CC overcomes jitters, powers past Eagles
Three minutes into the boys season opener for Corydon and Lanesville last night at the Eagles’ nest, the score was Corydon 2, Lanesville Zip.
Opening game jitters and tenacious defense resulted in missed lay-ups, bad passes, tie-ups, one mistake after another. With three minutes left, Corydon, a taller, quicker team that likes to get out and run, led only 6-2.
Then things went from bad to worse for Lanesville.
Junior Kyle Savely stole the ball and scored on a layup. Kyle Dougherty, a 6-4 junior center, scored on a put-back and lay-up off a nice pass by Nevin Dunaway. Dunaway hit a layup, Savely stole the ball and fed to James Yeager for a layup. Kurt Savely hit a nice fade-away jumper right before the buzzer and suddenly Corydon was off and running, 18-5.
The second quarter was more of the same, with Kyle Savely setting the pace by hitting a three and lightning-fast senior guard Quentin Combs getting a rebound and going coast-to-coast for a dazzling layup.
Savely was all over the place, hitting a 15-foot jumper from the left side, a jumper from the right side, feeding Jeff Conrad for a layup, and hitting another layup with 32 seconds left in the half.
By this time, Mark Lambertus, the Jeff High basketball coach and Lanesville native who will bring his Red Devils to Corydon for a holiday tournament around Christmas, was probably making a lot of notes on Corydon’s two guards. They were impressive both on offense and defense.
Corydon led at intermission, 34-14, and went on to win, 64-47. The team shot 50 percent for the game on 27 of 54 attempts.
Lanesville came back in the second half and got it down to 10 points, 42-32, at the beginning of the fourth quarter but could never get any closer after a swift 8-0 burst by Corydon.
Coach Mikel Miller is wishing his Lanesville club had played the first half as well as they played the second.
“The first half we shot poorly, 26 percent, from the field. Corydon shot better than that. We had 25 turnovers. Those two things were negatives. We were heavily out-rebounded. All those things add up,” he said in the locker room after the game.
Anything good happen, coach?
“We had a good crowd,” said the coach, chuckling. “We fought the whole game. The kids showed a lot of character. We got good minutes out of Isaac Wernert and Adam Brown. Nathan Barnickle had a nice game although he was guarding a much taller guy on defense. Some of our guys were struggling shooting the ball. They’re better than they showed tonight. We’ll get better.
“We only gave up 64 points. That’s not all that bad for a high school game. If we could have played two halves like we did the second half, the game would have been a lot closer.”
Lanesville shot 18 of 48 from the field and hit seven of 13 free throw attempts with four threes (Nick Geswein had one, Brown two, and Barnickle one). That was exactly one more than Corydon had. Savely had all three treys, and that was it for the Panthers. Coach Randy Gianfagna noted that Corydon was an anemic three of 17 from Three Point Land, and some of those were open shots.
But, Gianfagna also saw some positives in an often ragged contest.
“Our defense was great the first half, although we got to gambling in the second half,” he said, “and our rebounding was good. We out-rebounded them 35 to 25. We held them to 44 percent shooting, and we shot 50 percent. That’s another positive.
“The game got ragged. We gotta get control of that.”
Gianfagna’s got some new players playing new positions, which causes problems early in the season. He wants his team to play a more disciplined game, and he thinks that will happen. “We were real impatient in our offense,” he said.
Savely paced Corydon with 21 points with six FGs and those three threes. Combs had 12 points, although he missed a several lay-ups. He’s a point guard, but Combs had a bushel of rebounds. Dunaway scored eight points. Jeff Conrad, a veteran reserve, came off the bench to score nine points, including some tough baskets in heavy traffic
For Lanesville, Brown had 10 points, Justin Wallace nine, and Barnickle and Wernert both scored seven.
The Eagles (0-1) return to action this Saturday in Clarksville as they square off against Joe Hinton’s Providence Pioneers.
Corydon Central (1-0) opens Mid-Southern Conference play on Friday night against an under-rated Brownstown ball club.
Both contests are set to tip off at 6 p.m. for the jayvee and about 7:30 for the varsity.