Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Sports

December 2, 2012

Persons scores career-best 28 as Kokomo survives Fishers

Kokomo’s boys basketball team posted a perfect 13-0 record at Memorial Gym last season. The Wildkats won Coca-Cola Old School Sectional and Class 4A Sectional 7 titles in posting their first unbeaten home record since the 1995-96 season.

The Kats had the Big House buzzing again Saturday night in their 2012-13 home opener.

Kokomo beat Fishers 75-62 for its 16th straight home win, a streak that dates back to the final month of the 2010-11 regular season.

“I just give a big shoutout to the student section — the Mo Block is what they call themselves — and all the fans out there,” junior guard Tayler Persons said. “I love it here, it’s like a second home to me. It’s the best.”

Persons turned in an outstanding performance to lead the Kats past the Tigers. The All-Area player scored a career-high 28 points and also had six assists, six rebounds and two steals.

“I’m really impressed with Persons,” Fishers coach Joe Leonard said. “He is the real deal. He is tough. And it seemed like whenever they needed a bucket, he could just go get it or create for someone else.”

Added Kokomo coach Brian McCauley: “Tayler Persons was just an animal and I mean that in the utmost way. He was phenomenal.”

Persons was incredibly efficient. He made 9 of 12 shots from the field, including 2 of 3 from 3-land, and he made 8 of 8 free throw attempts.

“Just working in practice, shooting after practice,” Persons said when asked about the key to his hot shooting from the field. “The first game, I shot bad and I knew I had to get better. [He was 4 of 13 against Western.] Everyone had confidence in me and I just had a good game [Saturday].”

Persons is settling into a bigger role this season — and is meeting the challenge. Through three games, he is averaging 18.7 points, 7.3 rebounds, 6.7 assists and 4.3 steals per game.

“I’m very confident,” he said. “I think I can come in and take a leadership role. We can do big things this year if everyone knows their role. I think we can do something really good this year.”

Persons came up biggest against Fishers when Kokomo needed a spark.

Kokomo (3-0) led 20-12 after the opening quarter and 30-19 at halftime thanks to a 15-2 advantage in points off turnovers, but Fishers cranked up the pressure in the third quarter and clawed back into the game. The Tigers outscored the Kats 20-14 in the quarter thanks to 10 points off turnovers, but Persons’ nine points helped the Kats withstand the Tigers’ charge.

The Tigers (2-2) went ahead 39-38 with 1:51 left in the quarter — but Persons drilled a 3-pointer and assisted on LaBradford Sebree’s buzzer-beating 3-pointer, and the Kats had a 44-39 lead at the end of the quarter.

The Kats scored the first seven points of the final quarter to regain control at 51-39. Persons fueled the run with five points, including a hoop-and-harm 3-point play.

Backup forward Brad Dockemeyer gave the Kats a spark with a pair of corner 3-pointers for a 57-43 lead at 4:50. The Tigers came no closer than eight the rest of the way as the Kats secured the win with good free throw shooting. They hit 18 of 20 from the line in the second half, 22 of 27 for the game.

“I’m really proud of our players. As a coaching staff, we did our best to prepare them all week, and they came out and executed the game plan almost to perfection. It was really well done. They deserve a quality win and they got it,” McCauley said.

“We knew at halftime, [the Tigers] were going to have to bring the pressure because they were down 11 and they do a great job of that with their length and athleticism. They got us sped up just a little bit and we had some turnovers, but I was proud of how we weathered some adversity there and hit some timely buckets.”

McCauley noted the play of several players including Eric Bowen, who had 16 points and a game-high nine rebounds; Sebree, who had 12 points and five rebounds; and Dockemeyer (10 points) and Mykal Cox off the bench.

“Our bench outscored their bench [12-0] and that was crucial,” he said.

Jaylon Brown, an Evansville recruit, led Fishers with 18 points. He had 11 points during the Tigers’ big third quarter.

“We thought if we could have just stayed close there [after taking the lead in the third quarter],” Leonard said. “Basically, they made us fight uphill all night. At the end, you kind of slip down the hill.

“I’m proud of the kids’ effort. Kokomo is a pretty good basketball team. [McCauley] does it every year.”

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports
  • SPL - KT042114 - Athlete of the week - mug Simmerman is Athlete of the Week Simmerman helped the Comets go 3-0 last week.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPL - KT042014 KT Prep Roundup - pic Prep Roundup for Sunday, April 20 Eastern's softball squad built a 5-0 lead through six innings, only to have Taylor rally for four runs before the Class 2A No. 9-ranked Comets were able to close the door for a 5-4 win Saturday in a non-conference game at Taylor. Maddie Vint put East

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPL - KT042014 Ortmann-mug Ortmann headed to Taylor When Northwestern senior Graham Ortmann learned last month that he'd been named a recipient of the Lilly Endowment, that was a major weight off his shoulders. The endowment, working with the Community Foundation of Howard County, awards full tuition

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sports briefs for Sunday, April 20 Maupin set to play hoops at Hanover WALTON -- Lewis Cass senior point guard Maci Maupin will continue her basketball career at Hanover College. She will play for Hanover coach Molly Jones, who just completed her 15th year at the Division III school l

    April 20, 2014

  • SPL - KT042014 - John Martino column - Martino column sig MARTINO: You may have company in woods Daylight has lengthened and cold winds have finally given way to warm, gentle breezes, for the most part, anyway. This is the special time of year when many of us enjoy being outdoors, a welcome escape from the four walls that almost held us hostage

    April 20, 2014 3 Photos

  • NWHS tennis 04 Prep Roundup for Saturday, April 19 Northwestern's girls tennis team got a sweep from its doubles tandems and a point from the No. 1 singles player to edge Northfield 3-2 Friday on the Northwestern courts, improving to 2-1 on the season. Emily Harshman won 6-3, 6-2 at No. 1 singles, Me

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sports briefs for Saturday, April 19 Swain records KCC's first ace of 2014 Noblesville's Larry Swain hit the first hole in one of the new season at the Kokomo Country Club on Thursday. Swain used a nine-iron to ace the 160-yard hole No. 16, recording his first ever hole in one. Josh Mag

    April 19, 2014

  • SPL - KT041814 - Prep roundup - pic Prep roundup for Friday, April 18 Tanner Guyer and Sam Seagrave led the way as Kokomo's boys golf team scored a win in its season opener Thursday at Kokomo Country Club.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sports briefs for Friday, April 18 Kokomo High School will host the 2014 Howard County free physicals from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on May 14.

    April 18, 2014

  • SPL - KT041714 Kokomo-Western baseball - pic 2 Kats top Panthers in baseball Since the inception of class sports, the annual early-season baseball matchup between Kokomo and Western had been solely for in-county bragging rights. With Western moving up to Class 4A for the next two seasons because of the IHSAA's new success factor, the rivals met up Wednesday as potential sectional opponents for the first time since 1997.

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

NCAA Men's Basketball Poll
Featured Ads
SportsKT twitter
More kokomotribune.com
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP Video
Raw: More Than 100,000 Gather for Easter Sunday Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.