Posted On: 02/20/18 10:01 PM

The season is closing down to an end and you saw two teams in Kokomo and Fishers really get into their strides and have a very competitive game with Fishers coming out on top, 58-53.  They were led by Willie Jackson with 20 points, 15 coming in the second half and really stepping up into the role to takeover the game.  Kokomo was led by Anthony Barnard with 19 points and 5 rebounds.
Kokomo Getting Healthy In Time For Sectionals 
For Kokomo, they have been wanting to get Jeremy Baker back and really integrated into this lineup for a while and he’s starting to play more and in this one he was able to make a couple of plays. The best part of this game for me was to see the scoring ability of Kokomo. They need a little more consistency but they have a ton of options from Trajan Deckard, the best pure scorer, Anthony Barnard, a guy who can go off the bounce and create in the lane, and Baker.  Having those three running at their best will really give them a chance against a tough Lafayette Jeff team who matches up pretty well with them physically. A week from tonight and they need to be ready.
Fishers Press Could Be Asset In Future
Not that it happened the whole game but Kokomo was able to really take advantage of Kokomo’s turnovers when they really pressed up on them at different times in the game. It wasn’t something they can sustain for an entire game but it was a part that really allowed them to be able to turn things back in their favor. I think for games in the coming weeks, if they can pick and choose their times to use it and pick it up at the full court, it could help in game where they are trying to pick off better teams. They got a great draw in Sectionals but would likely have to take advantage of that in a possible Championship game against Hamilton Southeastern or Carmel.
Kokomo Struggles To Get Fouls, Free Throws
In the second half of the game, when Kokomo needed to keep the offense going, they weren’t getting much help from the free throw line. They only were able to draw 8 fouls in the game and only shot 1/3 from the free throw line.  Fishers on the other hand, was able to go 14/19 from the line and really keep the pressure on Kokomo. Fishers did well to avoid fouling but Kokomo was a little more willing to not try and draw contact.  Both teams hit 12 field goals in the second half, Fishers got the decided advantage at the line and got them over the top at the end.
Willie Jackson, Terry Hicks Took Over
In the second half, Jackson’s 15 points were huge. He was really aggressive getting to the rim and trying to make plays. There wasn’t a ton of that in the first half. Hicks was just as good finding some really good post-up opportunities down low and took advantage of his athleticism on his way to 18 points on 7/10 shooter.  Fishers needs more of this from these two. They don’t have too many “alphas” in terms of aggressiveness and in close games you need those guys to be able to take control and get buckets when it counts. I was impressed with both of their games, especially in the second half. Want to see more of that.
Fishers Trying To Gain Footing Before Sectionals
This season has been up and down for Fishers. They have a new head coach and a new direction and sometimes, most times, that takes a bit to really get going. With their win on Tuesday, they are 11-10 on the year, just over .500 and now looking at closing out their regular season with Warren Central on Thursday. While it isn’t likely they pull off the upset of the best team in the state that stayed undefeated tonight, what you want to see is competitiveness. In their games this season, only two of the ten losses came with more than double-digit difference. Eight times they lost this year, they were right there at the end and now they won a highly competitive game against Kokomo where they took control in the second half. Moving past the end of the regular season, their draw in Sectionals set them up to have a shot with a bye game and avoiding a first game with either Carmel or Hamilton Southeastern. While they want to finish better than .500, right now that is on the table and would be a success with everything considered.