Prep roundup for Friday, Dec. 24

·3 min read

Dec. 24—Western's boys basketball team beat Vincennes Lincoln 56-24 Thursday afternoon at the historic Hoosier Gym in Knightstown.

The 1986 movie "Hoosiers" made the gym famous. It served as the home court of the Hickory Huskers in the movie.

The Panthers (7-2) had control throughout against the Alices (0-5). Western led 10-4 after the first quarter, 27-9 at halftime and 42-18 after the third quarter.

"I thought overall it was just a really good experience for our kids," Western coach Mike Lewis said. "I thought that they took the approach to honor the game and play the game the right way. In that gym, sometimes you can get out of yourself and not do what we do, but I thought our kids were committed to getting us off to a good start on the defensive end and sharing it offensively. I thought the ball moved much better."

Evan Kretz led the Panthers with 24 points on 10 field goals, including four 3-pointers. Kretz has scored 20 or more points in seven of Western's nine games with 19 in each of the other two games.

Also for Western, Mitchell Dean scored nine points and Parker Dean had six points.

Lewis credited Michael Gaines for sparking the defensive effort.

"They have a freshman [Joel Sanders] averaging 14 points a game and I thought Mike did an outstanding job of not letting him get any clean looks to get them going. I thought that was an important part of the game ... and then I thought our bigs did a great job rebounding the basketball and limiting them to one shot each time and that allowed us to get out in transition and score some easy buckets," he said.

Western opened 0-2, but has followed with seven wins to reach 7-2, which is its best start since the 2011-12 team also opened 7-2.

"I think the best thing about this group is they're not satisfied with where they're at. There's still a lot of room for growth and it all starts with making sure we have the right approach every day in practice," he said. "We have good kids who are committed to trying to do the right thing for their teammates so I expect us to continue t try to play good basketball."

Following the Christmas break, Western has a three-game week with a trip to Lafayette Central Catholic on Jan. 4 followed by home games against West Lafayette (Jan. 7) and Logansport (Jan. 8).

WRESTLING

BURVAN DUALS

Kokomo's wrestling team posted a 5-4 record at Rensselaer's Joe Burvan Duals on Wednesday and Thursday and had eight wrestlers come away with winning records.

On Wednesday, Kokomo fell 42-39 to Southport and 39-37 to Rensselaer, then beat South Dearborn 66-15 and beat West Lafayette 49-33. On Thursday the Kats lost 56-25 to Adams Central and 60-17 to eventual team champ Hamilton Heights, then beat Decatur Central 48-33, beat Jennings County 45-36, and beat Frankfort 45-25.

Omarion Clark-Stitts (138 pounds), Kyman Howard (160) and Chad Washburn (195) were each 8-1. Kyan Gamble (152) and Jaquan East (182) were both 7-1. Yashin Arrington (106) was 7-2. Blayke Acord (126) was 6-3. And Gavin Zimmerman (220) was 4-3.

"This was tough competition. As you can see no one, even my hammers, went in there and didn't have a loss," Kokomo coach Jacob Bough said, noting a number of strong performances by the Kats and high-level opponents. "Overall, we avenged a loss to Frankfort from a couple weeks ago and it was a totally different team [Thursday] than it was a couple weeks ago. We're not that great of a dual meet team, but these guys are really starting to come together as a team, which is really cool."

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