Panthers lead big early, drop Wolfpack
It was going to take more than what the Crawford County Wolfpack could muster in order for them to prevail in Saturday night’s match-up against the Corydon Central Panthers.
The Wolfpack’s record moves to 10-2 as they were defeated 74-62.
‘We got off to a very slow start shooting the ball, and, on the other hand, Corydon shot the ball extremely well the first quarter and a half,’ Crawford County coach Mike Brown said. ‘We were trying to help them, the guys in the paint, and give some people outside shots that had not been shooting very well, and they, literally, at halftime, everybody that had played for Corydon had scored.’
Turnovers would be the name of the game for both teams, but Crawford County especially was plagued in the first quarter, and, as the clock wound down, the Wolfpack found themselves in a 20-8 hole.
‘So, we got in a deep hole early,’ Brown said. ‘I thought they played really well, and we didn’t look like we were ready to play.’
The second quarter found the Wolfpack in little better shape. Fouls and turnovers again resulted in a 43-19 deficit heading into halftime, as Crawford County only managed to add eight points in the period.
However, the team that came out of the locker room in the second half of play was nearly unrecognizable. Brown shared his strategy for lighting the fire in his team that entered 10-1.
‘We really just told our whole team the guys that are going to play are the ones who are giving the extra effort to go rebound, to get after loose balls, to guard people defensively, because we played really soft the first quarter and a half,’ Brown said. ‘So, we tried to just reward the guys we thought were really playing hard, and, if you do that, sooner or later in a 32-minute game, things are going to start going your way a little bit, and we got them going that way and then we got tired.’
The third quarter was much better for the Wolfpack defensively. They forced several Panthers turnovers in the first three minutes but would have to reign it in after Jacob Mauck was called for an intentional foul against Corydon Central’s Tyler Ross when Ross went for a breakaway lay-up.
‘I thought we were going to try to block the shot,’ Brown said. ‘He didn’t have much chance of blocking it, but we don’t want to give a free lay-up away. I didn’t think it was a good call, but I don’t have a problem with it.’
Corydon Central, on the flip-side, came back from the break with what many would call an air of indifference as Crawford County forced turnover after turnover.
‘You know, we’ve had that trouble, and I don’t know why,’ Corydon Central coach Jamie Kolkmeier said. ‘Last night (a 55-46 loss at Clarksville), we didn’t score the first 4:13 of the third quarter, and tonight we scored, what, four points in the first five minutes? We told them Crawford County’s been in this position several times this year, where they’ve been down big deficits early and came back and won. ‘ They beat a good Orleans team last night. 10-1 they’ve just got a whole new group.’
That indifference didn’t last long as Crawford County poured on the defense and Corydon Central saw its lead begin to shrink. The Panthers turned up their own defense and forced several Wolfpack turnovers in return.
‘I thought we responded pretty well from last night,’ Kolkmeier said.
In the third and fourth quarters, Crawford County continued to chip away at the lead but would come no closer than 12 points.
‘We’ve done all right until now, and tonight doesn’t have to be a big setback,’ Brown said. ‘We knew coming into this game on the road, after a tough one last night that was a conference game, that we would have a big job in front of us. So, I’m not as worried about that as I am that we just keep moving forward. We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us, each guy does.’