Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Breaking News


January 9, 2013

Western’s upset bid of Heights falls short

3A No. 4 Huskies overcome Panthers’ hot start in 10-point win

RUSSIAVILLE — Playing against Hamilton Heights’ girls basketball team is as tense as walking a razor’s edge. At any moment, the Huskies can get on a run, fueled by the defense of lightning quick guard Dakota Weatherford.

Western got off to a great start against Heights on Tuesday, building an 18-11 lead through one quarter and holding a 30-28 advantage at the half. But that knife edge eventually proved deadly as Heights posted a 62-52 victory.

The Class 3A No. 4 Huskies improved to 12-1 on the season and 5-0 in the Mid-Indiana Conference. HH ran its MIC win streak to 26 games. Western fell to 12-3, 4-1 in the MIC.

Heights played well on offense and defense, but so did Western. Weatherford was the difference. The 5-foot-5 guard snagged nine steals, nine rebounds and scored a game-high 24 points. Four of her 10 buckets came directly off her steals.

“She is so fast and it’s something you talk about before the game [when] you look at video,” Western coach Chris Keisling explained. “We had three good guards, but she’s so quick and her timing is so good on that spin-dribble turn to get that pick for a steal. She lives on that. She’s just an excellent player.”

Heights sets up opponents by allowing Weatherford to play essentially a free role defensively. Other Huskies will try and coax opposing ballhandlers into turning into open space to get free of their defender, and that’s when Weatherford will knife in — from anywhere on the floor — to swipe at the ball from the blind side.

She scored two buckets that way in the third quarter to help fuel a 16-5 run that put Heights up 44-37 late in the third quarter. Western trimmed the lead to two points, 44-42 on a second-chance hoop from Jessica Givens after an offensive rebound from Raven Black, but the Panthers got no closer. Heights led by five points or more throughout the fourth quarter.

Western finished with 24 turnovers. Heights had 17.

Givens led Western with 18 points and canned four triples in the opening half. She hit two treys as Western opened an 8-0 lead to start the game and hit a trey with a few seconds left in the opening quarter for Western to take a seven-point lead into the first stop.

“We took a left hook and a right cross in the first couple minutes of the game and persevered,” Heights coach Tod Windlan said, talking about how his squad turned the game its way. “We found [Givens]. We didn’t want her to be spotting up on the 3-point line shooting. We had a little heart to heart at halftime on that.

“I thought our physical conditioning really wore them down. I thought their legs went a little bit in the second half and we were able to exploit some things we were wanting to exploit on them.”

The Huskies start four guards and a forward, but gained ground on Western with the introduction of a couple post players off the bench. Morgan Burton had seven rebounds and four points off the bench, and Maranda Pennington added seven points and five rebounds.

Western got a dozen points and nine rebounds out of Black, whose spirited effort inside gave Western its best glimmers of hope down the stretch. Carley O’Neal added nine points and Caitlyn O’Neal eight.

“Jessica Givens had an outstanding game, shot the ball well, took it to the bucket, did all the things that I like to see her do,” Keisling said.

“In terms of effort and overall performance, the kids, I couldn’t be prouder of their performance. They battled all the way to the end.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Greatest Save brings Major Leaguers to Kokomo Community First Bank Executive Vice President Bob Hickman saw first hand the great benefits and excitement the Greatest Save program brought to the community of Evansville the last two years. He watched as Major League Baseball legends like Rollie Fi

    August 20, 2014

  • Age no opponent for some of NFL's veteran stars NEW YORK (AP) — There's something stunning happening on Michael Vick's head. You can't see them from far away, but up close, tiny gray hairs are starting to emerge — color-sapped reminders that the New York Jets quarterback is no longer the speedy y

    August 20, 2014

  • SPL - KT082014 - Western football preview - pic FOOTBALL: Western preview Western's football team ran the ball on 575 of its 634 offensive plays last season. Three players combined to account for 424 of the rushing attempts. Expect a much different look from the Panthers under new coach Ronnie Jankovich.

    August 20, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPL - KT082014 - Cass football preview - mug FOOTBALL: Cass preview Lewis Cass may lack experience entering this season, but not moxie. The Kings return just a handful of starters from last year’s team that finished 5-5, one of the few teams in recent program history that did not win more games than it lost.

    August 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPL - KT082014 - County boys XC preview - pic BOYS CROSS COUNTRY: Howard County preview Western's boys cross country team is ready to chase after more championship hardware. The Panthers are four-time defending Mid-Indiana Conference champions and two-time defending Logansport Sectional winners.

    August 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Prep roundup for Wednesday, Aug. 20 Taylor's boys soccer team got its season off to a flying start with a 5-1 victory over Western on Tuesday night, highlighted by a hat trick from Hunter Stephens. It marked the first time the Titans had beaten the Panthers in Mike Shane's tenure as coach.

    August 20, 2014

  • Sports briefs for Wednesday, Aug. 20 Visiting Judson University swept IU Kokomo 25-22, 25-22, 25-23 in NAIA volleyball action Tuesday night, spoiling the Cougars' home and season opener. Lindi Thomas led IUK with 16 kills on a .351 hitting percentage. She also had 10 digs.

    August 20, 2014

  • SPL - KT082014 - Ken de la Bastide column - column sig DE LA BASTIDE: Chase field is taking shape Lost in the media furor surrounding Tony Stewart was the fact that A.J. Almendinger recently qualified for the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship. Almendinger, driving for a single-car team, became the 12th different driver to score a win this season, qualifying the team for the championship hunt.

    August 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • TV Redskins Name Football [Duplicate] Simms, Dungy likely not to use 'Redskins' on TV NEW YORK (AP) — Two influential NFL voices — including CBS lead analyst Phil Simms, who will handle Washington's Week 4 game — said Monday they likely won't use the term "Redskins" when discussing the franchise. "My very first thought is it will be

    August 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT - KT081914 Northwestern football preview - pic FOOTBALL: Northwestern preview Northwestern's football program graduated a large senior class of more than 20 players from a 7-4 squad, leaving a fresh team that will play on different strengths. Coach John Hendryx said the Purple Tigers are a "pretty athletic group, and they're great kids. They're very, very coachable, they want to learn."

    August 19, 2014 2 Photos