Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana


January 17, 2014

County tourney returns

Panthers, Tigers, Comets and Titans converge at Taylor tonight

Welcome back old friend. It’s nice to see you again.

The Howard County Boys Basketball Tournament returns to the hardwood tonight at Taylor following a two-year hiatus where the four county schools joined Kokomo and Maconaquah in the Old School Sectional.

Now, the county tourney is back and players are eager to stir up local rivalries.

“We’re excited. The county tourney’s just a great atmosphere with the four county schools,” Western coach Bart Miller said. “The four county schools, we’ve always had a rivalry, all four of us against each other. The county players all look forward to winning that county tourney.”

It’s also nice to have teams gathered together.

“There’s some nice rivalries, but it’s also nice to be in the same gym and see each other play,” Northwestern coach Jim Gish said.

The tournament tips at 6 p.m. with Eastern taking on host school Taylor. Following that, Western and Northwestern clash at approximately 7:45. The tourney concludes on Saturday with the consolation at 6 p.m. and the championship at 7:45.

EASTERN (1-5) at TAYLOR (2-5)

The Comets and Titans will renew their rivalry at Center Court in the first game of the tourney.

Taylor has won three of the four matchups in the series under coach Andy Lewman, who is now in his third season leading the Titans.

Taylor is coming off of a 60-50 loss at Mississinewa last weekend, while Eastern will be seeing its first action of 2014, not having taken the court for game action since a 78-43 thrashing of Clinton Central on Dec. 21, the Comets first win of the season.

Lewman sees Eastern’s layoff as a potentially-major advantage for the Comets.

“They’re going to want to try and dictate tempo, and we’re going to have to try to make sure we can adjust and play the way we want to play,” Lewman said. “There’s always the possibility that they’re going to be a bit more fresh because we played a game after only getting a couple voluntary days in last week before coming in this week and trying to get our legs again as school started. That’s always a challenge. Trying to be as fresh we can going down the stretch [tonight] is going to be a big part of it.

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