Panthers dig in, come back at South
Two teams searching for wins met last Tuesday in Elizabeth for the home finale for South Central.
On one end of the floor were the Rebels, facing off against county-rival Corydon Central. Both teams have had their share of struggles to close outings on the positive side of the scoreboard.
Corydon Central found itself trailing by 10 points three minutes into the second half. Then it clicked for the Panthers.
During the final 13 minutes, Corydon Central outscored the Rebels 34-17 to land a 56-49 victory.
‘We had a lot of contributions,’ Corydon Central coach Jamie Kolkmeier said. ‘We started talking more and making them guard us. We’re trying to get better. We weren’t better in the first half, but South played well. I don’t think we came in and executed the way we wanted to.’
Down 32-22 in the third, Corydon Central’s Jordan Ripperdan turned with a shrug after banking in a 3-pointer from straight away. Although Ripperdan didn’t brag about not calling his bank, the three points started the comeback his team needed.
In the final 45 seconds of the third, Clayton Schreck joined the trey parade. Assisted by Joey Wiseman, Schreck nailed two in a row. The kick from the baseline to Schreck went down, pulling the Panthers within three points, 36-33.
South Central used a 3-pointer by T.J. Boyd to go back up six, but a scoring drought followed.
Wiseman, who led all scorers with 13 points, hit a 3-pointer. Ripperdan’s swish of a 3-pointer tied the game at 39 with 6:12 to go. His open look came on a series of passes from Kurt Strubler, Wiseman and Ripperdan.
Strubler gave Corydon Central a 41-40 lead when he scored under the hoop when Wiseman wrapped a pass around the Rebels’ defense.
‘Joey bailed us out in the second half,’ Kolkmeier said. ‘Clayton hit a few big shots to get us going. Alec (Saulman) rebounded the ball well, and Ripperdan started to make some shots. Kurt did some nice things, making cuts and scoring. Braydon (Beauchamp) made a few steals to help us out. It was a team effort.’
Beauchamp had a steal and score followed by Saulman scoring on a second-chance effort. Ripperdan extended the lead to five, 50-45, with a pull-up jumper.
Inside the final 2:20, Corydon Central went 6 of 10 at the foul line to secure the win.
Kolkmeier said his team adjusted to facing the 1-3-1 zone South Central threw at them.
‘Against a 1-3-1, you have to make the opposite forward play,’ Kolkmeier said. ‘You have to make him and the point man make drops and move. At times, we let the wings and point cheat up.’
After turning the ball over just five times in the first half, South Central coughed up possession 14 different ways in the latter half.
‘We became ball watchers on defense and had unforced turnovers,’ South Central coach Ryan Crick said. ‘Corydon made adjustments against our zone and we didn’t. They collapsed our wing and kicked it to their wing. Wiseman hit some shots.’
Much of the first half featured each team having promising moments.
Boyd attacked for early South Central field goals. Off the bench, Wiseman gave Corydon Central a pair of 3-pointers, prompting an 11-8 Panthers’ lead.
South Central, using points by Joe Logsdon and Henry Hentrup, scored to put the Rebels out front 15-11, while Ripperdan picked up his third foul.
Flipping the momentum back to Corydon Central, Wiseman hit an outside shot followed by Strubler swiping a pass that led to points. A Saulman freebie gave Corydon Central a 19-15 lead.
During the final three minutes of the opening half, South Central used two Cory Ray triples for a 24-19 half-time lead.
‘The first half, our kids played hard,’ Crick said. ‘Cody Baelz sprints along the sideline and dives for a ball. That is something we haven’t seen all season. Cory Ray was stepping into his shots and knocking them down. T.J. played a phenomenal first half.’
Then, Crick said, they didn’t sustain the momentum.
‘We haven’t had many close-game experiences this year,’ he said. ‘Jamie and I talked about the game and the seasons we are having. Kids need to approach it like life. To succeed, you have to bust your butt to come out on top.’
The win for Corydon Central broke a 16-game losing streak.
It was a final rally to earn the Panthers’ their second victory.
Wiseman closed with four 3-pointers along with three assists.
‘Joey has a lot of offensive ability,’ Kolkmeier said. ‘Teams are trying to take advantage of him on defense because of his size. He worked a little harder in the second half on the defensive end to not be an easy target. You have to fight every moment, and he’s getting better.’
Filling out the balanced-scoring night were Schreck (12 points), Saulman (11 points, 13 rebounds), Ripperdan (10), Beauchamp (six) and Strubler (four).
Boyd led South Central in scoring with 12 points, going 5 of 7 at the foul line. Ray scored eight points, while Logsdon and Hentrup added seven points apiece. Hentrup pulled down six rebounds and dished three assists.
Corydon Central 11 8 14 23 ‘ 56
South Central 10 14 12 13 ‘ 49
Corydon Central (2-20) ‘ Wiseman 13, Schreck 12, Saulman 11, Ripperdan 10, Beauchamp 6, Strubler 4.
South Central (1-22) ‘ Boyd 12, Ray 8, Hentrup 7, Logsdon 7, Baelz 6, Stewart 4, A. Schoen 3, Knear 2.
3-point goals ‘ Corydon Central 9 (Wiseman 4, Schreck 2, Ripperdan 2, Beauchamp); South Central 5 (Ray 2, Boyd, Stewart, Ray).