Panthers stun New Albany, 64-58
In its previous two losses, Corydon Central lacked the one thing that junior forward Josh Stepro delivered in Saturday night’s upset of New Albany: scoring punch off the bench.
Stepro, pressed into action early after starter Ryan Herndon was injured, scored eight points and ‘ probably more important ‘ held New Albany’s leading scorer, Ryan Wheeler, to just nine points.
Wheeler was coming off a 31-point effort the previous night in a loss to Floyd Central. He didn’t have a single point in the second half of the 64-58 loss to the Panthers, however.
Corydon’s win was the first over New Albany in five years.
The two squads swapped leads several times through the first eight minutes, with the Panthers trailing by two, 17-15, thanks to New Albany’s hot shooting.
Corydon senior all-state candidate Kyle Savely came through with 12 of his season-high 32 points in a frantic second period to put his team ahead, 35-29, after a busy first half.
Herndon went down after only two minutes in the first frame after taking an elbow to the mouth and causing a tooth to puncture his lip (a five-stitch gash was the result). He returned to the floor a short time later, but had to leave after complaining of dizziness. Also, in the second period, New Albany coach Jim Shannon picked up a technical foul for arguing with an official with 30 seconds left in the half. Savely dropped home both technical free throws and 29 ticks later bombed a three as the halftime buzzer sounded.
New Albany’s Derick Hobbs scored the first seven points of the third period to give his team a 36-35 lead but wound up picking up his third foul and had to sit.
Corydon rallied to hold a 47-46 edge at the final break and then used good field goal shooting (5-8), good free throw shooting (6-9,) and great rebounding (10-4) to hold off the Bulldogs and snap a two-game losing streak.
New Albany’s best effort from the field came in the first period when the club went 7-16. For the game, however, the visitors hit just 22 of 57 (38 percent) and were 6-19 on three-pointers. The Bulldogs frittered away any comeback effort by shooting only 5-14 from the field the last quarter.
‘I was glad to see us play for four quarters,’ Corydon coach Randy Gianfagna said. ‘In the Lanesville and Brownstown games, we only played well for a quarter. In the North Harrison game, we played for three quarters.’
Corydon shot 19 of 38 (50 percent) and buried 21 of 28 free throws. The Panthers also won the battle of the boards, 34-24, but committed a few more turnovers than they forced, 16-11.
After Savely, who scored exactly half of his team’s 64 points and went 10-13 at the line, his twin brother, Kurt Savely, scored seven points, Eric Haub scored six second half points, James Yeager had four, and Herndon a three before being injured. Sophomore Jared Ashton had a tide-changing triple in the fourth quarter for his only points of the game.
Hobbs paced his club with 19 points before fouling out with one second left, and teammate Craig Bryant put in 10.
The Panthers (2-2, 0-2) get back to Mid-Southern Conference play Friday night at Scottsburg (5-1, 3-1 M.S.C.). Scottsburg is the ninth leading scoring team in the state with just over 77 points an outing. Corydon returns to the friendly confines Saturday evening to host Jim Mathews’ Madison (2-3) club.
Some information by Chris Stoner, AM-1550 WOCC.