Cubs fall victim to Panther 3-point barrage
The 3-point shot lit the fuse for Corydon Central’s offensive explosion against visiting Madison Saturday night.
From beyond the arc, the Panthers drilled 15 3-pointers, including 12 in the first half to control the game and defeat the Cubs, 85-77.
‘We came out on fire,’ Corydon Central coach Jamie Kolkmeier said. ‘We came out passing the ball well, and we have a lot of guys in the zone right now.’
The Panther starting five of Brandon Dunaway, Garett Ross, Dylan Harl, Casey Saulman and Seth Rennirt each got in on the scoring. All tallied double-digit scoring, and each had at least one 3-pointer.
As a team, the Panthers jumped out to a 24-10 lead during the first five minutes of the game. In that span, Corydon Central had six successful 3-pointers, two each from Saulman and Dunaway, and one each from Rennirt and Harl.
Madison’s offense held strong, scoring 21 points in the first quarter. Corydon Central, however, was too strong from beyond the arc. Rennirt added another trey, and Ross buried one of his own at the buzzer for a 30-21 edge after eight minutes. Each of the starting five contributed to the eight 3s in the opening quarter.
‘We need people to be available,’ Kolkmeier said of the offensive balance. ‘It isn’t going to happen every night, but we have to continue to share the ball; we’re going to be successful.’
The second quarter featured another barrage of 3-pointers. During an 14-0 run midway through, Harl connected on a pair and Saulman swished another. Closing the run that put the Panthers up 46-25 was an old-fashioned 3-point play from Rennirt, who was fouled on a layup.
At halftime, the Panthers led 53-34. From the 3-point line, the team was 12 of 16 shooting.
In the end, Saulman led the team with five treys for 15 points. Harl hit four of his 3s, leading to 17 points, and also dished seven assists. Dunaway led the Panthers in scoring with 22 points with three treys.
‘Casey is shooting the ball great,’ Kolkmeier said. ‘That kid is just playing so hard for us. About the middle of January last year, after that ice storm, Casey has been heating everything up.’
Saulman hit a 3-pointer in the fourth quarter that put the home team up 78-59. Madison then made its push to put pressure on the Panthers. The Cubs closed the game on an 18-7 run but drew no closer than seven points with 47 seconds to play.
‘Overall, we have been playing with lots of confidence until that fourth quarter,’ Kolkmeier said. ‘We missed a few easy shots underneath or turned the ball over and a few guys started hanging their heads. When you make a mistake, you have to move to the next play.’
Kolkmeier was critical of Madison’s ability to get to the basket.
‘We were poor tonight guarding off the dribble,’ he said. ‘They got to the lanes way too much, and we’ve got to get better at that.’
Madison was also hot from 3-point range, connecting on nine. Luke Jones had two 3s and led the Cubs in scoring with 23 points. Ross Hensler buried five treys for 19 points for Madison.
Saturday’s win capped a high-scoring weekend for the Panthers. On Friday, Corydon Central scored an 87-67 win over Mid-Southern Conference foe Scottsburg on the road.
Corydon Central led 38-33 at the half but used a third-quarter surge to pull away. Dunaway scored 16 points in the quarter, leading to his game high 24. Ross added 22 points, along with Saulman’s 15, Harl’s 12 and Ryan Coffman’s 12.
‘There was a bad stretch in the first half, but our big stretch happened about halfway through the third quarter,’ Kolkmeier said. ‘We just took off and exploded after a little lull in the first half.’
After Christmas, the Panthers will participate in the PSC Holiday Classic, hosted by Tell City and Heritage Hills.
Corydon Central opens at Tell City against the host team at 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday. Play continues on Wednesday, Dec. 30, at Tell City, with the placement games taking place on Saturday, Jan. 2, at Heritage Hills. The field includes Boonville, Perry Central, Northeast Dubois, South Spencer, Owensboro Catholic (Ky.) and Heritage Hills.
‘That is a good bracket,’ Kolkmeier said. ‘Perry Central and Boonville are really good teams in that bracket. I think it is the toughest tournament they’ve hosted since I have been here.’
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