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’61 Panthers honored

’61 Panthers honored
’61 Panthers honored
After being honored at halftime of Friday’s varsity game, the 1961 Corydon boys’ basketball team poses for a photo. Shown are, first row, from left, Lynda Fleace Knear (cheerleader), Judy Engleman Mason (cheerleader), Elizabeth Cato (widow of coach Ralph Cato) and Charlene Russel Mann (cheerleader); back row, players Spencer Noe, Pete Akers (represented deceased brother Mike Akers), Mick Frederick, Ron Reed, Buck Backherms, Tom Preston, Frank Wiseman, Jim Boley, Dick Crosier and assistant coach Gordon Pendleton. Not in attendance were players Vincent Shuck and John Love and cheerleaders Sue Smith Riddle and Carol Miller Ray. (click for larger version)

Corydon Central’s home game Friday night not only saw the end of the regular season for the Panthers and visiting South Central, it also welcomed back a famous team.
Panther fans celebrated the return of the 1961 Corydon Panthers’ trip to the Evansville Semi-State. The 50th anniversary team was recognized at mid-court during halftime of the varsity contest. Not only was the 1961 regional trophy and net re-presented to the team, but the former cheerleaders led the crowd to their feet with a cheer.
The 1961 Panthers won the Salem Sectional and the Jeffersonville Regional to earn a trip to Roberts Stadium in Evansville. Along the way, they scored wins over Milltown (60-58), Campbellsburg (79-74), Pekin (74-73) and Salem (78-68).
The Panthers had to play four close, hard-fought, heart-pounding games in the sectional. The first three opponents in the sectional ‘ Milltown, Campbellsburg and Pekin ‘ had a combined win-loss record of 41-13. The Milltown game was won on a last-second shot in regulation, the Campbellsburg game was a five-point win and the Pekin game was a one-point win on a last-second shot in overtime. The final was comparatively milder with a 10-point victory over Salem, but only after the Panthers trailed much of the game.
The following week, the Panthers played Seymour in the first game of the Jeffersonville Regional in the old Jeffersonville Fieldhouse. It was another tough game, resulting in a three-point win after the Panthers trailed most of the game.
In the regional final, the Panthers played their best game of the tournament, winning 75-62 against a Silver Creek team which had beaten New Albany, Jeffersonville and Providence in the sectional and Bedford in the regional.
The 1961 squad’s victory run came to an end the following Saturday at Evansville with a loss to Jasper.
The class of 1961 has a reunion planned for the summer.

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