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Kokomo guard Jace Rayl shoots a 3-pointer against Logansport on Friday night at Memorial Gym. Rayl scored 12 points on four 3-pointers to help the Kats bury the Berries 72-45.

Kokomo’s boys basketball team used hot 3-point shooting to whip Logansport 72-45 in a North Central Conference game Friday night at Memorial Gym.

The Wildkats finished 11 of 26 from 3-point range, making 11 for the second straight game. Jace Rayl drilled four 3-pointers to highlight the attack and Zavion Bellamy, Zion Bellamy and Shayne Spear hit two apiece.

“We had to shoot 11 for 26 from 3 with the way they were guarding us,” Kokomo coach John Peckinpaugh said. “They weren’t going to let us throw it in [to post Flory Bidunga]. You could tell early on that was their game plan and our guys made them pay. Jace Rayl stepped up, hit big shots, the Bellamys hit big shots and then Spear hit some big ones as well.”

The Kats’ 3-point shooting was one part of a good offensive night. The Kats also had balanced scoring and good ball movement. They finished with 21 assists on 28 field goals made.

“Whenever you share the ball like that,” Peckinpaugh said, “you have to be happy.”

Patrick Hardimon led the Kats (8-4, 3-0 NCC) with 14 points, Bidunga and Rayl had 12 points apiece and Zavion Bellamy and Spear had 10 apiece. Zion Bellamy and Spear dished five assists apiece and Zavion Bellamy and Rayl had three apiece.

Logansport coach Sherron Wilkerson said the Kats make you “pick your poison” with their offensive weapons.

“They’re a load,” he said. “They’re really athletic at all positions and when you have a dominant post at this level, man, it’s difficult. They have some set shooters, they have some guys who can get downhill, they have some guys who can post to complement the big fella in the middle. They have all the tools.”

Kokomo scored first and kept the lead the rest of the way. The Kats led 15-5 after the first quarter and 32-13 at halftime.

Logansport (2-9, 0-3) showed some fight in the third quarter, drawing to within 12 at 39-27 at 2:17, but Rayl followed with a 3-pointer and Bidunga scored on a putback to make it 44-27. After the Berries made four straight free throws to draw within 44-31, the Kats closed the quarter with a six-point flurry in the final :46.

First, Bidunga scored in the post. Next, Zion Bellamy took a steal and dished to his brother Zavion for a fastbreak layup. And after the Kats stymied the Berries’ final possession of the quarter — Bidunga blocked two shots and Zavion Bellamy rejected another — Hardimon scored in transition right before the buzzer for a 50-31 lead.

“I felt we made a decent run there in the third quarter, but their spurtability is very powerful,” Wilkerson said. “When you have a team that can go on spurts like that, it’s tough to negate.”

Kokomo cruised in the final quarter with its lead peaking at 31 when L.J. Gaines, the Kats’ lone senior, hit a crowd-pleasing 3-pointer for a 69-38 advantage at 2:40.

Bidunga grabbed 13 rebounds for his 10th double-double of the season. The 6-foot-10 sophomore center also blocked six shots and altered several more.

“We wanted to pull him away from the rim because we knew he was a really good rim protector,” Wilkerson said. “I thought at times, we were able to do that. We got him into a little bit of foul trouble, but when you have a guy down there who is talented, it’s tough, and he moves really well for a big guy, most big guys don’t have that type of footwork and that agility. He really puts you in a quagmire as far as the decisions you have to make.”

Logansport’s Noah Lange scored a game-high 15 points. The Berries finished 15 of 45 from the field. They had a 24-9 edge in free throw attempts, but failed to take advantage as they made only 13 of 24.

Kokomo visits Fort Wayne Northrop tonight.

“Quick turnaround. We’ll get in here [today] at 10 and we’ll watch film on Northrop and get some scout work in on the floor, then get our guys off their feet,” Peckinpaugh said.

GAME NOTES

Kokomo improved to 126-55 all-time against Logansport. ... State Rep. Mike Karickhoff honored Kokomo’s Terry Downham at halftime with an Indiana House of Representatives “Honoring Resolution” for his longtime service to Kokomo High School, the IHSAA, the Indianapolis Colts and Purdue’s football stat crew. Downham is a retired teacher and sports information director. He taught mathematics in Kokomo schools for 33 years and served as the Kats’ SID for 37 years. He still serves as the Kats’ public address announcer.

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