Lady Panthers blow past Jeffersonville, 63-50
There’s an elephant in the gymnasium at Corydon Central following the Lady Panthers’ thrilling, 63-50 victory Saturday night over No. 6-ranked (Class 4A) and previously unbeaten Jeffersonville.
Fourteen games are left in the regular season, and barring any unforeseen mishaps, 14 games where Corydon should be the favored club.
Like the storied ‘elephant in the living room,’ a one-loss season for Corydon Central (5-1) is something everyone knows is possible, but no one wants to talk about it out loud.
When asked about the possibility that the 9th-ranked (Class 3A) Lady Panthers might be able to win out, Corydon head coach Michael Uhl smiled.
The coach, who would try to convince Tiger Woods that a one-inch putt is anything but a gimme, then put on his best poker face despite humbling the visiting Lady Devils.
‘We have a game against Austin on Wednesday,’ he pointed out. ‘It’s one game at a time, every time.’
It’s true the Lady Panthers have several big matchups ahead ‘ at the Jennings County Tournament on Dec. 30, hosting Boonville on Jan. 15, and at rival North Harrison on Jan. 18 ‘ but it’s looking like Corydon may have the inside track to a one-loss season.
If the Lady Panthers play like they did on Saturday, that shouldn’t be a problem.
Corydon led gate-to-wire. The game was tied only once. In the third period, a three-pointer by Jeff gunner Ashley Pait knotted the game at 38-all with 3:36 left.
The Lady Panthers responded by closing out the quarter with a 5-0 spurt to lead 45-38.
Thanks to a deuce and a pair of free throws by both 6-5 senior Samantha Johnson and her 6-2 sophomore sister, Sabrina, Jeffersonville (4-1) drew to within three, 49-46, with 4:55 left in the game.
Corydon’s defense held. The hosts held the Lady Devils to just one field goal the rest of the way while mounting a 14-4, game-closing run.
A quartet of Lady Panthers reached double figures in scoring, and with a couple of free throws, one more could have.
Corydon’s all-state candidate ‘ senior forward Dana Beaven ‘ scored a game-high 20 points. The rest of the scoring coming from juniors: Stannye Wolfe and Megan Greer added 11 apiece, Megan Bates scored 10, Jessie Stansbury chalked up eight, and Brooke South came off the bench for a third-quarter trey.
Greer hit her first three shots ‘ all three-pointers ‘ and tied with Stansbury in assists with four apiece.
Wolfe, who had 10 boards, went 5-6 at the line, and Beaven was 8-11. As a team, the Lady Panthers hit 18 of 29 (62 percent).
‘I’m not worried about the free throws,’ Uhl said. ‘As long as we keep getting there, I know they’ll hit them.’
Greer jump-started Corydon in a big way, knocking down a pair of threes.
‘That was important for us. You hit two shots like Megan did from the outside and that just frees things up everywhere. Against New Albany, we didn’t do that, and for a lot of the first half we didn’t do it either,’ Uhl said.
The two clubs traded shots the rest of the way in the period, and Corydon led at the first stop, 19-14.
‘Swap-a-shot,’ which included triples by Stansbury and Bates, continued through most of the second quarter. A triple by Stansbury gave the home team a 27-20 advantage.
Jeff countered with a quick, 6-0 flurry on a goal by Samantha Johnson and back-to-back baskets by Pait.
Wolfe came to the rescue, however, sparking a 5-2 run in the final 1:42 to hold a 32-28 lead at the intermission.
After trading goals to start the third period, a pair of free throws by Beaven were sandwiched by an old-fashioned three and a long-range three by Pait to set the score at 38-all.
That’s when the Lady Panthers ran off seven unanswered points to hold a 45-38 lead at the end of the third.
Four straight points by Samantha Johnson brought Jeff to within three, but the Lady Devils could get no closer.
‘Greer played very well, and Dana is starting to get into the groove,’ Uhl said. (Greer) got us off to that great start. Our offense moved the ball about as well as we can do in the first quarter, and we knocked down the shots.’
Pait paced Jeff with 18 points; the Johnson sisters combined to shoot 10 of 14 from the floor for 24 points.
While the Lady Red Devils shot an even 50 percent from the floor on 21 of 42 shooting, they were hampered by 20 turnovers.
Corydon had just eight miscues.
The Lady Panthers shot 19 of 48 from the field, including a sizzling 7 of 16 from the arc. Jeff barely out-rebounded Corydon, 30-25.
Corydon Central continues its homestand tonight (Wednesday) at 6 against Mid-Southern Conference foe Austin.
On Saturday at 1 p.m., the Lady Panthers host Silver Creek, and then the team will close out the home slate for 2004 with a tilt against county-foe South Central on Tuesday evening.