Take two: Lady Panthers blow past SHS
When the final horn sounded at Saturday night’s championship game of the Class 3A Sectional, Corydon Central’s girls basketball team had left its fans wilted and the edges of the old, wooden seats at Silver Creek High School a tad more worn.
Corydon trailed by four points at the intermission against conference and sectional-rival Scottsburg, 28-24, but that was nothing new in this tourney for the Lady Panthers.
In its previous two games at Silver Creek, Corydon led by only two points in the sectional opener against Salem, and by just five against the host Lady Dragons in Friday’s semifinal matchup.
And ‘ as in those previous triumphs ‘ the Lady Panthers relied on their tough-as-a-pine knot defense to post a huge win.
Scottsburg hit only four field goals in the second half and only one in the final eight minutes as Corydon Central repeated as sectional champs.
Corydon defeated Scottsburg in last year’s sectional final as well, 52-49.
Over the tournament, the Lady Panthers held their opponents to a combined 13-55 (23 percent) shooting in the second half, and forced 32 turnovers in the same span.
Lady Panther senior Dana Beaven, already considered in the running for a bid for The Indianapolis Star’s Indiana All-Star Team, did nothing to hurt her cause: She poured in 27 points in the final, hitting a perfect 13 for 13 from the charity stripe, and grabbed 11 rebounds.
For the three-game sectional, she averaged 20 points and 10 rebounds a game and was 16-16 at the line.
‘That’s why she should be on the Indiana All-Star Team. If she’s not, it’s a crying shame,’ Corydon coach Michael Uhl said of his only senior. ‘She played great last night and tonight. She played like an Indiana All-Star, and she should be one.’
Junior forward Stannye Wolfe also had a double-double Saturday night with 13 points and 11 rebounds, and fellow juniors Jessie Stansbury and Megan Greer scored six points apiece.
Seven of Wolfe’s points came in the decisive third frame, where fouls started to mount for both teams, and the game started to slip from the control of the officials.
‘She really went after the boards and was real physical,’ Uhl said. ‘The game got real physical. There was a lot of hacking and scratching and slapping, and we protected ourselves there a couple of times. Some people didn’t like that too much, but that’s the things you’ve got to do. It’s a sectional final, and I guess the officials were going to let them play, and we took care of some stuff.’
The Warriorettes (17-5) had their fans in a frenzy early on as they jumped out to a 7-2 lead on a steal and lay-in by Whitney Bridgewater, a three by sister Stephanie Bridgewater, and a pair of free throws by Shelley Wallace.
Corydon’s Stannye Wolfe scored her second goal of the contest and Beaven hit inside to make it a one-point affair.
The Lady Panthers failed to convert a field goal over the final 2:38 of the opening period as Stephanie Bridgewater nailed two more treys and Whitney Bridgewater sank a free throw for a 14-8 advantage.
In the opening minutes of the second period, Stephanie Bridgewater hit another three and Rachel Hardin and Kayla Shaw tacked on baskets to push the Warriorette advantage to 10 points, 24-14.
Over the final 2:42 of the quarter, however, Beaven put in nine and sure-handed guard Jessie Stansbury added a free throw to bring their club back to within four at the intermission, 28-24.
‘It’s sectional final and you are down 10 in the first half, and you couldn’t feel worse. They just hit all their shots in the first half, and we had to play our game in the second half,’ Beaven said.
‘We knew who their shooters were coming into the game, but we just didn’t find them. In the second half, we did a better job,’ the wily guard said.
After Whitney Bridgewater kicked off the second half with a deuce, Beaven and Megan Greer had back-to-back baskets to trim the deficit to two points, 30-28.
After a Stephanie Bridgewater free throw, Corydon went on a 12-4 run over the next 4:32 to take a 40-35 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
The spurt started with a jumper and an old-fashioned three-point play by Wolfe to give the Lady Panthers their first lead of the game, 33-31, with 3:20 left.
Scottsburg’s star senior, Kristin Edwards, hit a jumper from 17 feet for her first points of the game. Greer nailed a three and Wolfe had another deuce for a 38-33 lead. Edwards hit another jump shot from nearly the same spot as her previous shot. That was followed by a steal and eventual lay-in by Brooke South for Corydon’s five-point advantage heading into the final period.
Just a few seconds before her steal, South came up with a key defensive rebound.
‘That was a huge lift. You look at that and say it was huge, but those are things that Brooke does for us when she comes off the bench, and we expect that out of her. It’s not a surprise that it happened. She’s like our sixth starter out there,’ Uhl said.
Hardin hit for a basket at the 7:31 mark of the fourth quarter for what proved to be Scottsburg’s final field goal of the game.
Over the final 5:15, the Lady Panthers outscored the Warriorettes 18-5 to cruise to the win.
Bates battled foul trouble and equaled her lowest offensive output of the season with just two points. South and Bethany Shewmaker also put in two points apiece.
Edwards was held well below her season average after notching just seven points.. Stephanie Bridgewater led the Warriorettes with her four threes and 13 points. Hardin added 10.
Corydon shot 18 of 40 from the field and hit one triple in eight attempts. The Lady Panthers shot 21 of 26 from the foul stripe and out-rebounded Scottsburg, 34-25.
The Warriorettes were held to 12 of 41 shooting, including a paltry 5 of 23 on threes, and sank 13 of 22 foul shots.
C.C. 47, S.C. 28
Spurred by a 20-7 run in the third period, Corydon put away a feisty Silver Creek ball club in the semifinal round of sectional play, 47-28.
Junior guard Megan Bates dropped in 13 of her 16 points in the pivotal quarter, and senior teammate Dana Beaven scored a game-high 21 points in Corydon’s victory.
Beaven hit the first four field goals of the game for the Lady Panthers, who jumped out to an 8-1 lead before Silver Creek’s Allison Jackson had a lay-in for her team’s first field goal. with 1:06 left in the first.
Beaven had a score in the final seconds of the period for a 10-3 Corydon lead.
The Lady Panthers saw their advantage trimmed by two at the half, 15-10, however, they posted a 13-2 run in the final 2:51 of the third period to take a 35-17 lead heading to the final stanza.
Uhl said his club made some simple offensive adjustments at the half.
‘We were running everything from the free throw line, extended, and we needed to get things going down on the block. We were taking the easy way out on some offensive plays we were running. We made a couple of adjustments, hit a couple of shots, and things just starting rolling for us a little bit,’ Corydon’s coach said.
In addition to her 21 points, Beaven also had 11 rebounds, four assists and three steals.
Stannye Wolfe was in foul trouble in the first half, so Uhl called on the services of Brooke South and Bethany Shewmaker to help out on defense on the Lady Dragons’ stars, Jackson and Stephanie Steele.
‘Bethany and Brooke came in and really bottled those two up. They did a really good job on Steele and Jackson when Stannye was in foul trouble,’ Uhl said.
Corydon hit 19 of 46 from the field and had just seven turnovers.
Silver Creek went 10 of 37 from the floor and coughed the ball up 20 times.
All-Tourney Team named
Three Lady Panthers and one Lady Cat were named to the All-Tournament Team. Corydon’s Dana Beaven, Stannye Wolfe and Megan Bates were honored, as was North Harrison’s Morgan Carr. Also making the team were Kristin Edwards and Rachel Hardin (Scottsburg), Brittany Boldery (Madison), Shaylee Brown (Salem), and Allison Jackson and Stephanie Steele (Silver Creek).