Panthers KO Floyd, 77-67
If there’s one word to describe the history of basketball games between Floyd Central and Corydon, it’s “physical.”
From the days of Joe Hinton versus John Wood to the latest variation of first-year coach Kirk Hamsley matching wits against Randy Gianfagna, it’s as close to a rivalry game without actually being one as there can be.
The 2003 edition on Friday night was no different, with 42 fouls called between the two old adversaries. No punches were thrown, but the host Panthers slugged the Highlanders on the scoreboard, 77-67.
The 1-2 combination jab for Corydon came in the form of 5-10 junior guard Kyle Savely and 6-2 senior forward Jeff Conrad. Savely scored 16 points in the fourth quarter and finished with 24, while Conrad tossed in 15. The duo combined for 32 of their team’s 41 second-half points.
The knockout punch came after Floyd had rallied from 11 points down in the third period to claw within three with 4:43 in the fourth following a triple by Robby Gray.
Savely had back-to-back buckets, followed by a basket by Conrad and another by Savely.
Not to be outdone, Floyd’s Derek Summers had four straight points and Mitch Anderson added a pair of freebies to get within five, 65-60.
After trading a couple of buckets, Summers canned a trey to cut Corydon’s lead to two with a minute remaining, 69-67.
Floyd Central would not score again.
Conrad had two frees and a field goal, and Savely and Kyle Dougherty both bagged a pair from the line to set the final outcome.
Corydon was a perfect 10-10 at the foul line and eight of 11 from the floor in the final eight minutes of play. Simply put, the Panthers (5-6) were clicking on all cylinders in the second half.
“We really played hard. Both teams have had trouble in close ball games. At half-time, we told the guys, ‘Let’s see who pulls this one out’ and they came through,” Gianfagna said.
“In the fourth quarter, they started running out, and we didn’t do a good job early in their transition, and that led to a lot of easy baskets. It was a heck of a win for us. Kyle wasn’t the only one that had big baskets. Everyone had a part in it.”
After the top two, the scoring line for the Panthers was extremely balanced: Quentin Combs and Eric Haub both scored eight; Kurt Savely and James Yeager both had seven; Nevin Dunaway scored five, and Dougherty finished with three.
Floyd started with a 4-0 lead on baskets by Gray and O’Neal, and Corydon made a quick charge to take a 10-8 lead. After Gray tied it with a jumper, Corydon went on an 11-0 run on two buckets by Dunaway, a three and a two by Kurt Savely and a goal by Haub.
Summers kept the game close in the first quarter with an old-fashioned three play and a rare four-point play with 24 seconds left.
Kyle Savely secured the Panthers’ momentum by bombing a three-ball just before the buzzer, making it 26-17 at the first stop.
Neither club gained much in the second period, with Corydon pulling ahead, 51-43, to start the final quarter and holding on for the victory.
Corydon was 27 of 54 overall and drained four of 13 three-pointers, while going 19-24 on foul shots. The Panthers dominated the glass, 37-24, as turnovers were nearly a wash (Corydon 17, Floyd 16).
Floyd (2-5), which shot 23 of 52, 5-23 on threes and 16 of 20 at the line, was paced in scoring by Summers, who torched Corydon for 27 points. Gray finished with 16, Mitch Anderson had 10, and Tim Schutz eight. Jeremy Hutslar picked up six and Cameron O’Neal two.