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Streaky No. 5 Braves fend off Corydon’s ‘D’

Streaky No. 5 Braves fend off Corydon’s ‘D’
Streaky No. 5 Braves fend off Corydon’s ‘D’
Corydon CentralÂ’s Chase Burton draws an intentional foul call on Brownstown CentralÂ’s Collin DeHart in the third quarter of Saturday nightÂ’s Mid-Southern Conference battle. Photo by Brian Smith (click for larger version)

Corydon Central’s offensive funk ran into a Brownstown Central team that found its stroke in the third quarter, using a 22-6 run to eventually defeat the Panthers, 55-39 Saturday.
‘We can get better,’ Corydon Central coach Jamie Kolkmeier said. ‘From this game, we’ll take that we need to sustain our effort we showed in the first half. We’re a grind-it-out team. The fluidity in our offense isn’t there yet while our defense is getting better, but, the end of this game, we let our poor offense dictate our defense.’
Scoring from beyond the 3-point arc proved to be one of the big differences. Brayden Lander nailed Corydon Central’s lone triple for the first points of the game. The Panthers, however, would miss their final eight deep attempts. The Class 3A No. 5 Braves, meanwhile, tallied 10 triples on 18 attempts.
‘They flat-out can shoot,’ Kolkmeier said of Brownstown Central. ‘We knew coming in that they would probably hit more 3s than us, but we couldn’t get beat 15 to 20 points on 3s. And we did tonight.’
Corydon Central made it tough on the Braves, who have scored more than 80 points in four games, including a 104 effort, in the first half.
The Braves led 13-9 after a Chaz Schneider triple in the second quarter. Corydon Central used tight defense to help launch an 8-0 run to lead 17-13. Tyler Ross, Bronson Kessinger and Lander had field goals during the spurt, including Ross catching a football-like pass from Lander on a press break for a lay-in.
Austin Snodgrass, who led Brownstown Central with 16 points, scored the next seven leading to the break. Each of his buckets was answered by field goals from Lander and Kessinger.
Corydon Central’s defensive effort shined when the Panthers stopped the Braves from getting off a decent look before the halftime buzzer, allowing the visiting Panthers to lead 22-20 at the break.
‘We played extremely hard the first half and had the best defensive half we have had in over a year,’ Kolkmeier said. ‘Eleven turnovers in the first 12 minutes of the game hurt us and kept us from getting into an offensive rhythm. Two teams really battled each other and made it hard for each other to score.’
Held to 26-percent shooting from the field in the first half, Brownstown Central vastly improved in the third quarter.
Leading the Panthers with 16 points, Ross swished a pair of freebies to open the second half but the four-point lead quickly vanished.
A Schneider deuce, followed by back-to-back Collin DeHart 3-pointers flipped the margin to the favor of the Braves, 28-24.
Chase Burton drew an intentional foul when going for a lay-up on a breakaway. His one converted free throw didn’t halt the Braves run. Snodgrass and Schneider got into the 3-point act.
‘We let the run get bigger than we let it get this year in a game without a stop or score,’ Kolkmeier said.
The lead would grow to 40-26 after Schneider made technical free-throw attempts when Kessinger expressed frustration after being called for a foul.
‘Our third quarter was our undoing,’ Kolkmeier said. ‘We gave up four 3-point field goals in the period, mostly in a short stretch. We became frustrated and took some poor shots late in the third and in the fourth that allowed a back-and-forth game to become a 16-point defeat.’
Corydon Central cut the lead to 45-35 early in the final quarter when Lander made a pair of free throws. The response was a 7-0 Brownstown run that included another triple.
The Panthers shot 27 percent for the game (11 of 41). Ross was 8 of 8 at the charity stripe, along with contributing six rebounds and two steals. Lander closed with 10 points, three assists and two steals. Dylan Jensen led the team in rebounds with nine.
‘We must rebound better and shoot better; however, shooting better shots will allow us to make more,’ Kolkmeier said.
Schneider had 15 points and three assists for the Braves, who improved to 14-1, including a 7-0 mark in the MSC.
The Panthers will return to the MSC with a pair of contests this weekend. They will host Eastern (Pekin) Friday then travel to Charlestown on Saturday. Both tip at 7:30 p.m.