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Corydon downs Eagles for first win

Corydon downs Eagles for first win
Corydon downs Eagles for first win
Corydon CentralÂ’s Bronson Kessinger turns to attempt a shot over a Lanesville defender in the first half last Wednesday. The freshman tallied 19 points for the Panthers in a winning effort. Photo by Brian Smith (click for larger version)

Normally the season opener between county schools Corydon Central and Lanesville, this years version took place Wednesday in Corydon. The game was originally scheduled for the Saturday following Thanksgiving, but Corydon Central’s late post-season football run pushed the game back.
The Corydon Central Panthers were able to use a rush of points to start the second quarter and eventually hold off the Eagles for a 68-60 win.
Both coaches said they saw improvement after the first weekend of games.
‘We turned it over too much, but we cleaned up our defensive angles compared to last week,’ said Corydon Central coach Jamie Kolkmeier.
‘At times, we played scrappy,’ said Lanesville coach Mikel Miller. ‘We showed some improvement tonight, but it wasn’t enough to win.’
Lanesville had empty opportunities at the start of the second quarter, while Corydon Central used defense and offensive rebounds to widen its lead. Coming into the quarter with an 18-13 lead, Bronson Kessinger scored on a put-back to extend the Panthers’ lead to seven.
Jack Ferree answered with a field goal for Lanesville, but Corydon Central went on to score the next 10 points. Brayden Lander turned a steal into a bucket and followed with another field goal. Justin Yates made good on finishing off an offensive rebound. Tyler Ross got in on the action, taking a steal coast-to-coast for a lay-in. Kessinger capped the scoring run with another put-back, extending the Panthers’ lead to 30-15.
Lanesville managed to return the deficit to single digits before the half with seven consecutive points. Kevin Zollman and Alec Turner made field goals, while Caleb Caldwell ended the frame with a trey.
The Panthers managed to take a 30-22 lead into the locker room at halftime despite turning the ball over 13 times.
‘We’re still a little loose with the ball,’ Kolkmeier said. ‘The first half, we turned the ball over trying to make plays. We’d either bobble the pass, or we’d try to hit the right guy and were just off. Those turnovers were by commission; we were trying to do the right thing.’
Lanesville lost starting center Justin Miller less than three minutes in the contest when he suffered an ankle injury near the basket.
‘We would have liked to have Justin in there,’ Coach Miller said. ‘He was our leading scorer coming into the game, and we basically played this whole game without him. I told the kids not to use that as an excuse, because you have to keep fighting, no matter what happens.’
Opening the third quarter with a Tyler Shewmaker 2-point field goal, the Panthers quickly extended their lead to 37-22.
Lanesville would crawl within six points on three different occasions, the last coming early in the fourth quarter when Zollman scored. Corydon Central, backed by 19 points each from Lander and Kessinger, closed out the team’s first win.
‘We had nice contributions from everybody,’ Kolkmeier said. ‘Of the 10 that played, they all contributed, but it’s finding the combinations that work together. We have to play all those guys because we’re searching for combinations, searching for roles, searching for timing. It is a process.’
Ross reached double figures with 12 points followed by Shewmaker and Yates with six each.
Lanesville was led by Zollman’s 20 points, followed by 14 from Caldwell, who hit four 3-pointers. Turner and Ferree reached double figures with 11 and 10 points, respectively.
‘Zollman had a nice game,’ Miller said. ‘He rolled his ankle at Paoli and didn’t play in the second half. We were worried if he could go. He wasn’t his explosive self, but he did very well inside and played hard.’
Miller said he was glad to see his team play better in the second half, matching Corydon Central’s physical play.
At Corydon Central, the early season evaluation continues.
‘We’re searching for an identity,’ Kolkmeier said. ‘We have three guys handling the ball the majority of the time, and we’re searching for combinations. That’s going to take our guys games. Practice all you want, but it won’t match the speed of a game.’
Lanesville will return to Southern Athletic Conference play Friday when the Eagles host Henryville at 7:30 p.m.
Ahead for Corydon Central is a two-game weekend: Friday at Scottsburg and Saturday hosting Madison; both will start at 7:30 p.m.