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Your feel-good story for today

Monday, Mar 27, 2023 - Posted by Rich Miller

* We have a national champion in our midst

When it opened the NJCAA Division I Tournament Tuesday as the No. 1 seed, [John A. Logan Community College] was 0-4 all-time in the tournament.

When its bench stampeded the floor after time expired Saturday, the Volunteers had the period to end all sentences.

A come-from-behind 73-70 win over No. 7 Northwest Florida State in Hutchinson Sports Arena gave Logan its first national title and a season-ending 31-game winning streak. And it made a prophet out of leading scorer Curt Lewis.

“Defense and free throws,” he said. “That’s what we said it would come down to.”

That’s basically what allowed the Vols (33-2) to overcome a cold shooting day – they were 26 of 78 from the floor, 4 of 20 on 3-pointers – and cut down the nets. Logan also took 19 more shots than the Raiders (29-8), a critical advantage in a one-possession game.

More

The Vols conclude their season with a 33-2 overall record, winning an astounding 31 games in a row to the end the season.

More

“I think this is a big deal to both the college and to Southern Illinois,” [Scott Wernsman, Asssociate Dean of Career and Technical Education at Logan] said. “A lot of people don’t realize the quality of basketball that comes through our gymnasium and the Great Rivers Athletic Conference.” […]

Vols head coach Tyler Smithpeters said he is thankful for the support shown by the school and SI community. […]

“I don’t really know how to put it into words when it comes to winning a national championship in my first year as a head coach. I don’t do much. It’s more our players. I stand on the sideline. I’m just happy for them.”

       

11 Comments
  1. - Steve Rogers - Monday, Mar 27, 23 @ 1:09 pm:

    Way to go Logan. And keeping it in Illinois, Coach Smithpeters is a former Saluki and hails from Harrisburg.

    Also, Logan has sent some good players to D1. One of their former players played for Mizzou this year (former JAL coach is now asst at Mizzou), and another one played for Utah Valley, which is in the final four of the NIT.


  2. - Unionman - Monday, Mar 27, 23 @ 1:22 pm:

    When do they get to take their trip to the People’s House


  3. - ArchPundit - Monday, Mar 27, 23 @ 1:28 pm:

    Congrats!

    Love that the championship is in Hutchinson, Kansas


  4. - Oswego Willy - Monday, Mar 27, 23 @ 1:31 pm:

    I watched (no joke, I did) at a bar-like place that happened to have all kinds of sports things on… and this game was on too.

    Congratulations, it’s so cool to see this, college athletics are important to not only the institutions but they change lives for athletes and winning a national championship is something that no one can take away.


  5. - BCOSEC - Monday, Mar 27, 23 @ 1:32 pm:

    The GRAC is a heck of a basketball conference. Many future D1 and D2 players playing in gymnasiums in our midst in Southern IL.

    Congrats to Logan!


  6. - Just a Citizen - Monday, Mar 27, 23 @ 1:37 pm:

    Congratulations!!! What a terrific win for Illinois and for Carterville.


  7. - Michelle Flaherty - Monday, Mar 27, 23 @ 1:44 pm:

    I watched the game … from my couch.
    Way to go John A Logan.


  8. - Give Me A Break - Monday, Mar 27, 23 @ 1:51 pm:

    Congrats to Logan well done. And a special “well done” to two Springfield residents who played key roles in the team, James Dent from Springfield Southeast HS and K.J. Debrick from Springfield Lanphier.


  9. - Annonin' - Monday, Mar 27, 23 @ 2:01 pm:

    Congrats to JohnA. Great season. Someone nudge the GOPies to get the team to do the House/Senate meet/wJB trip before school ends which is about 6 weeks away.


  10. - Treefiddy - Monday, Mar 27, 23 @ 2:30 pm:

    Congrats to JAL and to Coach Smithpeters. Hopefully Bryan Mullins notices the success happening nearby and considers his fellow SIUC alum for a job on staff to help improve recruiting.


  11. - Salt Life - Tuesday, Mar 28, 23 @ 1:20 am:

    I went to John A! Congratulations! A win for all of southern Illinois!


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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