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Swift start lifts Jeff over Lady Panthers, 61-58

Swift start lifts Jeff over Lady Panthers, 61-58
Swift start lifts Jeff over Lady Panthers, 61-58
Corydon Central's Mackenzie Dyer, right, attempts to pull the ball away from Jeffersonville's Ally Wright during the final minutes of the game. Meghan Bussabarger, left, led the Lady Panthers with 25 points. (Photo by Brian Smith)

The Lady Panthers tried and tried again in the second half to catch-up to host Jeffersonville Saturday, but an early 13-point deficit was too much to overcome as Jeffersonville survived for a 61-58 win.
Jeffersonville’s Shanice Gholston kicked off the second half with a trey, extending the host team’s lead to 40-28. From there, Corydon Central fought back the rest of the way.
In the third quarter, Mackenzie Dyer opened the Lady Panthers’ run with a three-pointer, followed by Meghan Bussabarger reeling off seven of the next nine Corydon Central points. Her three-point conversion late in the quarter pulled the Lady Panthers to within five at 46-41.
But each time Corydon Central made a close run, Jeffersonville answered the bell. They closed the quarter with a 4-0 run and back to a nine-point lead.
Bussabarger went back to work in the fourth quarter. The junior followed a pair of Jenna Keinsley free throws with back-to-back baskets, including a deep ball to pull Corydon Central to within two at 50-48.
‘Bussabarger creates a problem for a lot of teams because she can go inside and outside,’ Corydon Central coach Larry Ragland said. ‘She jumps well. We hope she can keep it going all year.’
After trimming the margin to two points, the Corydon Central offense went stale, going 3-1/2 minutes without a point. During the span, Jeffersonville’s Lindsay Monihon scored a pair of baskets along with points from Jamice Williams and Alexis Samuel.
‘In the second half, we did what we needed to do,’ Ragland said. ‘We kept them off the offensive glass after giving up six put-backs in the first half.’
Jeffersonville hit 4 of 7 free throws down the stretch to seal the non-conference win.
‘We got within two, but you fight and grind to get back and you get a little tired,’ Ragland added. ‘We couldn’t get over that hump or get that energy boost that we needed.’
Bussabarger had a solid performance along with Keinsley. Bussabarger finished with a game-high 25 points and tallied eight rebounds. Keinsley recorded a double-double with 13 points and 13 rebounds. C.J. Reed also scored in double figures with 10 points.
Early in the game, Corydon Central fell behind, thanks to trouble on the defensive rebounding end, turnovers and poor shooting. They made just one of nine three-point attempts to start the game.
‘When you get behind on Jeff, they can really turn it up,’ Ragland said. ‘They play off that momentum. We had some nice open looks we normally knock down, but they didn’t fall for us.’
Jeffersonville’s first-half pressure forced Corydon Central into 11 turnovers. The first half, likewise with the game, came down to shooting. Jeffersonville made 49 percent of its attempts while Corydon Central shot 39 percent.
Jeffersonville was led in scoring by Ally Wright with 18 points. Monihon concluded with 15 points and six rebounds. Jeffersonville has been on quite a run, putting together four straight wins, all over quality opponents.
Up next for the Lady Panthers is a tough road test against Mid-Southern Conference leader Class 2A No. 7 Austin tonight (Wednesday) at 7:30. Expect the scoreboard to see plenty of action as Austin (5-0, 2-0 MSC) is off to an incredible start, averaging a state-best 84 points per game. Corydon Central averages 62.8 points per game and is also off to a 2-0 start to the conference season.
After Austin, the Lady Panthers will hit the road again over the weekend to play at Silver Creek (2-5, 0-2 MSC) on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. This coming Tuesday, Corydon Central will play at South Central at 7:30 p.m.
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