Steady comeback lifts Corydon over NH
Slow and steady.
Corydon Central paced its way to outscore rival North Harrison 9-0 in the final four minutes and came away with a 41-37 victory in girls’ basketball last Tuesday.
Trailing by 11 in the first half, Corydon Central made a second-half surge while holding North Harrison to 13 points in the second half.
Emily Giles scored for the Lady Cats to put her team up 37-32 early in the fourth quarter. From there, the Lady Panthers held North Harrison scoreless while chipping away at the Lady Cats’ lead.
Taylor Frederick hit a Corydon Central field goal while Marie Rothrock added a pair of her own to cut the score to 37-36 with 2:30 to play.
Just inside two minutes, Reagan Mosley skipped a pass from the left wing to the right to an open Symphony LeJeune. The junior pulled the trigger, swishing the 3-pointer to give Corydon Central its first lead since Kayla Uhl opened the game with a trey.
‘She’s come a long way shooting the ball,’ Corydon Central coach Michael Uhl said of LeJeune. ‘Honestly, the last two years in practice, if we did a shooting drill, she would be mad. She just wants to play defense. I have to get on her in shooting drills to push herself. She’s come a long way and has jump-started us in a couple of games.’
Corydon Central held the 39-37 lead through much of the remaining two minutes. Not short of chances for the Lady Cats, Corydon Central missed the front end of two one-and-one bonuses. North Harrison, however, was unable to generate points.
The best chance came when the Lady Cats had two put-back opportunities with less than 10 seconds to play, but neither fell through the twine. Frederick closed the game with 7.9 seconds left with a pair of free throws.
‘Intensity-wise, we came out harder in the second half,’ coach Uhl said. ‘North Harrison took it to us in the first half. They missed some free throws in the first half that let us hang around.’
North Harrison coach Missy Voyles said her team played the first half to win and the second half not to lose.
‘We struggled the whole second half,’ she said. ‘No one wanted to step up and shoot the basketball. They were all looking for somebody else to do it. We didn’t turn the ball over, but we’d get good looks but not shoot it.’
Coming out of the gates, North Harrison built a solid lead behind scoring efforts from Kendra Lambert and Kim Chiquito. Lambert answered Uhl’s opening three with one of her own. Corydon Central turned the ball over seven times in the opening quarter, including when Lambert converted one into a layup for North Harrison’s first lead, 5-3.
Chiquito came off the bench and nailed a 3-pointer to give North Harrison a 12-5 lead. The Lady Cats led 14-7 after the opening quarter.
‘The big key was the rebounding aspect of the game,’ Uhl said. ‘An offensive rebound can get you out of your base defense in a hurry and you have to start scrambling. I thought (North Harrison) did that well in the first half, and we were caught scrambling and lost some shooters. Chiquito hit some shots on us, and we lost Lambert a few times. The second half, we took care of it better.’
Building on the lead in the second quarter, Emily Giles scored on a put-back for North Harrison to press the lead to 23-13. Lambert would add a free throw moments later to reach the 11-point advantage.
Closing the quarter well, Corydon Central added a Savannah Eschbacher free throw and a Rothrock basket on the team’s final offensive possession.
‘I thought the first half we trusted each other and rotated well on defense,’ Voyles said. ‘The second half, I thought we laid back in our defense and played scared they’d get behind us. There wasn’t much gambling going on.’
A quick start to the third quarter for Corydon Central aided the comeback. Uhl and LeJeune connected on early triples to cut the North Harrison lead to two.
The Lady Cats rallied for a 7-0 run behind points from Jill Book and Lambert. Corydon Central, however, made the steady run that resulted in the win.
North Harrison went 4 of 11 at the charity stripe in the first half but didn’t go to the line in the second half.
‘A sign of the way we played was we didn’t go to the free throw line in the second half,’ Voyles said. ‘That shows how timid we played the second half when we not one time go to the free-throw line.’
Lambert led North Harrison with 18 points while Chiquito had seven.
Corydon Central, winner of five of its last six, was paced by Rothrock’s 12 points. Frederick added eight, while LeJeune, Uhl and Mosley had six points apiece. Mosley contributed seven rebounds.
‘Hopefully, we can build on this right now,’ coach Uhl said. ‘We have challenges ahead, but we’re going to be tested because that is the way the schedule is set up.’
Remaining games for Corydon Central include at Crawford County tomorrow (Thursday, 7:30 p.m.), hosting Brownstown Central on Saturday (1:30 p.m.) and hosting Clarksville on Thursday, Feb. 2 (7:30).
North Harrison’s remaining schedule includes hosting Brownstown Central tomorrow (7:30), at Charlestown on Tuesday (7:30) and at Eastern (Pekin) on Feb. 2 (7:30).