Post-season Cat Classic goes to Panthers
The start of the Class 3A Sectional semi-final game between rivals North Harrison and Corydon Central was reminiscent of the regular season meeting between the two.
Corydon Central nearly duplicated the 22-4 lead it built in the regular season meeting by outscoring the Cougars, 24-6, Friday night. The lead vaulted Corydon Central to a 55-39 win.
In the first quarter, Corydon Central hit five of its six 3-pointers. Dylan Harl knocked down two, while Casey Saulman, Brandon Dunaway and Ryan Coffman hit one each.
‘We got into a lull after getting out to the 20-4 start,’ Corydon Central coach Jamie Kolkmeier said. ‘That start was important to getting out in front though.’
Corydon Central’s defense was key to the quick beginning. The Panthers forced 16 turnovers in the first half.
‘When you’re playing a team that, on paper, is a lot better than you are … you can’t really turn the ball over that much,’ North Harrison coach Greg Walters said.
Corydon Central was held to five points in the second quarter as North Harrison chipped away at the Panther lead. The final three points of the quarter were tough for North Harrison to take. After a jump ball was called on a Corydon Central miss, Saulman drained a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to close the half for Corydon Central. The long ball gave the Panthers a 29-14 lead.
North Harrison played well midway through the third quarter, using eight consecutive Devin Southard points to pull within 12 points, 35-23.
Corydon Central, however, was too tough. Seth Rennirt scored four of his team-best 13 points in the final minutes of the third quarter to stretch the lead back to 41-23. The margin was plenty for the Panthers, who hung on to advance to the sectional title game.
Kolkmeier said he was concerned about the rebounding effort his team put forth.
‘I thought that was probably the worst rebounding effort of the year,’ he said. ‘That will definitely have to be better tomorrow. We need more guys to rebound, not just two guys at a time.’
Saulman scored 12 points for Corydon Central, and Garett Ross added 10.
Southard led North Harrison in scoring with 14 points. Joe Bolin added nine points.
‘I was proud of the guys,’ North Harrison coach Greg Walters said. ‘We were the underdogs coming into the game, and things didn’t work out from the start. We could have packed up our bags and went home, but we continued to fight and we cut the lead a couple of times to where I thought, if we could cut four more points off that thing, we could get it down to eight and we’re right back in it.’
North Harrison finishes the season with a 7-15 record.
‘We had a real big improvement,’ Walters said. ‘There was a stretch where we were playing some really good basketball. We had a real tough game at Floyd Central and, then after that, we played some of our best basketball.’