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VanHoose nets 19 as Lanesville nips Corydon

Two local boys’ basketball teams tipped off another season Saturday night, as the Lanesville Eagles made it two in a row over the Corydon Central Panthers, 58-56.
Despite the fact that Light Up Corydon was going on that night after temperatures reached a balmy 70 degrees in the afternoon, it didn’t stop fans from filling Lanesville’s gymnasium for the annual tussle.
‘Any time you can come out with a win in the first game of the year, it puts you in a good mindset for the season,’ said Lanesville coach Mikel Miller. ‘I thought the game was going to come down to the last possession.’
With just under 19 seconds remaining, Lanesville senior guard Chris VanHoose made one of two free throws to put the Eagles up by what would be the final margin. Corydon, after moving the ball down the court, tried for the win with a Scott Decker three-pointer, which was taken slightly right of the top of the key. The miss was rebounded by the Panthers’ senior center, Matt Key, who tried a 15-footer for the tie. He missed as time expired.
The Eagles never had a lead larger than five points, and when they were down, Miller thought the team’s experience kept them in the game.
‘We have a lot of experienced kids,’ said Miller. ‘That experience kept us focused, and we didn’t panic. No forced shots.’
Remaining calm allowed the Eagles to take the lead and the win. The Panthers, on the other hand, were not playing smart, according to coach Jamie Kolkmeier, who is in his first season at the helm at Corydon.
‘We played hard but didn’t play smart in the fourth quarter,’ said Kolkmeier. ‘We didn’t value the ball enough.’
Down by five at the end of the first quarter, the Panthers were able to take the lead by halftime. Corydon was seven of 12 from the 3-point line at the halfway mark, as the Eagles were four of eight. Lanesville was able to keep the game close, however, hitting seven of eight free throws. The Panthers had not gotten to the charity stripe in the first half.
‘We just needed to be more inside,’ said Kolkmeier. ‘I thought we were playing better once we were scoring inside.’
Starting the third quarter, the Panthers began going inside. Key scored four points within the first two minutes, and after a couple of Lanesville turnovers, Corydon senior Lucas Taylor made a lay-up.
Once the Panthers were able to score inside, they took the biggest lead of the game, 49-41, but coach Miller had faith in his Eagles.
‘I said we needed to be patient and get some stops back-to-back,’ he said. ‘And not get a stop here and there.’
That’s exactly what the Eagles did. With 5:45 left in the game, Corydon junior Calvin Saulman hit a little floater to put the Panthers up by six, but a four-minute, 41-second scoring drought followed. During that span, the Panthers had four turnovers, and the Eagles capitalized with 10 unanswered points for a 55-51 edge.
Last year, the Eagles won at Corydon for the first time since 1985, 51-40. Before that game, it had been eight years since the Eagles last beat the Panthers in basketball. Now Lanesville is looking for its own eight-year streak.
‘I’m proud of (my team),’ said Miller. ‘I give them a lot of credit; we defended our home court.’
Leading the way for the Eagles was VanHoose, who had 19 points, including three 3-pointers, and eight rebounds. Senior David Lieber added 10 points.
Taylor paced the Panthers with 14 points, including a trio of three-pointers. Decker added 12 points, all from beyond the arc.
Lanesville ended the game with five 3-pointers, and Corydon making 10. From the free-throw line, the Eagles were 19 of 23, including 10 of 13 in the fourth quarter, and the Panthers were two of six.
The Eagles’ next game is at conference rival Borden. Tip-off is scheduled for Friday at 7:30 p.m.
The Panthers will also play Friday night, hosting the North Harrison Cougars at 7:30.
Games notes: At halftime, Lanesville fans were able to continue to cheer, as the 2006 Lady Eagles’ softball team was recognized for being the 1-A state runners-up. They are the first team in school history to make it to the state finals.

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