Panthers use threes to ‘Deck’ Floyd Central
The Corydon Central Panthers scored all 10 of their players and launched a bombardment of heavy artillery to put away the host Floyd Central Highlanders 91-66 Saturday night.
The win put Corydon above .500 and left Floyd Central winless in seven attempts.
‘We just played from behind all night,’ Floyd Central coach Kirk Hamsley said.
‘We can’t do that. We can’t score quick enough and consistent enough to come back and win. We’ve got to do a better job than that.’
‘Since the Lanesville game, we’ve just come leaps and bounds,’ Corydon coach Randy Gianfagna said. ‘It’s ridiculous from where we were. Since the North (Harrison) game, I think we’ve played about as well as there.’
Corydon (5-4) nearly put the game away in the first two minutes. After Floyd Central’s Kyle Hackemack got a deuce in response to Corydon’s Scott Decker’s opening three-ball, Decker and fellow Panther Calvin Saulman fired up four consecutive threes and Shaun Walker added a deuce for a 17-2 Corydon lead, forcing the Highlanders to call a quick time-out.
‘They shot well, and that was the difference in the game,’ Hamsley said. ‘They got that run out there at 17-2, and they hit those early three’s. We didn’t cover but about three of them. They were hot tonight.’
The Highlanders made a move to get back in the game in the last half of the quarter. Bill Legg got a deuce and later a single, but his free throw was negated by a Lucas Taylor single for Corydon. Floyd, however, pulled within 10 when Legg swished a three-ball, leaving the Highlanders down 20-10 at the end of the first period.
Corydon began the second quarter with an 8-2 burst to take a 27-13 lead. The action moved into the paint for several minutes, but even with their size advantage, the Highlanders were unable to make up any ground. Although Floyd finished the half with a 5-2 burst, Corydon still led by 10, 35-25, at halftime.
Hamsley said his players lost track of Decker.
‘I just wondered where my kid who was supposed to be on him was at,’ Hamsley said. ‘He was way down on the baseline. We started some younger kids tonight, and we struggled tonight. This is a learning experience, and they’ll get better.’
‘The biggest thing was giving them the 17-2 lead,’ Hamsley said. ‘It was a 10- to 12-point game all night. Then, they went out to 15. That’s what it was the first quarter, and we didn’t recover from that. I don’t think Randy expected that to happen either.’
Corydon upped its advantage in the third period, as Decker was still finding the basket from downtown, picking up two more triples. Ryan Herndon added a pair of doubles during a 12-4 run, and the Panther lead ballooned to 47-29.
Floyd Central went inside again as Chris Cadle and Hackemack put together 11 points to again cut the Corydon lead to 10, 57-47, with one quarter to go.
The final eight minutes, however, were all Corydon, who exploded for 34 points. The Highlander offense also did well, pouring in 19 points, but Floyd’s defense was unable to slow down the Panthers, who steam-rolled to the 25-point win.
Hamsley said he hoped to catch a break in the third quarter after the Highlanders cut the Corydon lead to eight at that point, but the Panthers instead stopped any threat Floyd could have put together.
‘We would have liked to have gone down and got a stop and then come back and got a shot,’ Hamsley said. ‘That’s when I was going to call time-out and talk about it, but they got down and hit a three. So, it’s back to 11 again.’
‘I thought we had a chance tonight,’ he said. ‘We’ve just to have better leadership in taking that next step. Their goal is to get this done, and they want to do it. We just have to step up and get it done.’
Gianfagna said his team’s pressure defense was a difference in the second half.
‘I thought it was better,’ he said. ‘We felt like we couldn’t let them sit and move the ball and work the ball. They still scored 66, and that’s a lot of points to give up, but it was an up-and-down game. We were happy the kids did some things we talked about at halftime.’
Decker led the Panthers with 26 points, including six three-pointers. Saulman added 15 points, while Chad Backherms scored 11. Walker added 10 for Corydon, who made 18 of 25 free throws and committed 12 turnovers. Corydon’s bench added 27 points.
Hackemack led Floyd Central with 21 points, and Cadle followed with 20. Drew White had 12 points for the Highlanders, who were 12 of 21 from the stripe and committed 18 errors.
‘They did a nice job,’ Hamsley said of Cadle and Hackemack. ‘What we’re missing right now is just good guard play and taking care of the basketball. We’ve got some inexperience, and we’ve got to do a better job as the season goes on. They’re two good guys to get the ball to. They can’t come down and throw it to themselves and score, which is about what they have to do at times.’
Hamsley said his team just needs a win to get their confidence back.
‘I think the kids are a little frustrated,’ he said. ‘They want to win. We want to win. They’re working hard. At the end they didn’t give up. It’s not like they’re laying down. They’re practicing hard every day and working hard. We just have to get it done out on the floor and take care of the ball.
‘To get one, we’ve just got to keep working. They’ve got a lot of pride in themselves and their work ethic. When you don’t get it done, you feel like you’re failing, but I don’t think they’re failing,’ he said. ‘I think people look at things the wrong way sometimes. We played well at times. Our young kids played well at times. We’ve just got to take that next step.’
Corydon Central (5-4, 2-0 MSC) hosts Clarksville (9-2, 3-0) in a league matchup on Friday before traveling to Crawford County (5-3) on Saturday