The Mark Twain boys basketball team couldn't stop Canton in the second half of a 67-49 road loss on Tuesday night.
The Mark Twain boys basketball team was pleased with how the first half unfolded Tuesday on the road at Canton.
The second half was an entirely different story.
Lance Logsdon came alive for 17 of his game-high 19 points over the final two quarters as Canton went on a 24-9 run in the third to pull away for a 67-49 victory.
“I knew eventually at some point Logsdon was going to take over the game because he was the best player out here tonight,” Mark Twain coach Cody McCann said.
The score was knotted at 26 at halftime before Logsdon scored a flurry of eight points over the first 4 minutes, 3 seconds of the second half, capped by a three that made it 39-31.
Canton led 50-35 heading into the fourth quarter and remained ahead by double digits the rest of the way.
After Logsdon made just one field goal in the first half, Canton coach Andy Anderson changed things up and stationed the 6-foot-3 forward in the short corner on offense.
“That kind of got him going,” Anderson said of the senior star. “Also tonight he started shooting the 3-pointer a little bit and made two or three off reversals and kick-outs. That was big.”
Mark Twain's defense surrendered 24 points in the third quarter after allowing just 26 the whole first half.
Canton made 10 of 17 shots from the field in the pivotal period.
“They started moving the ball a lot better in the second half, and they exploited the weaknesses in our zone,” McCann admitted. “The first half, we gave them problems with it. The second half, not so much.”
Not helping Mark Twain's situation was foul trouble. The Tigers leading scorer and rebounder Grant Peters picked up his third foul with 5:05 left in the third, forcing him to the bench for valuable minutes in the second half.
Peters finished with six points and eight rebounds.
Aidan Epperson, who scored seven points, helped the visitors keep pace early on with a pair of first-quarter buckets. A high-arcing shot by Devin Neff gave Mark Twain a 14-13 lead through the first eight minutes of play.
Preston Eckler nailed consecutive 3-pointers to put Mark Twain ahead 20-15 with 6:10 left in the first half. The sophomore guard scored nine of his team-high 12 points in the second quarter.
“He's the kind of kid where if he hits the first shot, you're going to see a few more go up,” McCann said of Eckler. “Tonight was one of those nights where he was hitting.”
Mark Twain dictated the pace of play in the first half and had Canton right where it wanted at halftime.
Anderson mentioned he felt his team's effort and focus wasn't up to par the first two quarters.
“Mark Twain was out-hustling us in the first half,” the Canton coach said. “A couple guards knocked down some threes, and you always have to help on Peters inside because he's good, and Epperson can score in there too. If you let them hang around, they've got some guys who can make some plays.”
Logsdon didn't let Mark Twain hang around as Canton raced out of the gate in the second half to improve its record to 13-5.
Kaden Elliott provided all 10 of his points with hot shooting in the fourth quarter, but the outburst was too little too late for Mark Twain, which fell to 8-9 with the loss.
“Overall tonight, I'm extremely happy with the way we played effort-wise,” McCann said. “That's something we've been lacking the last few games and why we went home early in the Palmyra Tournament. But I think tonight was a step in the right direction.”
Mark Twain plays host to Class 3 No. 4 Clark County on Friday.
Clark County (16-1) fell to Fort Madison, 59-52, on Tuesday for its first loss of the season.
“It's going to be tough for us, but hopefully being on the home floor will help us a little bit,” McCann said of Friday's matchup. “We'll see what happens. As long as we come out and play hard, we'll be OK.”