NOBLESVILLE — Kokomo’s boys basketball team knew the Noblesville Holiday Tournament would present three tough opponents to close out the 2013 portion of the schedule. Friday’s games against Lawrence North and Class 3A No. 2-ranked Guerin Catholic continued a stretch of difficult matchups, and Kokomo dropped both in hard-fought contests.
Lawrence North beat Kokomo 61-54 in Friday’s opener. Guerin Catholic topped the Wildkats 50-42 in overtime in the fourth game of the day.
The night game was perhaps the most heartbreaking for the Wildkats as they had a chance for a victory with 33 seconds left in regulation, but Mykal Cox missed a free throw after hitting his first to tie the game at 35-35. Kokomo got a defensive stop at the other end to force overtime, but the Golden Eagles went on for the 50-42 win. Guerin had dropped an OT decision to Bloomington South earlier in the day.
“We showed phenomenal resolve [Friday], but it wasn’t quite enough,” Kokomo coach Brian McCauley said. “This was a tough one and we had our chances. Guerin Catholic is a really tough ballclub. We had a couple of turnovers in the overtime and you’re not going to beat a good club like Guerin when you do that.”
Kokomo (2-5) and Guerin (8-1) went back and forth the entire game with neither team able to pull away. There were six ties and 11 lead changes as the Kats held the up-tempo Eagles in check for only 35 points in regulation, well below their season average of 64.7.
In the overtime, however, Guerin was able to get out in front and make some plays. Whit Rapp scored off of the opening overtime tipoff and after Kokomo tied it with a basket by Erik Bowen, Matt Holba put Guerin in front 40-37 with a 3-pointer from the corner.
Guerin scored 15 points in the overtime session, which was more than any quarter to that point and more than it had in the first and fourth quarters combined.