Jan. 30—Pioneer senior Drew McKaig reached the 1,000-point milestone but Caston won the battle in a back-and-forth contest Friday night in Fulton.
McKaig became just the seventh player in program history to reach a thousand points but the Comets recorded a 56-47 win.
It was a game the Comets jumped out to a 19-0 lead to start the game. But the Panthers got to within 19-4 after one and 25-18 at halftime.
The Panthers got it as close to 25-24 in the third quarter but could never get over the hump. The Comets led 37-33 after three and pulled away in the fourth.
Caleb Stinson scored 30 points to lead the Comets (6-8, 2-1 HNAC), who trail just LaVille and Triton in the loss column in the conference standings. Stinson shot 10 of 19 from the field, 3 of 6 from long range and hit all seven of his free throws.
Grant Yadon added eight points and seven rebounds for Caston. Josh Evans added six points. Leading scorer Talon Zeider was held to two points on one field goal.
"We got off to a great start. For the most part, I thought our kids had great scouting report recognition with their offense throughout the game," Caston coach Carl Davis said. "We had some really good stretches offensively and got stagnant in others. They did a good job of taking the 3-point line away. We had fewer attempts against Pioneer than we did makes in our previous game. I thought our kids did a good job of adjusting to how we were being guarded and looked to attack the paint to score. Pioneer did a great job of climbing back into the game and taking advantage of some of our less efficient moments. Our kids hitting free throws down the stretch was huge. That's not something we were doing earlier in the season."
Caston shot 13 of 18 from the line for the game (72%) including 9 of 11 in the fourth (82%).
McKaig finished with 13 points to lead the Panthers (4-11, 0-3). Freshman Shiloh Rine was also in double figures with 11. Luke Blackman and Micah Rans added six apiece.
"It was a hard-fought game by both teams," Pioneer coach Darren McKaig said. "Caston came out fast in the first quarter and we couldn't get going. I thought their defense was dialed in and they were a step ahead of us in every aspect of the game. We dug ourselves a 19-0 hole, but I'm so proud of how or guys fought back at cut the lead to one in the second quarter. Micah Rans and Luke Blackman did a great job of not letting Zeider get any good looks. Shiloh Rine had another good game and Drew battled all night and ended up scoring his 1,000th point in the fourth quarter. We were down two with about five minutes to play, but we had several missed shots and turnovers down the stretch. Our guys played hard, but Caston made the winning plays at the end."
Caston traveled to possible sectional opponent Tri-County and was defeated 65-58 Saturday night. Zeider had 22 points and Stinson scored 21 to lead the Comets. Freshman Lane Hook added eight.
Eric Zarse scored 24 and Koby Bahler had 15 to lead the Cavaliers (8-7).
"The game came down to taking care of the basketball and keeping the ball in front defensively, as many games do," Davis said. "They did both of those things better. We started trying to do too much in isolation offensively rather than letting our movement, screening and spacing create advantages. That led to turnovers. Defensively we started standing up, pressuring in spots that didn't call for it and not helping in the gaps when we needed to. Too many points in the deep paint and second-chance points for us to overcome. I really like that we added Tri-County to the schedule this year in the regular season. Saturday was great for giving us a feel for what they are going to try to do if we run into them in the future."
Caston is hosting a sectional this year.
Pioneer traveled to South Newton and was handed a 56-48 defeat Saturday night. McKaig had 18 points, Blackman and Noah Miller scored eight apiece and Rylahn Toloza and Brayden Erickson each added six.
South Newton led 20-8 after one, 29-23 at halftime and 38-37 after three. Chayse Stillabower scored 23 and Matthew Armstrong had 16 to lead the Rebels (2-11).
Pioneer travels to North Judson Thursday night. The Panthers' game against Indiana Deaf on Saturday has been postponed and rescheduled for Thursday, Feb. 8 with a 6 p.m. start time.
Caston hosts North White Thursday night and Triton Saturday afternoon for a pair of games this week.
LOGANSPORT DROPS 2
Logansport dropped a pair of games. The Berries were rocked by Marion 88-56 Friday in their final NCC meeting with the Giants. The Berries turned around and lost at Class 3A No. 14 Twin Lakes 75-72 against a future Hoosier Conference opponent.
The Berries geared up to slow down Marion's Jaymen Townsend, a 6-foot-7 junior who is already the Giants' 15th all-time leading scorer with over 1,100 points. They held him to 16, six under his average. But Amar Rogers scored 33 on 5 of 11 shooting from 3. The Giants shot 13 of 27 from long range (48%) for the game.
"I give it up to Marion, they played unbelievably well," Logan coach Matt Lange said. "We started out blow for blow with them and they got on us a little bit. I believe we got tired, especially in the second half. We were playing a little faster than we're probably accustomed to and it just turned on us from there out."
The Berries (7-9, 0-5 NCC) were within 29-20 after one quarter before the Giants (6-9, 1-3) started pulling away. They led 55-34 at halftime.
Jacob Taylor had 16 points and six rebounds for Logan. Carson Dubes scored 10 and Chris Del Valle added nine points and four assists.
Twin Lakes snapped a 13-game losing streak to Logansport. It was the Indians' first win over the Berries since 2008.
Jamison Ousley led the Indians (11-4) with 31 points. He was 10 of 19 shooting from the field and 10 of 13 from the foul line. Avery Condo scored 17 and Gavin Businger had 12.
Del Valle had 15 points and seven boards for Logan. Isaac Russell had 13 points, five boards and four assists. Jacob Taylor scored 13, Loran Taylor had 11, Dubes added seven and Cooper Smith and Cayden Walker added six apiece.
"We were having trouble making stops late," Lange said. "But at the end we managed to get a little closer than probably what the game entailed. We played really hard the last two-and-a-half minutes and cut the lead from I believe it was 15 points down to three. We just ran out of time and timeouts. But they played really hard, especially coming down the stretch.
"It's always tough and when you're playing against a great coach, they're well prepared. They understand how to play basketball. It's tough. I'm surprised on the winning streak we had with them just being that Kent Adams is such a great coach and they've had some unbelievable teams along the way. But this is no different from them. They're rated pretty high and there's a reason for that. They're well put together. They've got nice keys and nice players."
Logan hosts Harrison for a league game Thursday and travels to Oak Hill Saturday afternoon.
Cass had a tough weekend in falling at Maconaquah 81-59 Friday night and losing at home to Class 4A No. 9 Kokomo 72-35 Saturday night.
The Braves jumped out to a 22-4 first quarter en route to beating the Kings behind a 29-point night from Josiah Ball.
The Braves won for the seventh time in their last eight games, the only loss in that stretch to Class 2A top-ranked Tipton. Mac improved to 10-3 overall and 4-1 in the TRC, while also moving to 5-0 on their home court this season.
The Braves hit their first five shots to open the game on the way to a 15-0 lead. Meanwhile, Cass (5-10, 1-5) got off only two shot attempts in the first 4:00, their first points coming with 4:12 to play in the period.
Compounding matters for Cass were 13 first-quarter turnovers as the Kings were stymied by the Braves' full court press and Mac held a commanding 26-11 lead after the first eight minutes.
Cass made a nice 10-0 run early in the second quarter to close the gap to 30-20, but the Braves ended the half on a 13-3 run for a 43-23 lead at the half.
From there, the Braves closed the door late in the third quarter with an 8-0 run to end the frame and take a 67-40 lead into the fourth. The Braves' lead expanded to as many as 32 points in the fourth quarter before both teams pulled most of their starters with 5:17 to play.
Mac shot a sizzling 64% from the field for the game (32 of 50). Ball got plenty of help as A.J. Kelly scored 16 points and Ethan Zeiser added 13.
Cass also shot well, hitting 24 of 43 shots for 55.8%. L.J. Hillis led the Kings with 15 points. Kolten Young and Bryce Rudd added 10 points each.
Karson Rogers scored a career-high 31 points in Kokomo's 72-35 victory at Cass.
Rogers made the Kings pay for their heavy defensive attention on Kokomo center Flory Bidunga by making 14 of 16 shots from the field. He had 23 points by halftime, at which point the Kats had a 42-21 lead. Rogers reached 31 in the third quarter before sitting the final 9:22 of the game.
Bidunga finished with six points on 3-of-3 shooting. The McDonald's All-American made his usual impact on the defensive end with four blocked shots.
Also for the Kats (16-3), Zion Bellamy had 10 points and five assists, Reis Beard had seven points, five assists and four steals, A'Dayveon Young had six points and Korbyn Hammel had five points and four assists, and Tavien Bennett contributed three steals.
Brennan Deeter led Cass with 12 points and L.J. Hillis had eight points.
Kokomo hosts Class 4A No. 6 Indianapolis Cathedral (13-2) on Thursday. Cass visits Wabash for a TRC game the same night.
WINAMAC 40, WEST CENTRAL 35
One night after beating North Judson in double overtime, the Warriors had to grind out a win at West Central Friday night to reclaim the Tomahawk.
It was the Warriors' (7-8) 16th straight win against the Trojans (2-12).
Jayse Bentle had 10 points and five assists for Winamac. Brendan Hines and Justin Potthoff scored nine points apiece. Will Malchow added seven.
Bryce Nannenga led the Trojans with 20 points.
TWIN LAKES 69, LOGANSPORT 29
Olivia Nickerson, the state's all-time leader in made 3-pointers, hit five more of them and reached the 2,000-point milestone in Twin Lakes' win over visiting Logansport Saturday.
Nickerson and Addie Bowsman scored 19 points apiece to lead the Indians (14-9). Olivia Taylor added 16 points and Jasmine West had 10.
Lydia Goad led the Berries (4-18) with 13 points. Aracyn Good chipped in five.
WEST CENTRAL 55, PIONEER 51
Pioneer led 24-15 at halftime and 44-36 after three but couldn't hold on in a loss to visiting West Central Friday.
Mia McKaig had 23 points and Makenna Strycker scored 21 to lead the Panthers.
The Trojans had four players in double figures. Kailee Bishop and Annika Smith scored 12 apiece, Madisyn DeMoss had 11 and Mara Sharpe added 10 points, seven rebounds, six assists and four steals.
Pioneer won the event and broke four HNAC records in the process at Knox.
Pioneer won with 135 points, followed Knox (85), North Judson (49) and Culver (33).
Pioneer's Chloe Chan broke HNAC records in the 100-yard breaststroke (1:14.32) and 50 freestyle (:27.11).
Cailyn Colford swept wins in the 200 IM (:2:46.09) and 100 backstroke (1:14.36) for the Panthers. Kaia Murray won the 100 free (1:06.97).
The Lady Panther relay teams broke HNAC records in the 200 medley and 200 free relay events. The 200 medley relay team of Colford, Chan, Adeline Cripe and Kylie Attinger won in 2:08.06. The 200 free relay team of Chan, Attinger, Liz Rance and Murray won in 1:53.47. The 400 free relay team of Rance, Kamryn Newby, Attinger and Colford won in 4:28.30.
Austin Brooke broke an HNAC record in the 100 breast with a time of 1:06.93 and also swam to a win in the 200 IM (2:20.22) to lead Pioneer.
The Panthers won with 97 points, followed by Knox (86) and North Judson (64).
Ian Kitchell swept wins in the 100 fly (1:02.14) and 100 back (1:00.09) for the Panthers. Ike Hopkins won diving (119.95).
Logansport placed sixth with a 91.925 Saturday.
The Berries started the meet with a great floor rotation scoring their team season high. Freshman Amilia Zaragoza lead off the rotation with a fun, upbeat routine and scored her season high. Freshman Lucy Gordon scored a season high on beam and in the all-around. She had a successful day making her routines.
Sophomore Rylee Zimmerman tied for the runner-up on bars scoring an 8.8. She placed eighth on floor (8.775) and seventh on both vault (8.4) and in the all-around (33.675). Senior Jaelyn Benish placed eighth on bars (7.6).
Area wrestling teams competed at sectionals on Saturday.
Due to space consideration coverage will appear in Wednesday's Pharos-Tribune.