop the perch and did so in a hard-fought fashion, beating Kaskaskia College 78-62 inside Brewer Gymnasium.
John A. Logan (3-1 overall, 1-0 GRAC) put four players in double figures as Mario McKinney continued to torch defenses, dropping a game-high 25 points.
Romon Douglas-Watkins had 11 points, nine of which came in the second half, while Cam Alford and Jamarion Sharp both had 10 points.
Sharp was two blocks shy of a triple-double as the Hopkinsville, Ky., native had 10 rebounds to go along with eight blocks.
JALC head coach Kyle Smithpeters was happy to see his team rebound after Saturday's loss to Mineral Area.
"Right now, we're playing as if it's mid or late October, but one thing is for sure, we are never happy about losing or never happy about not doing things right, but we are a very much a new team and missing some very valuable pieces.
"We have to learn and make sure we understand how valuable this time is we have together because it's only a 22-game season," Smithpeters said. "You just don't get very many opportunities this year and we have to make sure to take advantage of that. We showed better effort tonight and better chemistry at times. We're still throwing the ball away too much."
The Vols finished with 22 turnovers, this on the heels of 20 turnovers Saturday. JALC had 27 against Three Rivers in a double overtime victory and 18 in the season opener against Shawnee.
"It's early, but I feel like these guys are doing what we ask of them," Smithpeters said. "They are playing with a lot of poise, but a lot of our mistakes are play hard mistakes that will take care of themselves."
Dre Boyd added eight points for Logan in the win over the Blue Devils, while Xavier Ball finished with five points. Pinckneyville's Dawson Yates had a 3-point play in the second half, while Isiah Ervin, Teon Nesbitt and Carterville's Justin Johnson all finished with two points.
Kaskaskia was led by 18 points from Traeveion Jones, while Chauncey Hughes scored 16 points and Chris White finished in double figures with 12 points.
JALC will return to action Wednesday in its first road game of the season, traveling to Robinson to play Lincoln Trail College at 6 p.m.

Spyder Dann covers prep and college sports for the Southern Illinois LOCAL Media Group. Follow him on Twitter: @spydieshooter.