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Triton Central's 12-game win streak ends at historic Memorial Gymnasium

KOKOMO – The inability to deliver a knockout blow cost Class 2A, No. 13 Triton Central its 12-game win streak.

Aviannah Pollard splashed her fourth three-pointer of the game with 11 seconds left in the fourth quarter to lead Kokomo to a 49-48 win in the first-ever meeting between the two girls basketball programs.

Hallie Schweitzer missed a one-and-bonus free throw with six seconds left and the Tigers were hampered by a 10-for-17 performance (59%) from the free-throw line in the loss.

“It was a game of runs,” said Triton Central head coach Bryan Graham. “They weathered our storm and fought back. We weathered their storm and it went down to the final seconds. This will help us get better for the long stretch here at the end going into the sectional.”

Schweitzer finished with 11 points, nine rebounds and four assists.

Triton Central (14-4) was led by Brooklyn Bailey, who had a stellar first quarter, with 19 points and seven rebounds. The junior center had 12 points in the opening eight minutes, going 5-for-5 from the field, to push the Tigers to an 18-9 lead.

“She was on fire early,” admitted Graham.

The Wildkats (8-11), who entered the game on a six-game losing streak, settled down in the second quarter and turned a 21-9 deficit into a 26-25 lead just before halftime.

“They got a lot more aggressive on defense. They were face-guarding Lizzie (Graham) and Maryrose (Felling) and we got kind of complacent,” said Bryan Graham. “We talked about that at halftime and started doing better with that. We have to learn to do that, quite frankly, quicker.”

 

 

Schweitzer hit a 3-pointer with 16 seconds left to stake the Tigers to a 28-26 lead at the break.

A 6-0 run by Triton Central in the third quarter was countered by a barrage of 3s from a Kokomo team shooting just 22% from the 3-point arc.

Pollard hit back-to-back 3s to tie the game at 34-all and Regan McClain followed with another 3 for the lead. Delaney Truax added a fourth 3 to give Kokomo a 40-36 lead after three quarters.

Bailey and Graham combined to score seven straight points to start the fourth quarter.

Kokomo battled back to take a 46-45 lead with 2:27 to go.

Bailey put the Tigers on top 47-46 and Schweitzer hit a free throw with 26 seconds left to make it 48-46.

Pollard was 6-for-26 from the 3-point line entering the game but hit 4 of 6 against the Tigers, including the game winner.

Kokomo won the junior varsity game, 42-29.

Bella Ball led Triton Central with eight points and eight rebounds. Jocelyn Firebaugh finished with seven points, six rebounds, four assists and eight steals.

The Tigers return to the court Tuesday against Covenant Christian (5-13).

Notes: Kokomo calls Memorial Gymnasium (photo) home. The arena was opened on Oct. 20, 1949, and has served as the home court for four state championship basketball teams. Upon its opening, it became the largest gymnasium of its kind in the world with capacity for more than 7,000 spectators. Today, the seating capacity is 5,224 but still maintains the look and feel of a 70-year-old gymnasium. Kokomo will travel to Fairland next season to complete the home-and-home series. … Due to injuries, Triton Central dressed just seven players for the JV game including manager Allie Peterson, who played basketball in middle school. Peterson hit a pair of free throws in the loss.

 

Kokomo 49, Triton Central 48

TC – Schweitzer 4-13 2-6 11, Graham 3-7 0-0 7, Brown 1-2 0-0 2, Felling 0-2 2-2 2, Bailey 8-11 3-5 19, Harris 0-2 2-3 2, Ross 2-3 1-1 5. Totals: 18-40 10-17 48.

KO – White 2-7 0-2 4, Elliott 3-7 0-0 6, McClain 5-11 1-2 14, Pollard 4-6 0-0 12, Drake 2-15 0-0 4, Truax 3-5 0-0 7, Stewart 1-2 0-0 2. Totals: 20-53 1-4 49.

SCORE BY QUARTERS

TC (14-4)  18  10    8  12  --  48

KO (8-11)    9  17  14    9  --  49

Three-point field goals: TC 2-6 (Schweitzer 1-1, Graham 1-3, Brown 0-1, Harris 0-1), KO 8-26 (White 0-1, Elliott 0-1, McClain 3-7, Pollard 4-6, Drake 0-8, Truax 1-3). Rebounds: TC 26 (Schweitzer 9, Graham 1, Brown 1, Felling 5, Bailey 7, Harris 2, Ross 1), KO 30 (White 5, Elliott 7, McClain 10, Pollard 2, Geyton 2, Drake 1, Truax 1, Stewart 2). Assists: TC 9 (Schweitzer 4, Brown 3, Harris 2), KO 11 (White 4, Elliott 1, McClain 2, Pollard 2, Drake 2). Steals: TC 1 (Bailey 1), KO 2 (White 1, Pollard 1). Blocks: TC 2 (Felling 1, Ross 1), KO 3 (White 1, Elliott 1, Drake 1). Total fouls: TC 9, KO 16. Fouled out: Drake (KO). Turnovers: TC 8, KO 9.

JV

Kokomo 42, Triton Central 29

TC: Ball 8, Firebaugh 7, Spall 5, Davis 3, Coen 2, Collins 2, Peterson 2.

KO: Kirby 14, Carpenter 9, Stroman 7, Stewart 4, Faison 2, Moore 2, Williams 2.

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