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 - KT071514 - B1 briefs - mug Athlete of the Week: Tionna Brown ATHLETE OF THE WEEK• NAME: Tionna Brown• SPORT: Track and field• ACCOMPLISHMENTS: The Kokomo seventh grader won three events at the USA Track and Field Junior Olympic national meet in Humble, Texas, in her first appearance at a national meet. Brown w

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Brown wins 3rd title at nationals HUMBLE, Texas — Kokomo middle schooler Tionna Brown surged to first in the 100 meter dash at the USA Track and Field Junior Olympic national meet Sunday, capping the weekend with her third championship.Competing in the girls 11-12-year-old division,

    July 28, 2014

  • SPL - KT072614 - Dana Neer column - column sig NEER: Starting and sustaining your workouts Here we go again, hoping to start your workout plan again on Monday. This time your plan is to make it stick, keep with it, follow through. Hopefully it will work.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • NASCAR Brickyard 400 Auto Racing-3 [Duplicate] It's 'Jeff Gordon Day' at IMS for record 5th time INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — With a fifth Brickyard 400 victory on the line Sunday, Jeff Gordon looked like the driver he was 20 years ago. Gordon nailed the final restart of the race — no given because restarts have been Gordon's Achilles heel — to pass Hen

    July 27, 2014 3 Photos

  • fishing clinic 02 (secondary pic) Kids fishing clinic is a blast for all The seasons come and go, but the excitement, challenge, allure and joy remain the same — off the chart. There are memorable moments, then there are occasions and special events that become tattoos for life.Still, joy is where you find it, and Saturda

    July 27, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPL - KT072214 - B1 briefs - mug Sports briefs for Sunday, July 27 Brown takes 2 titles at junior nationalsHUMBLE, Texas — Kokomo middle schooler Tionna Brown won two championships Saturday at the USA Track and Field Junior Olympic national meet. She won the 200 dash and the long jump.Brown avenged an earlier loss

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Colts lose Ballard to torn Achilles ANDERSON — Chuck Pagano delivered the news Saturday afternoon in a solemn tone, confirming running back Vick Ballard will miss the 2014 season.“It’s a part of the game. It’s an ugly part of the game,” the Indianapolis Colts head coach said shortly af

    July 27, 2014

  • SPL - KT072714 - John Martino column - column sig MARTINO: What's in a boat's name? I love marinas and the bigger the better. To me, they are one of the happiest places to be on earth. After all, who goes to a marina to have a bad time?

    July 27, 2014 4 Photos

  • SPL - KT072614 Colts notebook-pic Colts notebook: Ballard injured in Friday's practice ANDERSON — The first scary moment of Indianapolis Colts training camp came Friday afternoon courtesy of running back Vick Ballard.The former Mississippi State star went to the ground early in the public practice after catching an undefended pass in i

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sports briefs for Saturday, July 26 Miller goes 3-2 at freestyle nationalsFARGO, N.D. — Kokomo’s Fletcher Miller will wrestle for fifth place today in the final day of 220-pound action at the USA Wrestling Junior Freestyle Nationals. After scoring two wins on Thursday, Miller opened Fr

    July 26, 2014

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
Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow
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.