Lady Panthers shut down ‘Pack
The Corydon Central Lady Panthers broke a nine-game losing streak Thursday night, when they upended host Crawford County in their final game of the regular season before this week’s sectional tournament. The Lady Panthers began with some heavy artillery to start the game then put up some heavy defense to hold off the Lady Pack for a 73-59 win.
‘We were kind of in a rut there for a while, but we had a good week of practice,’ Corydon Central coach Michael Uhl said. ‘The girls really responded to some things we asked them to do this week, and you’ve got to give credit to them. They didn’t drop their heads. This skid hasn’t been easy on us, but they didn’t drop their heads.’
‘Defensively, we just couldn’t guard anybody,’ Crawford County coach Chris Broughton said. ‘Seventy-three points; that’s the most we’ve given up this entire year. If I remember correctly, it’s the most points we’ve given up since I’ve been coaching, so we really struggled on the defensive end. We didn’t rebound well. Their press really hurt us. Just really all the phases of the game we really struggled.’
Crawford County’s only lead of the game came on its first possession, when Shyanne Cook scored in the paint. Midway through the period, Megan Rowlett caught fire and tripled up with three three-balls for a 15-4 Corydon Central lead. Addy Simpson later hit a three, pulling Crawford County back to within eight, 17-9. Corydon Central, however, later put a pair of deuces around a Carley Allen free throw, and the Lady Panthers enjoyed a 21-11 lead after the first quarter.
Midway through the second period, Crawford County finally gained some ground as Jenny Jellison and Simpson both buried threes. Cami Schmitt hit from behind the arc to get one of those back, but Allen scored in the paint for the Lady Pack. Schmitt scored again ‘ this time a deuce ‘ but Kendra Covele gave the Lady Pack a three from the right side and later sank a freebie to close the gap to five.
Gracie Paden sank a Corydon Central three-ball. Allen and Jellison canned four straight free throws for Crawford County, but Madison Engleman got a single for the Lady Panthers, who took a 34-29 edge to the locker room at halftime.
‘(Rowlett) can shoot the ball a little bit,’ Uhl said ‘What I was more pleased with, though, was towards the end of the game. We’ve been working with her more on taking the ball to the basket, and she took the ball to the basket real hard a couple of times there at the end and got fouled.’
‘We’ve been so up and down this year, beating teams that have been a little bit better than us, and teams that aren’t quite good as we are, what I feel like earlier in the year, we would get beat,’ Broughton said.
Things went really bad for the Lady Pack to begin the second half and really good for the Lady Panthers, who began the third period with a 9-0 run for a 43-29 lead.
Crawford County kept its composure and countered with a 13-4 run, with Jada Smith and Jellison sinking threes, to close back to within five, 47-42. Corydon Central ran another counter-offensive with an 8-2 burst. Allen, however, scored at the buzzer, as Crawford County stayed in the fight, down 55-46 with one quarter to go.
Corydon Central went inside to start the fourth and got three deuces for a 61-46 lead. Jellison and Simpson countered with old-fashioned deuce-and-ones. Allen added to that a pair of freebies, closing the gap back to seven. Corydon Central followed with a 5-1 burst, while the Lady Pack missed their next six shots from the field. The Lady Panthers controlled from that point on, going on to get the 73-59 win.
‘Monday he had to spend on Providence,’ Uhl said of Broughton, ‘Tuesday he had to play Providence, Wednesday he got to talk about us, and they played the night before. So, you really couldn’t do anything for us. That’s just the nature of the girls’ schedule. Fortunately for us, we had some good practice days. It made a difference, and you could tell.’
‘It’s one of those things where we knew they didn’t really have a go-to player,’ Broughton said. ‘So, we just talked that everybody is going to have to bring it from the defensive end. Unfortunately, I don’t know if we had anybody that brought it on the defensive end.’
Corydon Central put all five starters in double figures. Hayley Rennirt led the way with 16 points, while Paden and Megan Rowlett finished with 15 each. McKendra Fisher finished with 12, and Schmitt followed with 10. The Lady Panthers connected on 29 of 50 field-goal attempts (58 percent) and 9 of 18 free throws. Corydon Central finished with 16 turnovers.
‘Our post players showed up and played tonight,’ Uhl said. ‘We haven’t been really on them, but we’ve been stressing they’ve got to be more active and try to score a little bit, at least step up into the high post and want the ball and spread the defense out a little bit. When your post players are active, that takes away the help defense. McKendra and Hayley both, and Kaitlyn Fleace off the bench, all three of them did a really nice job.’
Allen led Crawford County with 16 points. Simpson and Jellison added 15 each for the Lady Pack, who canned 15 of 50 shots (30 percent) from the field and 18 of 29 from the charity stripe. Crawford County had 16 turnovers.
Uhl hopes the win will carry over into this week’s sectional play.
‘We’re hoping we can build on this this week in practice,’ Uhl said. ‘We had three practice days to prepare. We spent the first two days just making ourselves better. We haven’t played since North Harrison last Tuesday, so we spent all last week trying to make ourselves better basketball players. Then, with the snow-out on Floyd on Saturday, we had three more days and that makes a difference.’
Corydon Central 21 13 21 18 ‘ 73
Crawford County 11 18 15 15 ‘ 59
Corydon Central (10-12) ‘ Paden 15, Edwards 2, Rowlett 15, Rennirt 16, Engleman 3, Schmitt 10, Fisher 12
Crawford County (11-11) ‘ Covele 4, Simpson 15, Allen 16, Jellison 15, Austin 1, Smith 5, Cook 3
3-point goals ‘ Corydon Central 6 (Paden 2, Rowlett 3, Schmitt); Crawford County 5 (Covele, Simpson 2, Jellison 2).