Junior point guard Noah Allen added seven points and a game-high five assists in 34 minutes for PUC. The former Carroll Cougar entered the night as the Peregrines’ (2-1) leading scorer at 13.5 points per game.
“It was great coming back home on the backroads, remembering the paths we used to take to games when I was in high school,” Allen said. “Four of my old coaches showed up, so seeing them in the stands made me feel comfortable. And we got the win, which is the most important thing. We struggled in the first half but loosened up and were able to get out and run a little bit in the second half.”
IUK, in its third season as a program, played its home games at Western High School during its inaugural season in 2011-12 before moving to Kokomo High School last season. Kokomo High School’s original pool, behind Memorial Gym on Superior Street, was transformed into Cougar Gym and now serves as the home facility for IUK’s volleyball and men’s basketball programs. IUK is set to start a women’s basketball program next season, as well, and Thompson said he’s excited about the prospects of having a place the programs can call their exclusive home.
“We have a great home court advantage now,” Thompson said. “While our gym only seats about 400 people, it sounds like there’s 4,000 people in here. We had some recruits in here [Wednesday] night and it was a great atmosphere for our program. I couldn’t be more excited for what this means for us going forward. The fan support has always been great, and it was nice to see them fill the gym up [Wednesday] night.”