HAMMOND | The final play was not designed for DeJah Joshua to take the last shot of the game.
Still, it was the West Side senior calling for the ball as she opened up beyond the 3-point line. To that point, she was 0-for-3 from the arc before the clock wound down to end the game.
As Joshua's 3 hit the bottom of the net and the Cougars beat Logansport 52-51 in the Region Roundball Rumble to hand the Berries their first loss of the season, Logansport coach Jerry Hoover said "what a great basketball game."
"I felt like I had the task of getting my team the win," Joshua said. "They were favoring one of my other teammates. I knew they didn't know I could shoot outside, because I had scored inside all night."
Joshua was named the game's MVP after scoring 11 points and grabbing nine rebounds.
Before the game-winning shot, Logansport's Whitney Jennings had dominated the second half, scoring 15 of her 21 points after halftime, including 11 in the third quarter.
She added four assists, six steals and nine rebounds.
"She looked like a D-I player in the second half; in the first half we made her look like a middle school player," West Side coach Rod Fisher said. "She had (six) points in the first half. How many games has she had (six) points in the first half? When I saw her earlier this year she had 14 in the first quarter."
After taking a 31-22 lead at halftime, Logansport adjusted its defense, trying to take out West Side's post option and force the Cougars into multiple outside shots. That's when Jennings took advantage offensively. The Berries (11-1) forced West Side into seven second-half turnovers.
On the door of the Logansport locker room in the basement of the Civic Center Hoover had written: "Basketball is fun" with a smiley face next to it. The Berries made it fun in the second half.
Iowa-bound Jennings said she had a tough shooting night, going 9-of-24 from the field.
"West Side played great defense," Jennings said. "They made it very tough to get a good shot. They were good. When I came in the locker room, and I hate to lose, I told the girls we'll bounce back.
"This will make us better."
Logansport's Nakenya Penny led all scorers with 22 points, 11 in each half.
The matchup was similar to Logansport's last trip to the region, a Jan. 1 game last year that ended with a 57-53 win over E.C. Central after the Cardinals led at halftime.
"What we've got to learn is that we had ample opportunity to put the game away," Fisher said. "When we have that opportunity, we've got to be intelligent enough not to give (the ball) up."