By TRIBUNE SPORTS STAFF
---- — Kokomo’s boys swimming team put forth a dominant effort Wednesday night against an undermanned Marion squad, winning 11 events in a 145-23 victory over the Giants.
Nathan Banush led the Wildkats (2-0 in dual meets) as a triple winner. He won the 200 individual medley in 2:18.95, teamed with Logan Hawk, Alex Whiteman and Caleb Cook to win the 200 medley relay in 1:53.90, and joined with Blake Brookshire, Josh Church and Phillip Heilman to win the 200 free relay in 1:42.43.
Hawk was tops in the 200 free in 2:01.58. Church won the 50 free in :26.27. And Brookshire topped the field in the 100 backstroke in 1:11.09.
Adam Harding won the 100 butterfly in 1:06.41, then teamed with Colton Pratt, Brian Harding and Joey Rodriguez to win the 400 free relay in 4:19.80.
Jake Delrymple added a victory in diving (134.10), while Jake Benzinger won the 100 free (1:03.79) and Tyler Schorm took a blue ribbon in the 500 free (5:58.95).
“Marion only had three guys, so we were really looking to just get some good times and find some things our before our meet Monday against Western,” Kokomo coach Jay Glick said. “Our guys swam pretty well considering I’ve been hitting them pretty hard training-wise in practices.”
KOKOMO 101, MARION 79
The Wildkats won eight events, including 1-2 finishes in four events, to outlast the Giants in an early-season matchup between North Central Conference rivals.
Kokomo boasted four double winners.
Jessica Gates took top honors in the 200 free in 2:29.02 before teaming with Sydney Glassburn, Jessica Estep and Amy Laudenstein to win the 200 free relay in 2:05.05.
Autumn Carroll (2:47.49) and Brook Dill (2:50.99) went 1-2 in the 200 IM, and Carroll later returned to win the 100 breast stroke in 1:26.52.
Dill (1:19.22) and Jasmine Brown (1:28.97) went 1-2 in the 100 butterfly, marking Dill’s first varsity win in her freshman campaign.
Estep (:28.12) and Glassburn (:29.96) went 1-2 in the 50 free, and Glassburn later took top honors in the 100 free in 1:08.27.
Hannah Reecer won the diving portion with a lifetime-best 208.35, with teammate Breanna Ebenhart finishing second (97.05).
“I’ve been talking about time drops, and [Wednesday] night we dropped a little over 150 seconds [as a team], which is a lot,” Kokomo coach Doniate Walters said. “But I had a lot of girls in new spots, trying to figure things out for the conference meet. Marion is developing its program and showed some nice, challenging depth. We’ve been out of race mode lately, so we saw some things that we need to get back in the water and work on. But, I’m excited about what I’m seeing and the time we’re dropping. The kids have so much potential, and once we get them to see that and believe in themselves, we will make a lot of headway. It’s exciting because we’re starting to see those light bulbs click on, though.”
TIPTON 81, ELWOOD 69
The Class 2A No. 3-ranked Blue Devils put four players in double figures, and used an early flourish of offense to help keep the Panthers at bay, improving to 6-0 with the road victory.
Tipton raced out to a 28-14 lead by the end of the first quarter, only to have Elwood (4-4) close to within 43-37 by the half. The Blue Devils were able to take advantage of Elwood’s lack of depth, which featured just a six-person rotation, wearing the Panthers down in the second half. Tipton maintained an eight point lead (62-54) entering the fourth quarter.
“Pace of play has been huge for us,” Tipton coach Nick Comer said. “We continue to make it an 84-foot game for 32 minutes. Although we had some defensive breakdowns – 69 points is a lot of to give up – we were able to outrace them in the end.”
Kacie Juday led Tipton with 21 points, 11 rebounds, seven steals, five assists and two blocked shots. Macie Lively added 20 points and six assists, Lela Crawford finished with 20 points and six rebounds, and Morgan Mahaney added 11 points.
“Almost every game, we’ve had five kids who have put together nice scoring games for us,” Comer said. “We have nice guard play, but we have other kids who can knock down open shots, which makes us really hard to guard.”
Jessie Noone and Kesley Hughes led Elwood with 16 points each, while Tenasha Stevens added 15 points and 10 boards.