The Kokomo Blue eight grade boys basketball team scored six points in the final 30 seconds of Wednesday night’s City-County championship game with Western, setting the tone for the second half in a 42-30 victory at Memorial Gym.
After Western tied it up with three minutes left in the first half, Kokomo went to a 1-3-1 trap and erupted for three quick buckets late to close the half up 22-14.
Nate Hemmerich led Blue with 12 points, while Kyle Wade added 10 and Dominic Nix finished with nine.
Kokomo finished the season 10-1, a season that was cut short by eight games due to weather-related cancellations.
“The biggest thing about this team is the way they played as group,” Kokomo coach Justin Hahn said. “Everybody encourages each other, starters to subs. Our practices were outstanding because everyone pushed each other to get better. We won quite a few games by a lot of points, and some times our starters didn’t play a lot of minutes, but the attitudes were great.”
Reed Hubbert led Western (13-8) with nine points. Cooper O’Neal added seven points, and Miles Griffith finished with four.
Kokomo Blue 47, Western 29
Kokomo used a full-court trap and 2-3 zone half-court pressure to help build a 24-12 halftime lead, preventing Western’s dribble-drive offense from catching rhythm.
Josiah Matthews led Kokomo (9-3) with 15 points and 11 rebounds. Jayveon White added 12 points, while Elrico Barbary and Darius Thompson chipped in with seven points apiece. White and Barbary led Blue’s defensive effort at the point.
“I have a great feeling about these kids,” Blue coach Danta Rogers said. “They continued to work hard on our defense and fundamentals throughout the season, and their dedication paid off. We had balanced scoring in all of our games, with anywhere from six to eight guys scoring every game. I’d like to thank all the players for showing up for practice through a horrible, hard winter.”