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December 31, 2013 | 09:45 AM

The Corydon Central boys' basketball team improved to 6-0 on the season — its best start of a season since winning the first seven in the 1993-94 campaign — after picking up the first two games at the PSC Holiday Classic.

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Corydon Central's Brayden Lander drives baseline to get around Tell City's Drew Mowery Friday in the PSC Holiday Classic. Photo by Brian Smith (click for larger version)
Slated to face undefeated Heritage Hills in the championship (game was played Monday; due to early deadlines, results will appear in next week's newspaper) the Panthers advanced after defeating Tell City handily and outlasting Crawford County in the semi-final.

In the opening game Friday, Corydon Central jumped out to an 11-0 start against Tell City. Along the way, Brayden Lander put in a pair of field goals while Bronson Kessinger had a break-a-way two-handed slam that drew a roar from the audience in Tell City.

Hunter Rowe gave the Marksmen a lift late in the opening quarter, scoring the first 11 points for his team. His shots, however, were canceled by Lander sinking three buckets from beyond the arc.

"Brayden shot the ball really well to start the game," Corydon Central coach Jamie Kolkmeier said. "Timothy shot the ball well, too. As a team, we shot 61 percent, which was good."

Corydon Central would lead 22-13 after the opening quarter. The scoring didn't stop in the second quarter for the Panthers. In the paint, Mitchell Frederick had a pair of field goals while Kessinger added a put-back. Within the first half, Lander tallied 13 points while Kessinger had eight points and the same in rebounds.

The first half ended when Timothy Wiseman skipped a pass to his older brother, Tommy Wiseman, for a 3-pointer, giving the Panthers a 35-19 edge.

"It was probably our worst game so far as far as defensive intensity in the first half," Kolkmeier said. "We came out a little better in the second half with our intensity."

The third quarter was a Panthers' romp against Tell City. They outscored the host 27-8 in the frame with six different players putting in field goals. With the defensive intensity turned up, the Panthers allowed only three second-half field goals.

Four different players reached double-figure scoring for Corydon Central, led by 15 points from Lander. Kessinger, Frederick and Timothy Wiseman, scored 12 points each. Kessinger led the way on the glass with nine boards. Tommy Wiseman had seven of Corydon Central's 21 assists.

"We look for each other and have done a pretty good job of that thus far," Kolkmeier said. "Mitchell scored the ball well in the paint. Grant (Robinson) has played really well the last couple of weeks and got a few baskets tonight. He's a very active defender for us."

As a team, Tell City shot 25 percent from the field.

Advancing to the semi-final game, the Panthers squared off against rival Crawford County. Both teams entered the contest undefeated thus far, but Corydon Central held on for a 57-51 victory.

"It was an OK game, but we didn't hit a lot of shots," Kolkmeier said. "Crawford played really hard, and we struggled at times."

After playing to a 12-all tie after the first eight minutes, Crawford County was held to four second-quarter points. The defensive play allowed the Panthers to lead 27-16 at the break.

"We would get up 11 or 12 in the second half but really couldn't put them away," Kolkmeier said. "I felt like we were in control, but they kept coming at us. The good thing about Crawford's kids is they don't hang their heads after a bad play; they play hard."

Kolkmeier said Lander had another solid game for the Panthers.

The Panthers will return to action Jan. 10 when they play at Floyd Central, followed by participating in the Kentucky-Indiana Hall of Fame Challenge Cup at Freedom Hall in Louisville against Covington Catholic (Ky.). The Panthers are slated to play at approximately 3:30 p.m. in the Cup.

Twitter: @CoryDemSports

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