Peru blows out Logansport in season opener

Nov. 24—PERU — The Peru Tigers have five rotation players back from last year's team that went 20-3 and won their first sectional championship since 2009.

The Class 3A No. 13 Tigers picked up where they left off with a 61-28 blowout victory over Logansport Wednesday night at Tig-Arena.

The Tigers looked like a team that has been playing together for awhile on both ends of the court for coach Eric Thompson, who is in his seventh year back in charge of the Tigers and 16th overall at Peru.

They were led by Matthew Roettger with 24 points and nine rebounds. He was 5 of 8 shooting from 3-point range. Alex Ross had 19 points on 9 of 12 shooting from the field. He added nine boards. Braxten Robbins added 11 points.

The Berries are coming off a 3-19 season and have a new head coach this year, Matt Lange.

They struggled getting anything going offensively from the outset, as they trailed 13-4 after one quarter and 34-8 at halftime.

They put together a good third quarter, outscoring Peru 14-11. The Tigers won the fourth quarter 16-6 to outscore the Berries 27-20 in the second half.

Jacob Taylor scored 11 points to lead the Berries. Chrisanthony Del Valle had seven points and six boards. Izak Mock added four points and seven boards. Cooper Smith added three points and six boards. Isaac Russell chipped in three points.

Peru won the turnover battle 17-7, which included 13-2 in the first half. The Tigers shot 24 of 48 from the field overall (7 of 20 from 3) to the Berries' 10 of 40 shooting (3 of 16 from 3).

Peru won last year's matchup 68-41 and has now won four straight in the series. Lange said he knew going in the Tigers were going to be a big challenge in the season opener.

"I knew that Peru was very good," he said. "They've switched defenses for a long time. So I knew coming in it was going to be a challenge for us offensively. That's probably my fault. We've got to do a better job of getting the kids ready. We drilled the stuff for at least a week and a half, just switching stuff. Ever since the Plymouth scrimmage we knew what was going to happen.

"What we did is we had a nice little talk at halftime and we lost by seven in the second half, which here's the thing, it's going to be one step on another step. So it's not the outcome we want, but there's stuff in there we can work with and just to make them better."

The Tigers graduated Matt Ross, who averaged 19.3 points, 9.3 rebounds and 1.9 blocked shots last season. But they have his younger brother back and have seemed to pick up where they left off.

"They're an excellent team," Lange said. "There's no question, you can't spin it any other way, they're just a team that I think is going to make a pretty nice run. They're going to have a really successful year like they did last year and they've got a bunch of young guys that just know how to play basketball."

The Berries graduated Noah Lange who generated a lot of their offense last season. Coach Lange will have to develop that area for this year's team.

"It started off early that we missed some shots that we probably should hit. I think we got down on ourselves a little bit, which that's going to happen," coach Lange said. "Then it just kept falling on us and we couldn't really stop it. Then we reset at halftime and figured out, hey, we can actually go toe-to-toe with this team if we do the stuff that we're supposed to do. I thought in the first half that we didn't set a whole lot of screens, not hardly any at all. But in the second half we did a better job of it and understanding what they were doing."

The Berries are looking to be an improved team overall this year and they showed signs of that in the second half.

"That's what we talked about in the locker room is I know it's not what I want, it's not what they want, we want to win. But you know what, we went first quarter, second quarter, not very good and third quarter, fourth quarter played with a very, very good team. So that's stuff we can work on in practice on Friday, Saturday, Monday and Tuesday and get ready for our next game," coach Lange said.

Logansport hosts Pioneer Wednesday in the Logansport Savings Bank Invitational.