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Lady Panthers take down future sectional foe Crawford

The Corydon Central Lady Panthers used a late burst to secure a victory against the visiting Crawford County Lady Pack last Thursday night, 46-42.
The game was played on the coldest night of the year to date outside, and it carried over inside the gymnasium for both teams in the first half. The teams combined for only 28 points in the half, as Corydon (11-6) took a 15-13 lead into the locker room after junior Meghan Bussabarger dropped in two. Chelsea Benham kept Crawford County (14-5) close, squaring the game at 13 before Bussabarger’s basket ended the scoring for the half.
Corydon coach Larry Ragland opened the second half with a trapping 1-2-2 full court press, which quickly put Crawford County on its heels.
‘I like the way our defense played tonight,’ said Ragland.
Senior C.J. Reed’s bucket gave Corydon a five-point cushion. Sophomore Jenna Keinsley and Bussabarger added to the quick start with two scores, causing a time-out from Crawford County coach Eric Toney around the five-minute mark.
The Lady Pack battled back behind senior Chelsey Barron’s play, which included a 3-pointer to draw Crawford within two, at 22-20.
Corydon planned to run the clock down from nearly 40 seconds to take the last shot of the quarter. Lady Pack junior Shelby Holt had different plans. She stole the ball and layed it in and was fouled with three seconds remaining. She nailed the free throw to close the gap to one point heading into the fourth quarter.
Corydon again applied full-court pressure at the beginning of the fourth quarter, but the Lady Pack handled it better this time around. Both teams found it much easier to score in the final period. Lady Pack junior Chelsea Benham picked up her fourth foul with 5:35 remaining, and coach Toney had to use her wisely with offensive/defensive substitutions. Junior Kacey Cox dropped in two for Crawford, to pull within four at 32-28, but Bussabarger scored two consecutive baskets finishing with a 10-foot jump shot in the lane to extend the lead to its biggest margin of the second half, 35-28. Benham scored the next five points for the Lady Pack, making it 37-33.
Corydon then went on a game-breaking run, beginning with a press break wide open layup by Reed. Senior Jolanna Stiles completed a 3-point play to push the lead to nine with just under 2 minutes remaining. Reed, who had 12 points and seven rebounds on the night, gave Corydon its biggest lead of the game with a bucket and two free throws at 46-35. Crawford scored the final seven points, including a three by Cox before Corydon was able to run out the clock.
‘That’s a nice team,’ said Ragland of Crawford County. ‘We struggled offensively, but we built a lead on strong defense and we were able to hang on.’
Ragland also commended his squad on its balanced scoring. Keinsley led the Lady Panthers with 13 and 10 rebounds. Bussabarger also had a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds, and Stiles pitched in seven points.
On the Crawford side, Benham was the game’s leading scorer with 14, and Barron also contributed double figures with 11.
The Panthers fell at home against conference foe Brownstown 59-49 on Saturday. Corydon traveled to Salem last night (Tuesday) and will face Clarksville at home tomorrow night.
Crawford County will finish up its regular season at Christian Academy of Indiana tomorrow.