Panthers rumble to 30-point win
The rivalry between the Corydon Central Panthers and Crawford County Wolfpack hasn’t waned over the last few years. If anything, it has grown in intensity.
‘It was a war here two years ago, and we beat them in a double overtime in a war there last year in the same kind of game,’ Crawford County coach Mike Brown said. ‘It’s the same intensity every time you play.’
The intensity levels were back again to new heights Saturday night, as the visiting Panthers leveled the Wolfpack in a 70-40 win.
‘It’s always an intense game,’ Corydon Central coach Jamie Kolkmeier said.
Corydon Central didn’t waste any time taking control of the game, beginning with a 9-0 run. Crawford County finally got on the board with 3:29 left in the first quarter when Jonathon Bowles swished a pair of free throws. Corydon Central made a slight gain, but Crawford countered. At the end of the quarter, the Panthers held a 17-8 advantage.
The beginning of the second quarter is when things got out of control. With Corydon Central on defense, Crawford County’s Andrew Curl, Corydon Central’s Tyler Shewmaker and fellow Panther Casey Saulman went to the deck entwined in a skirmish for rebound. Players from both teams went to the ensuing melee before officials dove into the group to restore order. No technicals were called, but both teams were assessed fouls and shot free throws.
‘It got wild because the officials let it get wild,’ said Brown. ‘If you call it tight, it doesn’t get that wild. They kept telling me they were going to tighten it up but they never did.’
‘I thought we kept our composure fairly well,’ Kolkmeier said. ‘It almost got away from us at times.’
Brown made it clear, however, the officials did not determine the outcome of the game.
‘The referees did not cost us this game,’ he said. ‘This game was won by Corydon. We tried hard. They had a lot to do with why we didn’t look that good, and they won the game. It just could have been a lot cleaner and a lot better played game if it would have been officiated a little better.’
Jordan Newkirk was called for goaltending on the next play with Dylan Harl given credit for the basket, giving Corydon Central a 19-8 lead. The Wolfpack soon found themselves in foul trouble with Newkirk, Jarret Denzinger and Jonathon Bowles all being called for their third fouls in the period. By halftime, the Panthers were holding a 39-20 advantage.
‘I thought Ryan Coffman came in and played a great game, and Tyler Shewmaker came in and gave us some really nice minutes,’ Kolkmeier said. ‘We got him going at the beginning. Dylan Harl, he really helped us keep our composure.’
Brown said Corydon Central’s five 3s in the first half was something his team wanted to avoid.
‘When we let them hit that many 3s to start the game and then we come up dry on our first six or seven possessions … you’re asking for trouble when you have a start like that,’ he said.
Crawford County worked to cut its deficit to 13 in the third period, but Brandon Dunaway lit up the nets again with back-to-back treys. That started a 14-2 run and pushed the Corydon Central lead to 51-32. It was a run Crawford County never recovered with the Panthers getting the 70-40 win.
‘I thought, defensively, we still had our lapses, but we probably had less of them tonight than we’ve had,’ said Kolkmeier. ‘We’re trying to make strides, and we’re playing a little bit better overall.’
Dunaway led all scorers with 31 of Corydon Central’s points. Garett Ross had 17, and Ryan Coffman came off the bench for 10. The Panthers were 21 of 47 (44 percent) from the field and 21 of 35 from the stripe. Corydon had 17 turnovers.
‘Brandon got on a roll there the second half,’ Kolkmeier said. ‘He can be tough to guard.’
‘We got in so much trouble early with fouls, Jordan would have been our guy to guard (Dunaway),’ said Brown. ‘When we can’t put him on him, now we’re at a size disadvantage. He can post up our guards and he can bring our big men out. That is going to be trouble for us.’
Andrew Curl and Alex Baker led Crawford with seven points each. Crawford County connected on just 14 of 43 field goals (33 percent) and 10 of 19 free throws. The Wolfpack made 21 turnovers.
‘All we wanted is to try to get better each and every night,’ Kolkmeier said. ‘We were better tonight than we were last night (against Clarksville) … I’m proud of them. They came out and played hard.’
Corydon Central returns home to host Salem Friday for a 7:30 p.m. start.