Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Sports

December 18, 2012

Wildkats’ relentless defense smothers Braves

No. 8 Kokomo forces 31 turnovers.

From 1950 to 1994, Kokomo and Maconaquah met in the championship round of the old single-class boys basketball sectional 10 times, with the Wildkats coming out on top in each of those meetings.

For the second year in a row, the Kats gave their fans a flashback to yesteryear, making sure the dominance of their Miami County counterparts continued in the Coca-Cola Old School Sectional tournament.

The Class 4A No. 8-ranked Wildkats imposed their will on the Braves in the opening round of the Old School tournament Tuesday night, blowing the doors off their opponents in an 81-37 thrashing in Memorial Gym.

Kokomo, which also whipped Mac in the opening round last year, will meet Taylor in Friday’s semifinal round.

The Wildkats’ harassing full-court pressure made life miserable for the Braves throughout. Kokomo finished the night with 23 steals as Maconaquah turned the ball over 31 times.

The Kats took a 16-point lead into the fourth quarter, then outscored the Braves 35-7 over the final eight minutes to nail down the victory.

“I really like our defensive effort,” Kokomo coach Brian McCauley said. “Maconaquah is a very good offensive team, in my opinion. They drive the ball well and rebound very well. ... They do a good job of scoring, and I thought our awareness of where there shooters were and our ability to take away the paint were excellent.”

Kokomo (7-0) overcame a sluggish start offensively to take a 12-11 lead into the second stanza. The Kats committed six turnovers in the opening quarter, allowing Maconaquah to hang around.

The Kats took control in the second quarter with the help of its relentless pressure. Maconaquah committed 13 turnovers in the second stanza, with eight of those coming on Kokomo steals.

The disarray offensively limited Maconaquah to six points on 3-for-4 shooting as Kokomo stretched its lead out to 29-17 by intermission.

The Braves (3-3) weathered the storm momentarily in the third quarter, but could not close the gap to any closer than 10 points as all seven of their turnovers came via Kokomo steals.

Kokomo senior LaBradford Sebree poured in 13 points in the third quarter, helping the Kats take a 46-30 lead into the final stanza.

The Kats put away any thought of a Maconaquah comeback with a 22-5 surge through the first five minutes of the fourth quarter. Erik Bowen led the charge in the final period for Kokomo with 13 of his game-high 19 points.

“[Kokomo] came out there in the fourth quarter and went on a little run, and I don’t want to say we gave up, but you could just see the look on our guys’ eyes,” Maconaquah coach Andy Steele said. “We panicked and started making questionable passes, and tried to do too much individually. In the end, that killed us.”

Freshman reserve guard Jeron Gray picked up the slack defensively in the fourth quarter with the bulk of Kokomo’s starters watching from the bench, nabbing three of the Kats’ six steals in the frame.

“[Our guards] were so active in our press,” McCauley said. “We were able to create some offense from our defense. Their athleticism and anticipation really created for us.”

Sebree added 17 points and four steals in the victory, while Gray, Tayler Persons, Hakim Burnett and Dylan Orbaugh each added eight points. Kylee Beheler pulled down a game-high nine rebounds. Kokomo outrebounded Maconaquah 31-17 for the contest.

Micah Pier finished with 12 points on 6-of-8 shooting to lead Maconaquah before fouling out with 4:07 to play in the game. Adam Harts added 11 points and Tyler Bradley chipped in eight, while K.J. Walton pulled down a team-high five boards.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports
  • NWHS tennis 04 Prep Roundup for Saturday, April 19 Northwestern's girls tennis team got a sweep from its doubles tandems and a point from the No. 1 singles player to edge Northfield 3-2 Friday on the Northwestern courts, improving to 2-1 on the season. Emily Harshman won 6-3, 6-2 at No. 1 singles, Me

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sports briefs for Saturday, April 19 Swain records KCC's first ace of 2014 Noblesville's Larry Swain hit the first hole in one of the new season at the Kokomo Country Club on Thursday. Swain used a nine-iron to ace the 160-yard hole No. 16, recording his first ever hole in one. Josh Mag

    April 19, 2014

  • SPL - KT041814 - Prep roundup - pic Prep roundup for Friday, April 18 Tanner Guyer and Sam Seagrave led the way as Kokomo's boys golf team scored a win in its season opener Thursday at Kokomo Country Club.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sports briefs for Friday, April 18 Kokomo High School will host the 2014 Howard County free physicals from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on May 14.

    April 18, 2014

  • SPL - KT041714 Kokomo-Western baseball - pic 2 Kats top Panthers in baseball Since the inception of class sports, the annual early-season baseball matchup between Kokomo and Western had been solely for in-county bragging rights. With Western moving up to Class 4A for the next two seasons because of the IHSAA's new success factor, the rivals met up Wednesday as potential sectional opponents for the first time since 1997.

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • Prep roundup for Thursday, April 17 Eastern junior Caleb Aaron tossed a four-hitter to lead the Comets past Northwestern 3-1 in a Howard County baseball clash Wednesday at Greentown.

    April 17, 2014

  • SPL - KT041714 - B1 briefs - Edwards mug Sports briefs for Thursday, April 17 The North Central Conference on Wednesday announced Indianapolis Arsenal Tech will join the conference on April 1, 2015.

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPL - KT041614 - Boys golf preview - secondary pic BOYS GOLF: Howard County preview Western's boys golf team is thinking big this season.

    April 16, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPL - KT041614 Girls tennis Preview - pic GIRLS TENNIS: Howard County preview After 39 seasons and counting as the boys tennis coach at Taylor High School, Dave Wise is entering his 24th season leading the Titan girls.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPL - KT041614 - Western hires coaches - mug Western hires football, volley coaches Western High School's search for a new football coach is over. Western on Tuesday named Ron Jankovich its new coach during a board meeting. He spent the past two seasons as an assistant coach for Bethel University in Tennessee. He was the Wildcats' co-offensive coordinator.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

NCAA Men's Basketball Poll
Featured Ads
SportsKT twitter
More kokomotribune.com
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP Video
Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.