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‘Pack overpower Panthers

‘Pack overpower Panthers
‘Pack overpower Panthers
In the paint, Corydon Central's Bradley Nalley puts up a field-goal attempt. He finished with a game-high 15 points versus Crawford County. Photos by Brian Smith

Corydon Central goes into many games giving up a size advantage, having three players standing at least 6 feet tall and none taller than 6-1.
The size, and strength, of Crawford County proved to power the Wolfpack to a 71-53 victory in the first round of the PSC Holiday Classic Monday in Tell City.
On the boards, the Wolfpack had a 32-19 advantage, led by Matt Dearborn pulling down eight off the bench.
‘Matt Dearborn did a good job when he came in the game tonight, really exerting his will down low on both ends,’ Crawford County coach Levi Carmichael said. ‘Levi (Schwartz) and Josh (Thomas) battled. We talked about our guards going in there to rebound a little bit … I thought they were more active from their position.’
Corydon Central coach Jamie Kolkmeier said the boards were a killer for his team.
‘We are running to what we think is rebounding position, and we are looking straight up and not finding a body,’ he said. ‘If it’s a jumping or physical contest, we aren’t going to win. I thought we had worked on (rebounding), but we haven’t enough or very well. Sometimes that kid is just going to go for a rebound, but you have to make them work for every one.’
Dearborn came up with an and-one late in the first quarter off an offensive board to put the Wolfpack ahead 14-5.
Offensively, Corydon Central was able to keep pace during a stretch at the end of the first quarter and the start of the second. Jordan Ripperdan hit a jumper then drove and dished an assist to Cameron Allen for two points.
Crawford County led 17-11 after one quarter, but the deficit went to five when Joey Wiseman nailed a 3-pointer.
Then, in about 15 seconds, Corydon Central gave up a 7-0 run. Gavin Coleman hit a left-corner trey for the Wolfpack. As the ball was heading to the net, Corydon Central was whistled under the hoop for a foul. After Schwartz netted both freebies, a quick shot by the Panthers led to a transition lay-in by Crawford County’s Brent Smith.
The quick outburst put the Wolfpack up 26-14.
‘We’re awful young, and we hang our heads on occasion when something doesn’t go right,’ Kolkmeier said. ‘We continue to let one mistake turn in to two or three. Other teams aren’t scoring a lot of hard points.’
Corydon Central thought its double-digit deficit was cut to seven, 28-21 at half with a Wiseman 3-pointer, but the Wolfpack had different ideas. After the make with four seconds left, Crawford County went up the hardwood quickly for an inside make, prompting a 30-21 halftime score.
In the second half, Crawford County slowly started to expand on its lead. Many of the points either came around the basket or from beyond the arc. Passing was an area Carmichael was impressed with.
‘A big factor in our two-game losing streak was not sharing the ball, not moving it,’ the first-year Crawford County coach said. ‘It was one pass and shoot. The boys did a really good job of trying to share the ball, spread it around and get the defense to work a little bit.’
Long balls helped the Wolfpack, too. Smith had three for the game, including a buzzer-beater to close the third quarter to give his team a 47-34 edge.
‘We haven’t gotten very many stops, period, on the year,’ Kolkmeier said. ‘Defensively, we are not very good. We’re missing rotations and not very tough-minded on that end right now.’
The Panthers are young, playing two freshmen (Bradley Nalley and Wiseman) and having zero seniors. Of the four juniors, starter Clayton Schreck remains sidelined with an injury.
‘For whatever reason, we are really getting hurt not communicating,’ Kolkmeier said. ‘We’ve got great kids who are awfully quiet and don’t want to say a word when they play. They just point. Five times in the first half we leave a guy unguarded in the paint.’
Spreading the floor, Crawford County was able to cash in many times on the offensive end in the fourth quarter, protecting the lead.
Brady Carlton and Dearborn had seven points each in the final quarter. Schwartz had six of his 12 then as well. Smith and Carlton shared the leading scoring spots for a balanced Wolfpack team with 13 points each.
‘My thing, I love offense that moves the ball,’ Carmichael said. ‘It doesn’t matter who scores or who gets the credit as long as we are all scoring, looking for the open guy. I think that’s the hardest (offense) to guard.’
Corydon Central’s best scoring quarter was the fourth, putting in 19 points. The Panthers were no closer than 13 points in the last eight minutes.
Nalley paced the Panthers in scoring with 15 points. Alec Saulman added 12 and Ripperdan 11. Wiseman closed with 10 points.
Kolkmeier said he had a heart-to-heart of sorts with his young team post-game.
‘I would hope everyone is willing to come in, fight and compete,’ he said.
Kolkmeier told his team about much effort, heart and intensity the Panthers from a year ago exerted in the sectional final versus Silver Creek.
‘We could have sat around and felt sorry for ourselves because Bronson (Kessinger) didn’t get to play, but we played our hearts out,’ Kolkmeier said. ‘When we got down 14-2 in that game, our guys played with so much heart and intensity. Being seniors helps that, but I want to leave a game and feel we played as hard as we can play. I don’t feel like that right now.’
Carmichael said with the Christmas break, after dropping two straight games, his team refocused on itself. Instead of focusing on scouting reports, with the time off, the coaching staff looked at what it needs to do to be successful.
‘There for a while we may have focused on everybody but ourselves for a little bit,’ Carmichael said.
Placement games in the PSC Holiday Classic take place today (Wednesday) starting at 3 p.m. Those four games will take place at South Spencer.
Crawford County 17 13 17 24 ‘ 71
Corydon Central 11 10 13 19 ‘ 53
Crawford County (5-3) ‘ Br. Smith 13, Carlton 13, Schwartz 12, Dearborn 11, Sturgeon 7, Coleman 5, Nickelson 4, Marples 4, Thomas 2.
Corydon Central (1-6) ‘ Nalley 15, Saulman 12, Ripperdan 11, Wiseman 10, Allen 2, Strubler 2, Beauchamp 1.
3-point goals ‘ Crawford County 7 (Br. Smith 3, Carlton 2, Sturgeon, Coleman); Corydon Central 3 (Wiseman 2, Nalley).