Wildkats overpower Anderson, 62-49

Written on 02/19/2024
Goad Sports Media

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The Kokomo Wildkats continued their impressive season by dropping the Anderson Indians, 62-49, at Memorial Gymnasium on Fri., Feb. 16. The game was highlighted by a pair of overpowering performances from seniors Flory Bidunga and Karson Rogers.

Bidunga continued to pad his national resumè by recording a triple-double, but it wasn’t the typical points/rebounds/assists trio most basketball fans are used to seeing. The Kansas recruit scored 17 points, grabbed 24 rebounds, and blocked 10 shots; an amazing defensive output that literally gave Anderson no chance at being competitive in the game.

If the Indians thought Bidunga was their biggest worry, they neglected to account for Rogers, who led all scorers with 23 points and 11 rebounds, racking up a double-double. Junior Zion Bellamy added 11 points and four assists to ensure Anderson walked home with the loss.

Feeling buoyed by a four-game winning streak, Anderson’s Javon Warfield gave his best effort, scoring 13 points. He was joined in double digits by Damien King with 11. But the streak was broken at Memorial Gymnasium, leaving the Indians with a respectable 18-5 record and a cemented second-place ranking in the North Central Conference behind the Wildkats.

Kokomo continued its winning ways on Feb. 17 with a 59-37 manhandling of Tippecanoe Valley on the road. The team was ranked No. 7 in the state before the weekend, and improved its season record to 21-3. The Wildkats are winners of 12 straight going into the regular-season finale on the road at Huntington North.

With a record of just 7-14, the Vikings may seem like a bump in the road as Kokomo tries to finish out undefeated in 2024 heading into tournament play. But the Wildkats will have to contain senior guard Zach Nash, who is averaging nearly 16 points per game.

After that, it’s on to IHSAA sectional play, where Kokomo holds the state record for most sectional titles with 76. They will travel to Lafayette Jefferson High School on Tue., Feb. 27, and play in the opening round against Lafayette Harrison (12-11 on Feb. 17). The Kats downed Harrison on Jan. 12 by a score of 76-42.

The winner of that game will advance to play Lafayette Jefferson (12-9 on Feb. 16) on Fri., March 1. On the other side of the bracket, McCutcheon (4-15 on Feb. 17) faces Marion (8-13 on Feb. 17) on Tue., Feb. 27, and the winner will face Logansport (10-12 on Feb. 16) on Fri., March 1. The sectional final will be played on Sat., March 2, and the Wildkats hope to defend their sectional title that night.

The chances of a sectional repeat are pretty high. Kokomo beat every team in the sectional during the regular season in convincing fashion, outscoring its rivals, 358-229. Logansport gave the Kats the hardest fight, losing by 15. Harrison fared worst against Kokomo, losing by 34 points.

See additional photos of this game, courtesy of Goad Sports Media, here or by visiting the Lantern’s Facebook page or group.