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Purple power: LHS decks Panthers, 50-41

Purple power: LHS decks Panthers, 50-41
Purple power: LHS decks Panthers, 50-41
Junior forward Taylor Hess pumps his fists towards the Lanesville crowd after the Eagles knocked off host Corydon Central for the first time in nine years on Friday night. (Photo by Alan Stewart)

November 26, 1996. That was the last time Lanesville’s boys beat county rival Corydon Central on the hardwood. Few, if any, current Eagles players can probably recall what they were doing that day.
Rest assured they’ll have quite a tale to tell about what happened on the same date in 2005: ‘Well, son, back when I played for Lanesville, we … ‘
… trailed by seven just before halftime, then flipped an offensive switch in the fourth quarter and defeated Corydon Central, 51-40, in the season-opener for both schools.
The last time Lanesville skinned the Panthers in their den was a 50-46 double-overtime win in November of 1985. That victory came in what’s now the Corydon Intermediate School gymnasium, making the 2005 victory Lanesville’s first in CCHS’ newer facility, which opened in late 1985.
In an otherwise ugly shooting game, the only highlight for either club came in the final eight minutes, and it was Lanesville’s effort that shined.
The Eagles were 4-6 from the field, hit the game’s only three-pointer, put in 16 of 18 at the foul stripe, and out-rebounded Corydon Central by a decisive margin, 11-2.
Lanesville junior guard Chris VanHoose was strapped to the bench in the first half due to foul trouble. His teammates kept the game close, and then in the game’s final 12 minutes, he took over.
VanHoose accounted for three of Lanesville’s four points in the third period, but in the final quarter, he dropped in 11 of 15 free throw attempts, finishing with a game-high 19 points.
‘Chris had the early foul trouble and really didn’t play the whole first half. For us to stay close going into halftime was really key. Then in the second half, what a wonderful game he played,’ Lanesville coach Mikel Miller said.
‘Mentally, he stayed in the game, and I don’t think he had a foul in the second half after having three. He was aggressive with the ball and got to the foul line. He had 19 points in the game, and got 17 in the second half.’
While Miller heaped praise on VanHoose for his offensive prowess, he also hailed junior forward Taylor Hess for his defensive effort.
‘Taylor Hess, awesome job. His job was to guard (Ryan) Herndon, and he held him to two points, and both of those were from the foul line. He held him to no field goals, and that was more important than anything offensively he could have done,’ Miller said.
Panther coach Randy Gianfagna said he was content with his team’s defense, but the offense left much to be desired.
‘We preach about keeping the man in front, and we didn’t do that very well. (VanHoose) was big, but we only scored 41 points tonight, and you aren’t going to win many games like that,’ Gianfagna said.
‘We gave up 51 points, and that’s not too bad, but we didn’t get many points. We have to find our offense. We didn’t knock down any shots, and we didn’t get the ball in the low post, and in the second half we didn’t take very good shots. Basically, they out-executed us tonight. It was an ugly basketball game that they won.’
Corydon led 13-8 after the first eight minutes, but the Eagles trimmed a couple off the deficit by halftime, 25-22.
The third period was an offensive clunker: each club put up four points.
Lucas Taylor, who paced Corydon with 14 points, gave his team a five-point lead with an early bucket, then Lanesville’s Craig Barnickle hit a pair of free throws. Jared Ashton scored for the hosts. In what Miller called the turning point of the game, Barnickle answered with the game’s only three-pointer. (He finished with five points on the night.)
‘He hit a three, we got a defensive stop, and then VanHoose scored. From then on, it was our game,’ Miller said. ‘I’m proud of the way (Barnickle) played and the way the entire bench played.’
VanHoose’s basket tied the game and Dave Bachmann’s two free throws gave Lanesville a lead it wouldn’t relinquish. Bachmann scored again on a spectacular near-dunk for a 37-33 lead that sent the Eagle crowd into a frenzy.
Over the final 6:32 of the ball game, Corydon was held to just three field goals, all by Taylor.
‘They pushed us out on the floor and took us out of things we wanted to do. Our defense wasn’t bad, but our offense was horrible. You just can’t score 41 points, and four in one quarter, and expect to win,’ Gianfagna said. ‘We’ve got a lot of work to do for North Harrison next Friday.’
For the game, Corydon was 15 of 43 from the field, 0-14 on threes, 10-14 from the line, and won the rebound battle, 28-26. The Eagles were 13 of 28 from the field, 1-6 on threes, and 24 of 39 on foul shots.
‘If we hit our free throws, we’re up around 60 points, and if you get to that score in high school, your chances of winning go up drastically,’ Miller said. ‘I think everyone saw in the fourth quarter how good we can be.’
Lanesville’s balanced scoring included six points each from Bachmann, Tom Richmer and Matthew Beckman, four from Seth Jacobs, three from Corydon transfer Jonathan Robinson, and two by Hess.
Corydon got 10 points from Calvin Saulman, but no other Panther put in more than four points.
Game notes: Fans and the Corydon Central Adult Booster Club combined to raise $600 during halftime of the game. The money will be donated to the families of the South Central students involved in a traffic fatality last week; the final score in the 1996 win by the Eagles was 56-48. Prior to that, the last time Corydon fell to Lanesville was Nov. 21, 1986, when the Panthers got beat 63-49 at the Eagle Dome.

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