It looked like the girls basketball season opener it was Friday at Northwestern as visiting Kokomo took a 51-41 win over an injury-plagued but stubborn Tiger squad.
“Sloppy” would be the kindest way to describe a contest in which the teams combined for a whopping 71 turnovers.
But both teams also found some bright spots, especially in the second half, as the squads settled in and played much better basketball over the final 16 minutes. Several times the Lady Kats appeared ready to turn the game into a runaway, but Northwestern’s young team never gave in and kept it close to the end.
The brightest spot for the Kats was the 3-point shooting of senior Jasmine Love, who sank 5 of 9 attempts en route to a game-high 18 points. Two other seniors, starter Alanis Jones and sub Cierra Tinder, scored 11 points apiece for Kokomo.
With five players in street clothes due to injury and only one senior dressed for the game, the Tigers hung tough, relying on the steady inside play of sophomore post Brooke Treadway, who posted a double-double with 13 points and a whopping 19 rebounds.
Early on, it appeared the Kats might be headed to a blowout win. Kokomo scored the first nine points of the game before quick NW junior guard Kaitlyn Daanen sank two free throws to make it 9-2 at the first stop.
Northwestern struggled early, turning the ball over on its first seven possessions of the game. But Kokomo had trouble finding the basket and made plenty of errors of its own to allow the Tigers to stay close.
Treadway’s basket early in the second period cut the lead to 9-4, but Kokomo responded and stretched the lead to 20-12 on Schnetavia Williams’ hoop with 1:03 to play in the half. Treadway answered with a hoop-and-harm three-point play to cut it to 20-15, but Kaila Stiner hit a pair of freebies to put the Kats up 22-15 at intermission.