Steady Lady Rebels clip Corydon
Wins in the series versus Corydon Central favoring South Central have been slim.
Last Tuesday night in Elizabeth, the Lady Rebels put together a significant 11-point lead in the third quarter. Corydon Central battled back in the fourth, eventually taking a four-point edge, setting up a tight finish.
With one minute to play, South Central’s Miranda Kiper hustled to pick off an offensive rebound, scoring on the second chance to put South Central up 54-52, breaking a tie.
The Lady Rebels held on to the lead to score a 55-54 victory over rival Corydon Central.
‘She saved us,’ South Central forward Ally Davis said of Kiper.
The rebound was one of 14 pulled down by Kiper to go with her 11 points for the night.
‘The shot Ally missed, Miranda ran a rebound down,’ South Central coach Randall Schoen said. ‘It was really huge at that point.’
In the final minute, Davis came up with a defensive steal and later a rebound. At the line, South Central was 1-of-3 at the stripe but the margin was just enough. Davis made one of the freebies.
‘The last free throw, I could feel the nerves creep in, but I was able to concentrate when I needed to,’ Davis said. ‘I hadn’t been shooting well, so I took it as a normal free throw.’
Davis ended the night as the top scorer on the floor with 17 points along with nine boards.
The win by South Central snapped five in a row taken by the Lady Panthers. Prior to South Central triumphs in the 2007-08 and 2009-10 seasons, there was a 24-year domination in the win column by Corydon Central. The all-time series sits at 47-5 in favor of the Lady Panthers.
‘It’s great for us,’ Schoen said. ‘We need a win like this right now. We’ve won three games, but this was big. I told the girls we haven’t had much success against Corydon. It’s the third time in about 30-plus years we were able to pull a win out. It’s great momentum going into a part of the schedule we need momentum.’
Corydon Central guard Megan Rowlett was red hot from beyond the arc for much of the night, sinking five 3-pointers. She was able to get a look in the final seconds but rimmed out.
Rowlett finished with 16 points, while Ashley Oliver added 15.
South Central’s transition offense led to building an early lead. Three-pointers by Sabra Walker and Alexis Knear buried were assisted by one to the other. A lay-in by Davis gave the Lady Rebels a 12-7 edge.
Countering the South Central transition game was the inside play of Corydon Central through the first half. In the second quarter, the Lady Rebels went to McKendra Fisher and Hayley Rennirt in the post after Oliver found success to the tune of six first-quarter points.
Corydon Central evened the score at 21-all when Oliver assisted a Gracie Paden field goal.
The final 2:45 of the first half went the way of South Central. A 9-3 run was paced by a Walker triple and a pair of Kiper buckets. Davis capped the run with a score, prompting a 30-24 lead at the half.
‘I don’t think we came out as strong as we needed to be,’ Davis said. ‘We realized we needed to pick things up. There was a lot of encouragement on the floor. No matter what you did or a teammate did, we were clapping and yelling to get each other going.’
South Central started to extend its lead in the third quarter. Davis scored the first four points, then Knear found Kiper for an inside look, pressing the advantage to 36-25, the largest of the night.
Trying to keep Corydon Central hanging around was Rowlett. The 3-point machine pumped in three in a row at one point.
‘(Assistant coach) Brittany (Ort) told Gracie (Day) to go and face-guard Rowlett,’ Schoen said. ‘She did a decent job starting to stick with her more. Rowlett opened that third quarter up and just killed us. We finally got a time-out to explain to the girls that she was killing us.’
A steal by Fisher resulted in Oliver scoring underneath, cutting South Central’s lead to 42-38 before the start of the fourth quarter.
The final frame started with a tremendous Corydon Central run. Paden kicked off the 11-3 outburst with a triple. Oliver finished a few attempts inside, and the scoreboard leaned to Corydon Central, 49-45, when Cami Schmitt turned a steal into a layup.
South Central battled back with a corner trey by Walker, then the senior netted a pair of free throws with 2:22 to play, evening the score at 50. In the final three minutes, Corydon Central was held to a Schmitt jumper until Fisher had a put-back at the buzzer. By then, South Central led by three to secure the victory.
‘It was a game of runs, and we were lucky at the end to hang on,’ Schoen said. ‘When they came back and took the lead, I wasn’t sure if we had it in us to pull this win out. The girls showed me something I haven’t seen all year, that toughness to dig in.’
‘The energy is better than normal,’ Davis said. ‘This win definitely gives us confidence. We had confidence after beating Tell City, and I think this win gives us even more going into Henryville.’
Knear and Walker also reached double-figure scoring with 13 and 11 points, respectively.
‘Lexie had a great game,’ Schoen said. ‘She hit a few 3s early, then they took that away from her. When she wasn’t scoring, she did a nice job running our offense … Sabra’s confidence is getting there. After Saturday (hitting eight 3-pointers vs. Southwestern), it was sky high.’
Schoen said on the defensive end he complimented the work Kiper and Davis did on trying to slow Oliver in the paint.
On offense, preparing for the zone defense of Corydon Central was tough on the Lady Rebels at times.
‘I don’t care if you have a good team or not, coach (Michael) Uhl is tough to play against,’ Schoen said. ‘They are solid, and their match-up 1-3-1 is hard to prepare for. We moved the ball well. It’s hard to run anything against them, but the girls did a good job getting to what openings we could find. Sometimes it was very little.’
South Central came back Thursday to defeat Henryville, 56-45. The win puts the Lady Rebels at 2-0 in the Southern Athletic Conference. In a busy week, they also rallied Friday night to defeat Christian Academy of Indiana, 48-44, to improve to 6-5 overall.
Corydon Central, meanwhile, gave Jeffersonville all it could handle Thursday but fell short, 56-53.
South Central will wrap up play in the Gibson County Toyota Classic today (Wednesday) facing Princeton (11:30 a.m.) and Gibson Southern (8:15 p.m.) The Lady Rebels will play in the placement game Saturday.
Corydon Central will begin play Monday at 11:30 a.m. in the Vincennes Rivet Niehaus Classic versus Evansville Mater Dei.
Corydon Central 9 15 14 16 ‘ 54
South Central 12 18 12 13 ‘ 55
Corydon Central (9-4) ‘ Rowlett 16, Oliver 15, Fisher 10, Paden 7, Schmitt 4, Rennirt 2.
South Central (4-5) ‘ Davis 17, Knear 13, Kiper 11, Walker 11, Day 3.
3-point goals ‘ Corydon Central 6 (Rowlett 5, Paden); South Central 6 (Knear 3, Walker 2, Day).