Crawford rallies to top Corydon
After tripping through a shaky first quarter, the Crawford County Lady Pack rallied by visiting Corydon Central last Tuesday night for a 56-47 win. The win improved Crawford’s record to 11-1, while the Lady Panthers dropped to 5-7.
‘I felt like I over-coached in the Forest Park game,’ Crawford coach Eric Toney said, referring to his team’s only loss, just before the Christmas break. ‘In this game we focused on trying to play hard ‘ being relentless. I think for three-fourths of the game we did that. For most of the first quarter, we didn’t do that as well as we needed to.’
‘There was a stretch where we went 11 minutes without scoring, and we lose by nine,’ said Corydon coach Larry Ragland. ‘If you’d have shown me that, I figured we’d have lost by 30. We’ve got to get the shots to fall, and when the shots don’t fall, we have to keep the other team in check till we’re able to get our shots.’
Corydon turned the ball over twice and missed its first three shots. In contrast, Crawford sank its first two deuces for a 4-0 lead.
Things then suddenly flip-flopped, however, as Corydon’s Meghan Bussabarger and C. J. Reed sandwiched threes around a Lady Pack deuce by Kacey Cox to tie the game at six. From that point it was all Corydon, who finished the period with an 8-0 run to lead 14-6 after the first eight minutes.
‘The game was not a good start for us,’ Toney said. ‘It was much like we started out against Forest Park. Defensively, we weren’t very hard to play against. They hit a couple of lucky threes, and it seemed like we lost our edge a little defensively for pretty much the rest of that first quarter.’
Corydon, however, suffered a complete meltdown in the second period, hitting just one of its 14 field goal attempts, a Jolanna Stiles deuce early in the period. Crawford took advantage, connecting on five of its eight attempts to tie the game at 16 at halftime.
‘I was really pleased we were tied at halftime, being we went a stretch at one for 14 in the second quarter,’ Ragland said. ‘It continued on early in third quarter, too, and they built that lead. We hung in there and didn’t give up. It’s all about shooting and putting the ball in the bucket. We didn’t do that in the second and third quarter.’
The Lady Pack scored the first eight points of the third period, while Corydon went three minutes without a bucket, enabling Crawford to push its lead to 24-16.
Following a deuce by Corydon’s Mackenzie Dyer, Chelsea Benham got the next three Crawford baskets.
Corydon then launched a counter-attack as Teresa Greer bagged a pair of three-balls and Bussabarger scored inside, shrinking the Lady Panther deficit to 30-26. Benham finished the period with four more Crawford points for a 34-26 Lady Pack lead with one quarter to go.
‘A few times I thought we might be out of the game, then we’re down by four,’ Ragland said. ‘The girls played hard. I can’t say anything because they did play hard. We just couldn’t put it in the bucket.’
The first 5:30 minutes of the fourth period saw the two teams trading point, then Dyer and Bridgett Decker swished back-to-back threes to cut Crawford’s lead to four.
The Lady Pack, however, finished with an 8-3 run for the win.
‘We kept hoping we’d have that spurt at the end,’ Ragland said. ‘They did a nice job in the fourth quarter. They knocked down several of their free throws, and that wins them ball games. They had 22 points in the fourth quarter and we had 21. We just had that lapse in the second and third quarters and that made it tough.’
‘They’ve got some good shooters,’ Toney said. ‘They’ve been around and they’re used to winning and used to making big shots. They got on a roll and scored a lot of points at the end of the third and throughout much of the fourth quarter. But we responded offensively. We got the ball inside in the second half much better. We only had two assists at the half, and in the second half it was many times that.’
Benham led the Lady Pack with 27 points and seven rebounds. Chelsey Barron finished with nine points, seven boards, five assists and four steals, and Marissa Summers also had seven rebounds. Crawford was 19 of 42 from the field (45 percent) and 11 of 17 from the charity stripe. Crawford turned over the ball 17 times.
‘Those don’t happen unless she moves well and somebody has to hit her,’ Toney said of Benham’s points. ‘We’ve got to have the ball in position. Then, we have to make the play. We did that in the second half.’
‘She was the one I was most worried about,’ Ragland said of the Crawford sophomore. ‘She’s able to take it outside and she can go inside. We just didn’t do a very good job of denying her the ball. She works really hard. She gets the basketball, and we just didn’t really play very good post defense. She’s a nice player.’
Bussabarger led Corydon with 13 points. The Lady Panthers were 17 of 51 from the field (33 percent) and 4 of 7 from the free-throw line. Corydon committed 12 turnovers.
‘To our credit, we began to slowly tighten the defense down,’ Toney said. ‘I think we had a period where they had 16 for a long time. I really believe it was our defense. They didn’t really have good looks. The third quarter, we held them for the first five minutes. That was the difference in the game.’