Archive for February 9, 2016

WILDKATS TRAVEL TO DOWNTOWN INDIANAPOLIS AND SURPRISE NO. 7 ARSENAL TECH IN BOYS HOOPS

On his birthday, Ty Sparling outhustles Arsenal Tech to a loose ball in Kokomo's upset victory.

On his birthday, Ty Sparling outhustles Arsenal Tech to a loose ball in Kokomo’s upset victory.

BY DEAN HOCKNEY

INDIANAPOLIS The Kokomo Wildkats limped into downtown Indianapolis on Feb. 4 on the heels of losing three consecutive games before squeaking by in a come-from-behind victory at Class 2A Lewis Cass. So it was no wonder few gave them a chance against Class 4A No. 7 Arsenal Tech. And after a 12-0 Tech run in the first half – with Mr. Basketball candidate C.J. Walker on the bench with a “tweaked knee” – it looked like the Titans would win the first meeting between the two school since 1986. But as the old saying goes, there is a reason you play the game.

After several scoldings by Kokomo head coach Matt Moore, Kokomo came to life and rattled off a 17-0 run of its own, took command of the game by 20 points in the third quarter, then held on for dear life for a stunning 83-79 victory at Reuben Behlmer Gymnasium.

“Anytime you can win on the road and in the way we did; wow,” exclaimed a joyous Moore after the game. “Jeron (Gray) really set the tempo for us tonight, and he is sick. Jordan (Matthews) was solid and did a great job. And Ty Sparling; you have to love the kid. He has not played well on a consistent level, but he was huge tonight. As much as the other guys, we win this game because Ty came out and it was ‘T-Money’ tonight. I am happy for them because I don’t think, except for the coaching staff and a few guys on the bus, many people thought we had a legitimate shot to get this one.”

The Wildkats started the game in solid fashion, leading 9-7 midway through the first quarter. It was 17-16 Kokomo after one quarter, and 20-16 on a Sparling triple. But that is when Tech rattled off 12 consecutive points to seemingly take control 28-20. But a 9-0 Kokomo run showed the Kats were not out of the game – and neither apparently was Walker, who somehow recovered from the knee injury to enter the game in the second stanza. Kokomo led 37-29 at the half.

In the third quarter Kokomo continued to play Tech’s rim-to-rim, up-tempo style of basketball. After ending the half on a 17-1 run, it was a 20-1 jaunt before Tech scored – and before the Tech crowd knew it, Kokomo was on a 49-21 run and led by 20 (69-49) midway through the final quarter.

“I thought our guys did a great job of taking what they gave us,” said Moore. “We then had to think about when not to shoot and slow it down – I think I said at one point, ‘First to 80 wins,’ and we did.”

Kokomo was led by Matthews, who had an unconventional double-double of 23 points and 10 fouls drawn – he hit 13 free throws, including several down the stretch to help seal the win. Birthday boy Sparling dropped in 19 points on 7 for 9 accuracy. Gray ran the point and tallied 16 points, four assists and two steals. Keenen Wheeler scored 11 points and Marcelle Kenner nabbed nine boards as the Kats outrebounded the high-flying Titans 39-29.

Kokomo (9-8) is now preparing for the inaugural North Central Conference tournament, which begins Feb. 13 at Tech and McCutcheon. Kokomo battles Anderson (3-14) in the opening game at 1 p.m. at Tech. If they win, the Kats will play Tech (14-4) that evening at 7 p.m. If they lose, Kokomo plays in the ninth-place game at Memorial Gym at 11 a.m. on Feb. 20.

HOWARD COUNTY SHERIFF DEPARTMENT REMINDS DRIVERS TO CELEBRATE RESPONSIBLY THIS SUPER BOWL

Super Bowl 2016 Release

Courtesy of the Howard County Sheriff Department

KOKOMO, Ind. – The Howard County Sheriff Department, in partnership with the Governor’s Council on Impaired & Dangerous Driving and the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute (ICJI), would like to remind all Indiana motorists to celebrate this year’s Super Bowl responsibly, by driving sober and safe.

“With increased celebration comes an even greater responsibility to do so safely,” said Corporal Justin Markley. “We want to remind motorists during the Super Bowl weekend drinking and driving don’t mix. So celebrate responsibility and help keep our Indiana roadways safe.”

During the 2015 Super Bowl weekend (6:00 p.m. Jan 30 through 5:59 a.m. Feb. 2), there were nearly 740 traffic collisions in Indiana. Of those, 45 were alcohol-related, with 60 percent involving a driver with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 or greater. In total, there were 14 injuries and 0 deaths as a result of alcohol-related accidents.

“Accidents involving impaired drivers is something we can all prevent,” said Council Chairman, Todd Meyer. “Together, we can work to keep each and every motorist safe during Super Bowl weekend.”

The Howard County Sheriff Department, the Governor’s Council, and ICJI would like to remind motorists that accidents and deaths resulting from impaired driving can be prevented with the following precautions:

  • Before the celebration begins, plan a safe way home
  • Do not drive impaired
  • If you do drink, use a taxi, public transportation, ridesharing service or designate a sober friend or family member, and give them your keys
  • If you see a drunk driver on the road, call 911
  • If you know someone who is about to drive or ride impaired, take their keys and help make arrangements to get them home safely

To learn more about the Howard County Sheriff Department, please visit: howardcosheriff.com. For more information on Indiana’s efforts on impaired driving prevention and enforcement, please visit: http://www.in.gov/cji/2354.htm.

NEW KOKOMO FAMILY YMCA TO BE NAMED AFTER SYNDICATE SALES OWNER DELMAR E. DEMAREE

YMCA

BY DEAN HOCKNEY

KOKOMO, Ind. – It is almost done.

Nearly 18 years after receiving a mandate from the national YMCA office to improve its 100 year-old facility, the new, state-of-the-art Kokomo Family YMCA in downtown is weeks away from opening. And the new building now has a namesake – the Delmar E. Demaree Family YMCA. Kokomo Family YMCA Executive Director Dave Dubois is thrilled at the choice.

“We could not be more proud to have Del Demaree as the namesake donor to our campaign,” said Dubois of the chairman of Kokomo-based Syndicate Sales.

Syndicate Sales, a family business which now boasts 300 employees, was launched after Demaree’s father modified a water tube which he had found. This unique product kept a single flower stem alive by providing a continuous source of water. On Demaree Sr.’s sales routes, he showed it to customers and they liked it, so he took out a second mortgage and built a mold to start producing the water tube. They named the product an Aquapic, and today it continues to be used by florists worldwide. Del Demaree, a 1965 Kokomo High School graduate, became president of Syndicate Sales in 1967.

“Del has been a tremendous supporter of the Y for many years and has been a guiding light for us, as well as a major donor throughout this campaign,” said Dubois. “Our community is blessed to have Del as one of its leading philanthropists.”

Demaree is the lead donor in the group, which also includes the Hingst family, the Gingerich family, E.P. Severns, Don Button, St. Vincent Kokomo, Kokomo Grain, Dr. Charles and Alice Simons, Tom and Judy Sheehan, and Smith Financial Corporation.

“The collective commitment of the Core Group to this campaign has been magnanimous in and of itself and, additionally, it has inspired many others to commit their time, talent and treasure to this significant community effort,” said Ron Metz, chairman of the Beyond the Bricks Campaign. “These folks have demonstrated remarkable leadership through their dedicated commitment to this campaign and to our community at large.”

At the same time as announcing the naming, administrators said the Beyond the Bricks building campaign reached another milestone in our epic journey. Since the campaign’s inception, a visionary group of local supporters have set the pace for the rest of the campaign. More than $5.3 million in pledges has brought the facility to within a “few million dollars” of its $16 million goal.

Now that the new YMCA is on the verge of opening – they start occupancy in two weeks and will be open on Feb. 29 – Dubois discussed his time in Kokomo and what his original goals were in 1998.

“When I came to Kokomo, my orders of business were to fix the membership and fix the finances because both were in a mess,” said Dubois. “And we have to replace what was then an 89 year-old building. I joke with people that we were able to fix the first two in a couple of years, and then 2008 hit and we had to do it again – so I have accomplished the first two twice. But it took 17 years to accomplish the third.”

Dubois said he is thrilled with the outcome – and it will be something the community will be proud of long after he is gone.

“I know this building will have a long impact on Kokomo and Howard County,” said Dubois. “That gives me as much excitement as anything. It is humbling to know that I had a small part in this. I am honored and thrilled personally to be involved in what I think is a revolution in Kokomo. In the last five years, local leaders have helped Kokomo become an even greater community. We have leaders that think Kokomo can be great and progressive. I love that and am thrilled to be part of that.”

The fundraising campaign will continue through the opening day to attempt to close the remaining gap on this $16 million project and to avoid the necessity of carrying a mortgage against the new facility.

For more information on the new facility, call (765) 457-4447 or visit kokomoymca.org.