KOKOMO — At halftime Thursday night, nothing separated Kokomo and Logansport in their North Central Conference boys basketball game in Memorial Gym.
The game was tied at 33-all. Eventually, something had to give. Tayler Persons and Kokomo forced the game to go their way in the second half and snagged a 74-54 victory, the Kats’ sixth straight.
“Halftime, I knew it was a close game. They were hitting some tough shots,” said Persons, who scored 17 points after halftime, including his 1,000th career point with his final basket in the fourth quarter. “My mindset at halftime was I have to take this game over for the team, they needed it. I gave them a spark and we just ran with it.”
Persons hit a 3-pointer and seconds later took a steal in for a layup to give the Kats a 46-45 lead in the third quarter. That turned out to be the final lead change of the game.
“He’s definitely a manchild out there and obviously a kid that’s played a lot of basketball and a very good player, and in my opinion he has a great supporting cast around him,” Logansport coach Pat Skaggs said.
Starting with Persons’ five-point swing, the Wildkats (11-6, 3-2 NCC) went on a 17-0 run spanning mid third quarter to mid fourth quarter to take control. Mykal Cox hit a 3-pointer and Persons had a hoop-and-harm 3-point play in transition to close the fourth. Erik Bowen scored a free throw and a bucket off offensive rebounds to start the fourth quarter and the Kats were off and running with a 55-45 lead.
“I think that’s our strongpoint of our team, our emotion and the way we feed off each other,” Persons said of Kokomo’s second-half surge. “Once we get going like that, it’s really tough to beat us and they couldn’t match up with the intensity.”