Selfless Lady Panthers grab opener
Unselfish play is a staple of the Corydon Central girls’ basketball program.
Playing the season’s opening game Friday night, the Lady Panthers fed off one another on the offensive end to create many open looks.
A series of 3-point plays to begin the second quarter led to opening the Corydon Central lead to double digits against visiting Perry Central, paving the way for a 53-41 victory for the Lady Panthers.
‘We always preach to share the ball,’ Corydon Central coach Michael Uhl said. ‘It’s about taking your shot and not ‘it’s my turn to shoot’ shot. For the most part, we did that today.’
The style of play was evident when the five-point lead to start the second quarter grew to 12 in a matter of minutes. In the half-court set, Aly Chambers slipped a pass in the paint to Reagan Mosley, who converted an old-fashioned 3-point play.
Firing from the outside, Marie Rothrock nailed consecutive treys for the Lady Panthers. The last swish came after a series of passes, swinging the rock from Shelby Wilkerson to Taylor Frederick before finding Rothrock’s hot hand.
Rothrock finished the game with 13 points, with eight coming in the second quarter.
The team-like mentality continued in the second quarter when leading scorer Ashley Oliver worked with Wilkerson on a pick in roll for an easy lay-in.
‘We’re always like that,’ Uhl said of the unselfish play. ‘It is one of the things we always stress, going back to the two Indiana All-Stars we had. They only averaged 12 shots a game between them.’
Oliver had a good showing in the opening quarter, converting three buckets inside, coming off assists from Cassidy Saulman, Frederick and Chambers. Seeing her first extensive varsity action, Oliver, a sophomore, paced the team in scoring with 14 points on 6 of 9 shooting. She also had four rebounds.
Perry Central did find success at times getting to the basket through penetration. Senior Morgan Richardson was able to get inside the Lady Panthers for field goals in each of the opening three quarters. She was held to a pair of free throws in the final frame.
To open the third quarter, Richardson scored a pair of buckets to pull the Lady Commodores within 10, 35-25.
‘I’m not real happy defensively,’ Uhl said. ‘We only gave up 41, but we had a hard time keeping them in front of us. (Richardson) had 23 against us last year, but it seemed like she had more than what she had tonight.’
Richardson would finish with 14 points, while Brittany Parker paced the visitors from the Patoka Lake Athletic Conference with 16.
After Perry Central’s run to open the third, the Lady Panthers responded with a 9-1 run to take a 44-26 lead into the final quarter. During the spurt, Chelsea John, Oliver and Wilkerson chipped in points.
One of the bright spots of the contest was the contributions off the bench, notably Wilkerson, John and Saulman.
‘We got good things off the bench,’ Uhl said. ‘It was solid production. I’m pleased from that aspect but not pleased with our defensive rebounding. I’m not sure how many offensive rebounds we gave up, but it was too many with the size we had over them.’
John was helpful on the boards, pulling down six boards during her time on the floor. Mosley paced the team in rebounds with eight.
Perry Central was able to chip at the wide Lady Panthers lead in the fourth quarter but wasn’t able to push the margin below single digits.
Adjusting to a role at the top of the key, Frederick was held scoreless, but she only took one shot. She provided three assists.
‘We have to find a better way to get her involved in the offense, a wrinkle or two,’ Uhl said. ‘She averaged eight, nine points the last two years, but we’ll get her involved. For the most part, she did what she needed to do.’
Mosley reached double-figure scoring with 13 points, making 5 of 7 shots. Chambers knocked down a trey, leading to seven points.
Corydon Central jumps into Mid-Southern Conference action Friday when the Lady Panthers travel to Charlestown for a 7:30 p.m. tip. The next night, Saturday, the Lady Panthers host New Albany at 7:30.