No. 2 Creek wraps up MSC unbeaten
The much anticipated match-up between Class 3A No. 10 Corydon Central and No. 2 Silver Creek for the rights to the 2014-15 Mid-Southern Conference crown was a physical battle.
Using its strength and length, along with an 18-point performance by post player Christian Reed, Silver Creek came away with a 55-46 victory in Sellersburg last Wednesday.
With the win, the Dragons spoiled Corydon Central’s bid to become MSC champs in consecutive seasons. Silver Creek won the title outright, going 9-0 in league play. Seeking a share of the honor, Corydon Central ended MSC action with a 7-2 mark.
Defending sectional champion Silver Creek has played the role of top dog much of the year. The Dragons moved to 19-2 overall, having only lost games to Hoosier Hills Conference Class 4A teams New Albany and Jennings County.
Corydon Central gave the Dragons a run but couldn’t surpass them on the scoreboard in the second half, with the exception of early in the third quarter.
‘We have to be able to pull one of these out,’ Corydon Central coach Jamie Kolkmeier said. ‘The only thing we haven’t been able to do is when we play a really good team ‘ and (Silver Creek) is a really good team ‘ is find a way to win.’
The Panthers will hope that moment comes during the 3A sectional, which they are hosting.
‘We haven’t been able, against that really good team, to fight through that hump yet,’ Kolkmeier said. ‘We have to be able to do that next week because there are really good teams in that tournament.’
Versus the Dragons, field goal shooting proved to be the difference. As a team, Silver Creek shot 58 percent from the field while Corydon Central struggled at 35 percent.
‘To be honest, they shot around 60 percent and we shot 35 percent,’ Kolkmeier said. ‘I don’t know point totals, but we didn’t get a lot of points out of Timothy (Wiseman) and Mitchell (Frederick). You don’t get many points out of your two best offensive players, and you are somewhat in the game.’
A big part of Silver Creek’s success was Reed’s night in the paint. He made eight of nine shot attempts. He also had eight boards.
Wiseman scored a bulk of his team-high 13 points in the final 10 minutes.
Trailing by seven, Corydon Central hustled to a four-point swing in the third quarter. Tyler Stauth made his first free-throw attempt and, when he missed the second, Corydon Central came up with the loose ball rebound.
Wiseman nailed a 3-pointer, bringing the game within three points, 40-37.
Silver Creek quickly answered back in transition. Wasting little time in its offense, Nick Tinsley swished a long ball from the left wing.
‘They knew how to answer our shots,’ Kolkmeier said of the Dragons. ‘Timothy hit a big three, but Tinsley comes down and hits a big shot. Now, we didn’t have a hand up, but that’s a big shot.’
Quinton Coffman ended the third with a trifecta, leaving Silver Creek’s lead at five, 45-40, to start the final stanza.
Offensively, the Panthers’ effort failed to result in many points.
Milking some clock, Silver Creek scored the first two field goals, a Tinsley drive then Reed scoring inside. The makes put the home Dragons up 49-40.
Not out yet, Wiseman tried to will his team back. He scored consecutive baskets attacking the hoop. With 2:51 to play, Wiseman stole the ball from the Dragons, racing down to bring his team within three points, 49-46.
The rest of the way, Corydon Central failed to score. Silver Creek gradually increased its lead to the final score.
‘We did a lot of good things, but it’s too late to be talking about this, but, if you miss a shot you should have hit, just forget about it,’ Kolkmeier said. ‘It got to a point where we just couldn’t score. We tried some hard shots. We panicked a little too early and lost a possession or two.’
Corydon Central missed a handful of shots inside, but the misses should not have effected the rest of the play on the floor in the coach’s view.
‘Dillion Simler is chasing down offensive rebounds all night,’ Kolkmeier said. ‘He’s guarding Reed and trying to make everything tough for him. Then he thinks he didn’t play well because he missed a couple inside shots. Although he missed a couple, his hustle and play all around keeps us in this game.’
Simler closed with eight boards, four on the offensive end against a Silver Creek team that out-sized many of the Panthers.
‘Their length bothered us a little bit,’ Kolkmeier said. ‘I think we spent too much time worrying about getting our shot blocked … They are physically strong. That probably affected our shot more than their length.’
Kolkmeier said his team performed well on the glass. As a team, the Panthers had 14 offensive rebounds. Frederick and Coffman accounted for three each.
Early on, Reed scored six points, leading to a 12-7 Silver Creek edge.
Corydon Central called on sharp-shooter Stauth to turn the game back around. He made three 3-pointers in the opening half, thanks to a trio of assists from Wiseman. Accounting for 11 of Corydon Central’s first 13 points, Stauth gave his team a 13-12 lead in the opening quarter. Stauth finished the game with 12 points.
‘He came out hot and has to do that, be ready to shoot,’ Kolkmeier said. ‘He never got another one. Some of it is on us, but some of it is on him. I don’t think he worked as hard to get another shot.’
In the second quarter, Silver Creek had a seven-point advantage, but Corydon Central, again, rallied back.
Jay Brent had a put-back then, to end the quarter, Silver Creek had its attempt to hold for the final shot spoiled. The long-armed Coffman snagged a steal, leading to an old-fashioned 3-point play. The result was a 28-all halftime score.
Corydon Central led on two occasions in the third quarter with points by Simler and Frederick. The lead, however, never grew by more than two points.
Kolkmeier said he thought his team defended fairly well at times on a night Silver Creek shot a high percentage.
‘(Gabe) Bauer got a couple easy ones, but we didn’t defend them bad,’ he said. ‘We left the post a couple of times to go and help. We talked about that a lot of times … If you are left out to dry, you have to force them to shoot over you.’
Bauer ended with 12 points, while Tinsley added 10 for the Dragons.
On a night the Dragons honored seven seniors, the Silver Creek program recognized Corydon Central senior standout Bronson Kessinger. To a standing ovation, the Dragons’ public address announcer brought the future Indiana State Sycamore to center court, praising his prep career.
Attention for both ranked programs now shifts to the Class 3A Corydon Central Sectional this week. Silver Creek played Brownstown Central last night (Tuesday), while Corydon Central will take on Charlestown tonight at 7:30.
‘Charlestown gave us fits last time inside,’ Kolkmeier said of the Pirates. ‘They pounded it in the paint on us. We’ll have to play well.’
Corydon Central 15 13 12 6 ‘ 46
Silver Creek 18 10 17 10 ‘ 55
Corydon Central (15-6, 7-2 MSC) ‘ Wiseman 13, Stauth 12, Coffman 6, Frederick 5, Simler 4, Crawford 4, Brent 2.
Silver Creek (19-2, 9-0) ‘ Reed 18, Bauer 12, Tinsley 10, Steele 6, Cook 3, Simmons 2, Kirchgessner 2, Garr 2.
3-point goals ‘ Corydon Central 5 (Stauth 3, Wiseman, Coffman); Silver Creek 1 (Tinsley).