Corydon outlasts feisty Lady Cats, 51-38
As most everyone expected, Corydon Central’s girls basketball team, which is ranked 7th in the state in Class 3A, led gate to wire and defeated rival North Harrison last night in Ramsey.
What was not expected, however, was the spunk that the host Lady Cats showed against their adversary.
North, a team that came into the contest having won only five games this season ‘ and its previous two ‘ gave the usually-overpowering Lady Panthers all they wanted before falling, 51-38.
With four minutes to go the battle was only a nine-point affair, and the hosts had several scoring opportunities go by the wayside due to turnovers. Corydon’s vaunted defense, which forced 19 NH miscues on the night, held strong, however and wound up being a huge reason why the squad is now 14-2 on the season.
Offensively, junior guard Megan Bates dropped home four three-pointers en route to a season-high 17 points for the visitors. Stannye Wolfe, another junior, scored 10 and Bethany Shewmaker (a sophomore) came off the bench for eight points.
Corydon senior all-state candidate Dana Beaven was strapped with fouls for most of the evening and only managed four points before fouling out with 4:26 left in the game.
‘We’ve got plenty of offensive options and Bethany came in and did well, but so did Brooke (South), so did Cheyenne (Wright) and so did Jill (Hoehn) in their own ways. When we got into deep foul trouble there early, those four came into the game and did real well for us,’ Corydon coach Michael Uhl said.
North Harrison coach Missy Voyles said despite the loss, there were a few smiles in her locker room after the game.
‘I said, ‘Be honest. How many of you thought you’d play them within 13?’ and they all smiled at me,’ Voyles said. ‘They played a good ball game and I can’t ask for anything more than what they did.’
Bates and Beaven boosted Corydon (14-2, 6-0 M.S.C.) to a 4-0 lead, but North (5-13, 3-3) bounced back to tie it on buckets by Cassie Milburn and Rachel Cannon.
A three-ball by Jessie Stansbury with 4:50 showing gave the visitors a three-point advantage, 7-4. After the bucket, North would not match Corydon’s point-total the rest of the game.
Beaven and South helped extend the mark to 11-4 before North’s Morgan Carr, who shared high-team scoring honors with Cannon with 11 points apiece, nailed a three.
Shewmaker and Cannon swapped baskets to the score at the first stop, 13-9.
The Lady Cats were able to trim the deficit to three on two occasions in the second quarter, but a 6-0 Lady Panther run in the final 2:21 of the half gave Corydon a 27-15 lead.
Voyles said she stressed to her team the importance of the first three minutes of the third quarter.
North took the words to heart as they whittled away at Corydon’s lead.
Carr hit three free throws and sank a conventional triple, and Milburn and Amanda Hardin each marked a pair of free throws to bring North within four with 5:40 left in the period, 29-25.
That’s when Bates went on a personal rampage: knocking down a three-pointer (which was followed by a three-ball by North’s Charissa Brooks), a basket inside, a free throw and another bomb. By the time the spurt ended, the Lady Panthers were nearly back to their halftime advantage, 38-28.
Corydon went on to lead at the final quarter break, 40-31.
The two teams swapped baskets, with a bucket by Cannon making the score 44-35 with 3:55 showing.
From there, North could only manage one field goal the rest of the way as Corydon went on a 7-3 run to end the game.
Voyles said defending Corydon is a difficult task due to their numerous offensive weapons. Choosing her poison, Voyles went with trying to focus on the Lady Panthers’ deadly guard trio of Stansbury, Bates and Megan Greer.
‘I thought in the first half that most of the points they were getting from their guards came when we were in our zone,’ Voyles explained. ‘We did a good job on Stansbury and Greer, but for some reason we could not find Bates. She hurt me, big time.’
Corydon shot 16 of 45, hit five of 17 tries beyond the arc and sank 14 of 22 free throw attempts.
In the last two games, the Lady Panthers have combined to shoot just 34 of 99 (34 percent) on field goals, but have held their opponents to an average of 34.5 points.
The Lady Cats hit 12 of 31 from the floor, including a four of 13 effort on threes, and sank 10 of 14 from the foul stripe.
Partially due to Beaven’s foul trouble, North won the rebounding battle by a slim margin, 31-25.
Corydon, which had only four turnovers in the game, forced 19 Lady Cat miscues.
The Lady Panthers travel to Floyd Central on Saturday in a 1 p.m. start before returning to Mid-Southern Conference play on Tuesday, hosting Salem at 6.
North Harrison will try to regroup next Thursday, Jan. 27, at Brownstown Central in a M.S.C. matchup, which starts at 6.