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16-0 start plenty good for Panthers

Kessinger, Harmon record double-doubles

December 04, 2013 | 09:03 AM

Scoring a ton of points early helped Corydon Central and Lanesville in season-opening victories.

The Eagles used seven Joe Ferree 3-pointers to race out to a 39-24 halftime lead against Christian Academy of Indiana last Tuesday before winning by 14.

Corydon Central's Bronson Kessinger attempts a field goal while a trio of Lanesville defenders surround him. Photos by Brian Smith (click for larger version)
Unfortunately for Lanesville, the hot shooting early in games didn't carry over to its visit Saturday night at Corydon. Corydon Central romped to a 16-0 start, holding Lanesville scoreless through the first 6:22.

Backed by a double-double by Bronson Kessinger and sharp 3-point shooting as a team, the Panthers rolled on their opening night, past Lanesville 72-40.

"We had a good start and did some good things defensively," Corydon Central coach Jamie Kolkmeier said. "We gave up some open shots that could have went in. We have things to get better at."

Ten of Corydon Central's first 16 points came from the 6-foot-7 Kessinger. He opened the game with a jumper. Timothy Wiseman converted a steal into a lay-in for the Panthers, while Mitchell Frederick added a put-back.

Growing the lead to 12-0, Kessinger took a dish from Brayden Lander to slam home one of two dunks on the night. The next trip down the floor, Lander threw a pass over the top to Kessinger for another field goal.

Leading 16-0, Lanesville broke the ice when Micah Lane drove the length of the floor, drawing a foul on a fast break. He would make one free throw. Lanesville's Ryan Fulkerson tried to help the Eagles gain momentum, creating a turnover and feeding Ferree for two points.

The Panthers, however, used a Lander triple to take a 19-3 lead after one quarter.

"It was the opposite start of what we had the other night," Lanesville coach Mikel Miller said. "(Tuesday) we hit some baskets, but tonight we had a lot of the same shots but didn't get them to fall. We had some open 3s that didn't go in. We had some shots in the lane, but they wouldn't fall. (Corydon) didn't seem to miss."

Kolkmeier scouted Lanesville's performance against CAI, so he knew of the shooting capabilities of the Eagles.

"They knocked down their open ones at Christian Academy," Kolkmeier said. "I think the game was a little faster and we were a little longer overall than what they saw the other night. Joe the other night hit two of his first three, then, once you get in that zone, you don't have to be as open. Luckily, he missed them against us."

Shooting from behind the arc proved to be a difference maker between the Harrison County schools, especially in the second quarter.

Corydon Central's Tommy Wiseman fires one of four made 3-pointers Saturday during the Panthers' 72-40 win over Lanesville. (click for larger version)
Six of Corydon Central's eight made baskets in the second frame came from beyond the arc. Credit much of the points to Tommy Wiseman's hot hand from the corners of the floor. He drained all four of his attempts, including two from the left wing and one from the opposite side.

"I think we can be a little bit better shooting team than what we were last year; we just have to shoot in a rhythm, be prepared and shoot when you are open," Kolkmeier said. "The key is to be ready to shoot. At times, we were better at that tonight than we have been in the past. You have to shoot with confidence."

After Wiseman made the first three to begin the second quarter, Lanesville found a groove for a stretch of play. The Eagles would go on a 10-5 run. Harmon, who finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds, hit back-to-back face-up jumpers at one point. Fulkerson was able to score in transition, cutting Corydon Central's lead to 27-13.

Wiseman helped stretch the lead back out, along with Quinton Coffman swishing a trey as well.

The opening half closed with a Timothy Wiseman drive to the hoop then Kessinger sinking a 3-pointer before the horn sounded. The end result was a 41-15 halftime lead for the Panthers.

"We did some good things in the second quarter early off the trap to get some easy baskets," Miller said of the spurt. "They adjusted a little bit, and we missed covered some open shooters. When you are trapping, you are susceptible to give up some open shots. We were scrambling to create some things."

As a team, the Panthers made 7 of 9 3-pointers in the opening half. They would go 8 of 14 for the game.

Kessinger went back to work near the paint in the third quarter, leading to his 21 points and 11 rebound performance. He also blocked a pair of shots.

To start the second half, Kessinger returned the assists' favor to Lander, who put in a field goal.

Team-wise, the Panthers had 17 assists, led by six from Lander and four from Tommy Wiseman.

"We try to pass the ball to each other to be unselfish," Kolkmeier said. "We have to clean up our passing. We went through a few short stretches where we didn't pass it very well. It's not from us not trying to share the ball with each other; timing and speed of game has a little to do with it."

Lanesville was never able to threaten in the second half, despite playing a more even fourth quarter.

Fulkerson also reached double-figure scoring for the Eagles with 10 points. Harmon drew the tough assignment in the post on Kessinger but played well, going 5 of 10 from the field.

"Jason is 6-1, and we ask him to play a lot bigger than he physically is," Miller said. "But, man, if you measured in his heart, he has the heart of a big guy. He finished with a double-double, which is good for him. He really earned it."

Miller said there is plenty to take away from the loss.

"Rock Creek is taller than (Corydon) and athletic, too," he said. "I mentioned to the kids this is like a Rock Creek team and that we have to improve. There is a lot of work to do, but we are 1-1 with our first home game Friday. Our schedule is tough to start, but we hope we can work our way through it and win along the way."

To go along with Kessinger's 21 points, Tommy Wiseman finished with 16, going 5 of 6 from the field. He also had six rebounds and three steals. Lander and Frederick tallied nine points each. Eight different players scored for the Panthers.

"As we get a better feel and Bronson gets more active on the offensive end as far as finding holes, he is going to continue to open people up," Kolkmeier said. "As Brayden finds his spots and open guys, it helps, too. The first half, Brayden found a lot of open guys, which he is capable of doing."

Both teams will play key games in their respective leagues Friday night, as Corydon Central heads to rival North Harrison and Lanesville welcomes defending Class A state champion Borden. Both games are set to tip at 7:30 p.m. Lanesville also will play Saturday on the road at Paoli.

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