Panthers take two over weekend
Corydon Central took a 7-0 lead Friday night to open the game then survived a late Eastern (Pekin) rally to hold off the Musketeers, 66-56, in Mid-Southern Conference action.
‘It’s really good to get one,’ Corydon Central coach Jamie Kolkmeier said. ‘I think we’re on the cusp, but we’ve got to play more minutes and execute consistently.’
Fourteen days had elapsed since the Panthers hit the floor, and Friday they showed little rust. Casey Saulman opened with five straight points, including a 3-pointer. Brandon Dunaway added a basket to vault the Panthers to a 7-0 advantage.
On the defensive end, Corydon Central forced seven Musketeer turnovers in the first quarter, leading to a 15-8 lead after eight minutes.
‘I thought we had a decent start,’ Kolkmeier said. ‘One thing I told them before we hit the floor was, ‘You haven’t played in over a week; you better be hungry and play excited.’ ‘
The energy carried over into the second quarter. After Eastern’s Todd Albertson put in a field goal, the Panthers ripped off a 12-0 run to take a commanding 27-10 lead. Dylan Harl and Dunaway each sank a trey, and Garett Ross contributed four points during the run.
The run led Corydon Central to a 31-18 halftime lead.
In the second half, the Panthers eventually stretched the lead out to 43-24 after a Dunaway basket. Eastern began its rally from there, ending the quarter on a 12-2 run, cutting the Corydon Central lead to 11.
Eastern continued the spurt into the fourth quarter, pulling within five, 45-40, after a pair of Uriah Maudlin free throws.
Soon after cutting into the lead, Corydon Central lost the ball in the back court. Sprinting from the baseline, Harl dove into a scrum for the loose ball and forced a jump-ball situation. Not long after coming up with a hustle play, the junior nailed a 3-pointer to put the Panthers up by eight.
‘Maybe the play of the game was when Dylan dove and got the possession back for us,’ Kolkmeier said. ‘When we started losing it and started making bad plays was when he dove after it and got that ball. There were multiple plays in the game, but I thought that was the big one.’
From that moment, the fourth quarter dragged out, as the Panthers attempted 18 fourth-quarter free throws, making good on 10.
Dunaway led all scorers with 24 points. Saulman, who had a big first half, contributed 14 points, and Ross added 11.
Michael Doebler and Maudlin led Eastern in scoring with 15 points each.
‘We’re after momentum right now,’ Kolkmeier said. ‘I just wanted to play well. I think they could have played better, but the wins will happen when you play well.’
Corydon Central picked up another win, 62-59, Saturday at Charlestown. The two wins moved the Panthers to 5-9 on the season. They host Austin (14-2) tomorrow night (Thursday) at 7:30.
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