Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana


December 7, 2012

Western edges Eastern for 2-0 conference start

Panthers emerge from back-and-forth contest with 2-point win.

RUSSIAVILLE — Following a first quarter of five ties and three lead changes Friday night at Richard R. Rea Gymnasium, Eastern and Western were locked into a Mid-Indiana Conference boys basketball battle as the Panthers clung to a 13-10 lead.

That storyline held true for most of the next 24 minutes as well, with momentum swinging like a pendulum as cheers shifted from one section of bleachers to another before Western emerged victorious, 50-48, improving to 2-0 in conference play and 2-2 overall.

“Job accomplished,” Western coach Bart Miller said. “The goal at the start of the night was to be 2-0 in the MIC and .500 overall at the end of the game. We’re happy to get the win, but it sure wasn’t the prettiest or easiest.”

For the Comets (0-3, 0-1) it was the toughest loss to swallow thus far in the early season.

“Yes, it hurts the most,” Eastern coach Kyle Bedwell said. “It’s a cross-county rival, and our kids played hard. I feel like we keep saying that, but we keep bringing it to another level. Give Western credit. They took care of business at the end, which is when you need to take care of business.”

Eastern missed three chances to tie over the final 40 seconds, missing two shots on one possession and failing to convert a Western turnover its next trip down the floor.

Following Western’s miscue under its own basket at :25, the Comets called timeout, but couldn’t capitalize on the possession as K.J. Myers missed from outside and Western rebounded.

“They kind of knocked us out of what we were running,” Bedwell said. “We had another timeout and that was my fault for not calling it to set something else up.”

 At the other end, Des Balentine missed the front end of a one-and-bonus with :09 showing but got his own rebound and the Panthers ran out the clock.

“We just gutted it out in the end, really,” Miller said. “We were careless with the ball, didn’t make good decisions a lot of the time, but give Eastern a ton of credit. When we had a chance to put a little bit of a knock-out punch on them, they came out throwing the punches.”

Behind a 10-2 second-quarter run, the Panthers pushed to their biggest lead of the night, a nine-point, 27-18 cushion with 1:57 on the clock.

The Comets closed the half with a 7-2 run courtesy of two Braden Gibson 3-pointers sandwiched around a Grant Cole free-throw to make it a 29-25 game at the half.

The Comets stormed out of the gate in the second half when Cole stole Western’s opening possession at midcourt and dunked at the other end, igniting an 11-2 Eastern run to make it 36-31 in favor of the visitors at 4:09.

Western answered with a 12-2 burst over the rest of the period, with Balentine scoring six straight to cap off the run and give the Panthers a 43-38 lead heading into the final frame.

Balentine scored 14 points for the Panthers, sharing top scoring honors with Austin Weaver, who came off the bench to knock down 4 of 5 treys. Ronnie Smith added 12 points. Austin Townsend snatched down a game-high 12 rebounds, including 10 in the first half, while Smith pulled down nine boards.

“Des showed up to play,” Miller said. “[Austin] Weaver knocked down some big shots for us. Austin [Townsend] and Ronnie [Smith] played great underneath. If they’re not getting those rebounds, we’re giving Eastern all the more shots and this very well could have turned into a loss.”

For the Comets, Cole led the way with 13 points, while Gibson added 12 and Myers chipped in 11.

“I give the kids a lot of credit for how hard they played,” Bedwell said. “I wasn’t sure how we would look because we were coming off the worst week of practice we’ve ever had, so I was glad to see the turnaround.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • SPL - KT072414 - Post 6 preview - pic It's tourney time for Sixers A quick glance at the stats of the Kokomo Post 6 senior baseball squad gives a clear insight into why the Sixers are 23-5 heading into the postseason. The Sixers boast small ERAs from the pitchers, a defense that commits just more than one error per game, and high batting averages.

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • Sports briefs for Thursday, July 24 Kokomo's Tionna Brown had a strong debut Wednesday in the USA Track and Field National Junior Olympic Championships. Brown competed in the prelims of the 200-meter dash in the girls 11- and 12-year old division. She won her heat with a time of 25.60 seconds — the best time of the 61 participants in her age division.

    July 24, 2014

  • SPL - KT072414 - Another Colts for web - pic COLTS: Team getting healthy as camp opens ANDERSON — Reggie Wayne's arrival Wednesday in an IndyCar driven by two- time Indianapolis 500 pole-sitter Ed Carpenter drew national attention. But the most important news coming out of reporting day for the Indianapolis Colts concerned the wide rec

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPL - KT072414 - KT Colts - pic COLTS: Wayne arrives in style for camp Ed Carpenter woke up to rain Wednesday morning and briefly worried his big opportunity might be lost. But the two-time Indianapolis 500 pole-sitter's fear proved to be unfounded. He delivered Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Reggie Wayne safely to Anderson University at the wheel of a two-seat IndyCar.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPL - KT072314 - Colts - pic COLTS: It's time to go to work There's a different kind of buzz surrounding the Indianapolis Colts as they prepare to report for training camp today at Anderson University.

    July 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPL - KT072314 - Western basketball - pic Panthers' Balentine working to get back to his best Western boys basketball standout Des Balentine looked right at home in Richard R. Gymnasium as he went through some shooting drills Tuesday afternoon.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPL - KT072314 - Ken de la Bastide column - pic DE LA BASTIDE: Brickyard has many contenders Before the winner of this Sunday’s Brickyard 400 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway gets the chance to kiss the bricks, media members will be complaining about the race.

    July 23, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPL - KT072314 - Brett Bowman column - column sig BOWMAN: Clauson repeats as ISW champion Noblesville open-wheel standout Bryan Clauson used steady consistency throughout the 2014 running of the Indiana Sprint Week for the USAC Amsoil National Sprint Car Series to earn his second straight ISW title.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • NFL Preseason Watch Out Football [Duplicate] Manziel scores as NFL's top-selling jersey CLEVELAND (AP) — Second on Cleveland's depth chart, Johnny Manziel already tops one NFL list. The popular rookie quarterback, who will begin his first training camp this week as a backup, had the league's top-selling jersey since April 1. The league

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPL - KT072214 - B1 briefs - mug Sports briefs for Tuesday, July 22 Kokomo’s Tionna Brown is set to compete in the USA Track and Field National Junior Olympic Championships this week at Humble, Texas.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

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
Official: Air Algerie Flight 'probably Crashed' TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans Raw: National Guard Helps Battle WA Wildfires Raw: Ukraine's Donetsk Residents Flee Senators Push to End Hamas Threat in Cease-Fire A Young Victim's Premonition, Hug Before MH17 U.N. School in Gaza Hit by Israeli Strike Raw: Deadly Storm Hits Virginia Campground Officials Warn of Avoidable Death in Hot Cars Death Penalty Expert: 'This is a Turning Point' House Committee at Odds Over Obama Lawsuit Raw: MH17 Victim's Bodies Arrive in Netherlands Raw: UN School Used As Shelter Hit by Tank Shell Raw: Gunmen Attack Iraqi Prison Convoy Plane Leaves Ukraine With More Crash Victims The Rock Brings Star Power to Premiere Raw: Families Travel to Taiwan Plane Crash Site Arizona Execution Takes Almost Two Hours Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record

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.