Demarius Warren had quietly been putting together a solid senior season through the Kokomo boys basketball team’s first 11 games, averaging just a shade under nine points per outing.
Warren broke out in a major way Tuesday night, scoring a career-high 30 points and pulling down seven rebounds to help the Wildkats overcome a sluggish start and eventually overwhelm Westfield in an 80-63 win at Memorial Gym.
The 6-foot-5 forward joined the Wildkats’ program as a junior a season ago, but is in his first season playing at the varsity level. He says he’s thankful to have the opportunity to play a vital role for the team, especially when, two years ago, none of this seemed likely.
“I feel this season so far that I have shocked a lot of people,” Warren explained. “Since I’m doing so well now, people have said I should’ve played [varsity] last year, but last year wasn’t my time. Especially last year with the people we had on the team like LA [LaBradford Sebree] and Hakim [Burnett] – I did not deserve to play, especially with it being my first year playing. I had to grow up and man up. Coach told me in the summer this team was depending on my shoulders to step up. So, I’m trying my hardest to do that.”
Warren put together the best game of his career in efficient fashion. He finished the night 10 of 13 from the field — including 2 of 2 from 3-point range — and 8 of 9 from the free throw line. He scored 25 points in the middle quarters, including a 17-point third quarter on 5-of-6 firing from the field and 6-of-7 shooting from the line. Kokomo led by five at halftime, 36-31, and its lead ballooned to 64-44 through three quarters.
Warren credited his teammates, senior point guard Mykal Cox in particular, for playing a vital role in his huge night. Cox finished with 12 points and eight assists, feeding Warren several times in the post for finishes around the basket.