‘Little things’ add up to big regional loss for CC
It’s often been said that football is a game of inches. In the second game of Saturday’s Class 3A Washington Regional, Corydon Central’s boys cagers proved the same can be said about basketball.
Shots by the Black and Gold Brigade were just an inch or so off their mark, passes were just a shade too close to Edgewood’s defenders, and near steals by the Panthers whizzed past their out-stretched fingertips.
When all was said and done, Corydon’s bid for a second-straight regional title fell yards short, 61-46.
The Edgewood Mustangs (13-12) used a dominant 21-1 run in the middle portion of the affair — holding Corydon Central without a field goal for more than eight minutes — to advance to the regional final against Jasper, which won the championship that night, 66-62.
“They turned up the pressure, and I didn’t think we handled it as well as I would have liked,” Corydon coach Randy Gianfagna said. “I think we missed three front ends of one-and-ones, and that’s six points right there that we could have had. Those types of things you can’t do and expect to win. It’s a little bit frustrating in terms of that.
“We had seven turnovers for the entire game against Providence, and we had 13 in the first half today. We were back on our heels a little bit, but you have to credit Edgewood with that.”
The Panthers (17-7), who lost at the famed Hatchet House last season in the first round of the semistate, showed no signs of nervousness in the first three minutes of the contest where they took a quick 9-3 lead on two baskets by Quentin Combs, a deuce by Zach Engleman, and an old-fashioned three by Nevin Dunaway.
But just as quick as the Panthers open up the lead, they saw it disappear.
Jarrod Brothers and Chris Moynihan both had field goals, followed by a three by Corydon’s Josh Pruett that wound up being his only field goal of the game. Brothers had another two-ball and Matt Arnold added three frees in the final 38 seconds to tie it in the first frame, 12-12.
Corydon had a 7-2 surge on buckets by Dunaway and Quentin Combs and frees by Engleman and Pruett.
That’s when the Mustangs raced away with it.
From the 3:02 mark of the second period to 3:35 in the third, Edgewood sliced, diced and did everything right in a 21-1 run. When Corydon finally scored another field goal on an old-fashioned three by Craig Keinsley with 3:21 left, the Panthers were down 35-23. Corydon closed out with a 9-3 spurt to cut the lead to 38-29 at the quarter break.
Moynihan followed two technical free throws to start the period and a two-point basket. The Panthers’ wily sophomore guard, Kyle Savely, scored the next six points for his team, but they only matched deuces by Edgewood’s players.
Corydon never made a sustained run and watched the Mustangs trot away with the victory.
“The one thing that hurt this team all year was that when we got behind, we panicked and took some bad shots,” Gianfagna said. “We got them to shoot only 30 percent in the first half, but we only scored 20 points ourselves. When you get teams shooting 30 percent, you have to win, and we didn’t make them pay for it.”
The Panthers were 16-42 from the floor and 2-14 on threes. They hit 12-20 free throws, turned the ball over 17 times (including 13 in the first half), and were out-rebounded 31-28 for the game.
Edgewood was forced into 12 miscues but shot 20-42 from the floor, including a sizzling 12-16 mark in the second half. The Mustangs dropped home five of 14 tries from three-point land and hit 16 of 25 attempts from the foul stripe.
Corydon’s Pruett, who had averaged 18.1 points an outing, was held to just four points on the afternoon as Keinsley came off the bench to be the only player to reach double figures with 10 points. Combs finished with nine, Savely had eight (all in the second half), Dunaway and Engleman both had five, Michael Emily bagged a buzzer-beating three at the end of the game, and Josh Wiley came off the bench late for two free throws.
For the Mustangs, Matt Arnold had 16 points on three threes in the third quarter, and Brothers and Moynihan each scored 10.
“We had some turnovers, missed some lay-ups. We haven’t missed free throws all year, and we missed those front ends of one-and-ones, and instead of getting to pad your lead, you go backwards. If it wasn’t a missed turnover, it was a missed free throw, and if it wasn’t that it was something else. Just a bunch of little things,” Gianfagna said.
“You have to credit Edgewood a lot. It just got us out of synch enough to where we weren’t able to do the offense that we wanted to do.”