HAMMOND | A matchup of two premier girls basketball teams and their point guards headlines the 15th annual Times Region Roundball Rumble, scheduled for Jan. 1 at the Hammond Civic Center.
Whitney Jennings-led Logansport will battle Dana Evans-led West Side in the 5 p.m. girls game, followed by undefeated and state No.3 ranked Kouts in the 7 p.m. nightcap against Pioneer. The annual Rumble 3-point Shooting Contest precedes the game action, starting at 3 p.m.
Logansport, undefeated and ranked No. 6 in the state’s Class 4A girls poll and coached by former Lake Central and Kankakee Valley boys coach Jerry Hoover, is led by senior guard Jennings, who will continue her basketball career next year at the University of Iowa.
Jennings, who leads the state with a 36.1-point scoring average and is Logansport’s all-time scoring leader – boys or girls – was a game MVP in last season’s Rumble, scoring 30 points against East Chicago Central and sparking a 57-53 come-from-behind victory at the Civic Center.
Saturday, as the Berries improved to 8-0 with an 84-72 victory over rival Anderson, Jennings scored a career-high 45 points and had 11 rebounds, five assists and five steals. Teammate Nakeya Penny also added a career high with 31 points.
Jennings could go toe-to-toe at the Civic Center with one of the top freshman players in the Midwest. West’s Side’s Dana Evans has been scoring consistently in double figures this season for the Cougars, and before playing her first high school basketball game already had been offered scholarships by Michigan State, Purdue and Cincinnati.
The explosive Evans has been a consistent double-figure scorer for the Cougars, who were 6-1 with a Times No. 2 area ranking entering Saturday’s game at Fort Wayne Canterbury.
In the boys game, Kouts is ranked No. 3 statewide in Class A and will bring a 6-0 record into the game following the Mustangs’ 79-59 victory Friday over Westville.
The Mustangs boast four double-figure scorers: Jake Bekelya (19 ppg), Cody Nelson (15.3), Matt Stewart (12.5) and Dylan Bruce (10).
Matt Crawford is in his first year at the Kouts helm after a successful run by longtime coach Marty Gaff.