Corydon felled by New Albany’s second-half pressure
The old platitude about a tale of two halves was in full force Saturday night on the hardwood in New Albany, where the host club went into the locker room like pups and came out like the Bulldogs that adorn their arena.
To that point, visiting Corydon Central ‘ which held New Albany without a field goal for the final five minutes of the second period ‘ was clicking in all facets of the game and was ahead of New Albany, 33-27.
While New Albany head coach Jim Shannon said there was no fire and brimstone speech during the intermission, in the second half it was obvious that whatever he said struck a nerve with his ball club.
The Bulldogs (4-0) scored nine points in just over a minute to start the third period, and by the time the quarter was over, Corydon’s six-point halftime lead was nothing but a memory as New Albany surged ahead, 57-42.
The Panthers (1-2) never recovered from the flurry and caved to the hosts, 82-52.
‘I was really happy with the way our kids came out at the beginning and played with them,’ Corydon coach Jamie Kolkmeier said. ‘We believe we can play with anybody. We didn’t go in wanting to keep it close. We wanted to win, and I think at halftime (New Albany) realized that we weren’t there to just lose.’
Red-hot shooting in the first two quarters is what put the Panthers up at each of the first two stops.
Scott Decker hit two triples, and Lucas Taylor added three more for the visitors, who knocked down 13 of 25 shots in the opening 16 minutes.
A 6-0 run by Corydon made it 13-5 with 3:50 showing in the first quarter.
New Albany’s Drew Schmidt scored five unanswered points before Corydon’s Matt Key and Calvin Saulman came through for their club with points of their own as the visitors held a slim 18-16 lead after one period.
Key scored the next six points for Corydon as he swapped buckets with New Albany’s TeNale Roland and William Barber.
Actually, every basket by one team was countered by a goal by the other in the second frame. The only difference came from three-point land, where Taylor hit two to put his club ahead at the half, 33-27.
New Albany’s decisive, 30-9 run in the third period tilted momentum towards the hosts.
‘I didn’t throw anything, which I’ve been known to do in the past,’ New Albany coach Jim Shannon said about his locker room speech. ‘I basically challenged them. I just sat in a chair and asked them if they were going to be satisfied playing that way. I asked if they were happy being lethargic and slow because if they were, then they were leaving here with their first loss of the season.’
A three-point bomb by Schmidt was followed by back-to-back old-fashioned threes by Barber and Mitchell Meyer in a span of 1:05 to start the third period gave the Bulldogs their first lead since the first quarter, 36-33.
The play that Kolkmeier said shifted momentum for good came with 4:30 left in the third.
Trailing 42-37, Corydon had a three-on-one fast break opportunity fall by the wayside when Taylor was pegged with his fourth foul. With Key already on the bench with four fouls, two potent weapons were out of the game for Corydon.
‘After (Taylor) went out, it was almost an impossible margin for us to make up, because not only is Lucas a scorer, he’s a ball-handler. The type of pressure New Albany was putting on us put us in panic mode,’ Kolkmeier said.
New Albany led 57-42 at the final break, then held Corydon to just 10 points in the final frame to seal the win.
‘In the first half we handled their press and had good spacing. They are so aggressive, you have to get some easy baskets and make them pay for being too aggressive and we did that,’ Kolkmeier said. ‘They just turned up their pressure in the second half, and then Braydon (Hobbs) took over. Shannon’s got a good team. They have a lot of weapons.’
New Albany, whose bench outscored Corydon’s, 19-2, put four players in double figures, led by the 17 points of Hobbs. Schmidt scored 15, while Barber and Meyer each scored 14. Roland just missed with nine points.
After shooting 10 of 27 in the first half, New Albany finished with a mark of 30-50, including 6-16 beyond the arc. The Bulldogs trimmed Corydon on the glass, 31-23, and committed just five turnovers.
The Panthers put four of its starting five in double figures as well, paced by the 17 points of Saulman. Taylor and Decker scored 11 apiece, while Key put in 10 before fouling out.
Corydon shot 13 of 25 in the opening half, then finished at 21 of 46. The Panthers drained five treys in 18 tries and committed 12 turnovers, including nine in the second half alone.
Corydon hosts Scottsburg (4-1) Friday, then travels to undefeated Madison (5-0) on Saturday.
‘We’re trying to treat this like it’s sectional week, because you’ll probably have to beat two teams like that on a Friday and Saturday night,’ Kolkmeier said. ‘Scottsburg’s been one of those teams to beat in Mid-Southern Conference the past 10 years, and Madison probably has the best player (Logan Jones) we’ll face this year.’