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Panthers defense improves, fall short at Floyd Central

Panthers defense improves, fall short at Floyd Central
Panthers defense improves, fall short at Floyd Central
Corydon Central guard Joseph Hinton feels some heat from Floyd CentralÂ’s Tanner Wortham in the second half of the HighlandersÂ’ 59-41 win Friday night. Photo by Wade Bell (click for larger version)

The Floyd Central Highlanders used a big fourth quarter Friday night to pull away from visiting Corydon Central, using some solid defense and controlling the paint to get a 59-41 win over the Panthers.
‘I thought, defensively, we were better, and that’s been our focus for two weeks,’ said Corydon Central coach Jamie Kolkmeier. ‘Now we’re going to have to get the offensive end, and defensive end, better as well.’
‘We said at Christmas we were a (grade) C,’ said Floyd Central coach Randy Gianfagna. ‘We’re still at a C, I think.’
Floyd Central shot the ball well early, hitting 7 of 12 shots in the first quarter, while the Panthers put up four deuces. Turnovers also hurt the Panthers, who had eight in the quarter, several of those caused by Floyd Central’s Connor Schellenberg. The Highlanders controlled the period, with Quinton Miller sinking a three-ball at the buzzer for a 17-8 Highlander lead.
Corydon Central tried to get back in the game using the 3-point shot in the second period, hitting two of the five the Panthers put up. The Panthers hit just 3 of 10 field goals in the quarter. Corydon Central did close the gap to eight, 28-20, on a pair of freebies by Brayden Lander with 1:41 to go. It was the last points of the half as the Highlanders took their lead to the locker room at halftime.
Gianfagna credited Schellenberg for his defense in the first half.
‘He did a nice job and got us in the passing lane,’ said the Floyd Central coach. ‘He did a good job keeping us in it, and I thought everybody played well. The little things, we’re still fouling too much. We got them in the bonus in both halves. So, that’s some things we’ve got to shore up.’
Kolkmeier said his team got in a hurry at times, especially when it started putting up the hurried threes.
‘We rushed it sometimes,’ said Kolkmeier of his team. ‘Sometimes we let emotion, and I guess that’s a part of being young. Emotions dictate what we want to do. Rather than what we want, we settle for what they let us have.’
Corydon Central’s points in the third quarter came either in the paint or from the free-throw line. With a quarter to go, the Panthers made a slight gain on the Highlanders, cutting their deficit to seven, 39-32.
‘We talked about a few things we could get done offensively,’ said Kolkmeier. ‘We maybe worried about (Jordan Thompson’s) length inside. We rushed a few there. We just maybe didn’t get ourselves in the best position offensively so that we could get a lot of deflections. We were just a little slow on our reads.’
The Highlanders exploded in the fourth period beginning with a 12-1 run and Nick Bomersbach drilling a three for a 51-33 Floyd advantage. Thompson later added a one-hand slam for good measure as the Highlanders went on to post a 59-41 win.
‘I thought we played much better defensively tonight than we’ve played probably all year,’ said Kolkmeier. ‘Offensively, we were as bad as we’ve been all year. Our turnovers we cut down a little bit. Some of them we make trying to make plays. Sometimes you make mistakes trying to make plays. That happens, but we just don’t have good rhythm right now.’
Bomersbach led the winners (6-6) with 13 points, and Miller and Thompson finished with 12 each. Schellenberg had 10 points for the Highlanders, who shot the ball well, hitting 26 of 49 field goals (53 percent) and 3 of 6 free throws. Floyd had 14 turnovers.
Tyler Ross led Corydon Central (4-5) with 13 points. The Panthers connected on 13 of 36 field goals (36 percent) and 12 of 14 free throws. Corydon Central had 23 turnovers in 32 minutes.
Sophomore Joseph Hinton had just five points, but Kolkmeier said Hinton brought a lot of intensity to the floor, something that his whole team desperately needs.
‘We just need to be intense throughout,’ he said. ‘I think we carry bad plays with us a little too long. I think we need to be a little more forgetful in those areas. When you’ve got young players, you’re going to make some mistakes, the guys not being in those positions. We’ve got to let the mistakes die and go on and make the next play.’
Corydon Central will have a tough weekend when the Panthers host undefeated Clarksville (10-0) on Friday followed by a trip Saturday to Crawford County (10-1). Both games will begin at 7:30 p.m.