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Panthers take step back at Clarksville, fall 58-37

Panthers take step back at Clarksville, fall 58-37
Panthers take step back at Clarksville, fall 58-37
Corydon Central's Jordan Ripperdan brings the ball up the floor while being defended by Clarksville's Murphy McEwen. Photo by Brian Smith

Corydon Central’s trip to Clarksville on Friday provided the 11th game on the 23-game schedule.
Right smack in the middle of the slate.
As Corydon Central coach Jamie Kolkmeier said, there can be roller coaster-like moments during a basketball season. Friday’s game, he hopes, was the bottom of the ride as the Panthers seek to reset and prepare for the second half of the campaign.
Clarksville nearly doubled a few statistical categories in comparison with its Mid-Southern Conference counterpart. The Generals out-rebounded Corydon Central 46-24 and was on the right side of the turnover battle, 18-9. The end result was a 58-37 win for Clarksville.
‘We’re going to have to hit reset,’ Kolkmeier said after the game. ‘We’ve gone back tonight. I know the season can be a roller coaster with ups and downs, but the really good teams can stay mentally prepared each night. We weren’t tonight.’
Kolkmeier credited the Generals for their play.
‘I think Clarksville has a really nice team, a nice player in (Christian) Stewart and they have nice parts, but we have to continue to play hard,’ he said.
Stewart, a 6-foot-4 junior, was tough for the Panthers to stop. His drives to the rim and activity on the offensive glass led to a 21-point night.
‘We didn’t rebound the ball, and they rebounded it well,’ Kolkmeier said. ‘We gave up seven offensive rebounds in the first quarter and a lot for the game. We also turned the ball over a ton.’
A steal by Corydon Central’s Braydon Beauchamp led to Joey Wiseman scoring for the team’s lone lead at 4-2.
Six of Clarksville’s next 12 points during a 12-2 spurt came on second chances. Nathan Ludwick, Alex Taylor and Stewart had the put-backs. Taylor, Clarksville’s 6-6 senior forward, left the game midway through the opening period when he rolled over Corydon Central’s Alec Saulman and suffered an injury. Taylor never returned to the game but remained on the bench.
Corydon Central’s best stretch of play came midway through the second quarter. Down 22-10, Jordan Ripperdan finished while drawing contact, kicking off a 9-2 run. Off the bench, Jacob Johnson added a few field goals during the run, cutting the Generals’ lead to five, 24-19.
Clarksville closed the half with a 5-0 run when Ludwick hit a pair of free throws. A back-court turnover led to Murphy McEwen heading to the locker room at the break with a made 3-pointer on his stat line.
‘The turnover to end the second quarter led to points,’ Kolkmeier said. ‘Then, we come back and only score four points in the third quarter.’
Johnson, who scored seven points, was a bright spot for Corydon Central.
‘Jacob has gotten better,’ Kolkmeier said. ‘Joey had three fouls at half, so we gave Jacob the start in the second half. He plays hard.’
Clarksville outscored Corydon Central 14-4 in the third quarter to seal the league win. For the game, Corydon Central shot 30 percent from the field.
Kolkmeier said they will look to find more attempts for Ripperdan, the primary ball handler, who had four points.
‘The dilemma is, he has to be more active but he has done a good job not forcing hard shots that he took too many of last year,’ coach said. ‘He has to be more aggressive. As a team, we have to be able to reverse the ball to find him when he doesn’t have the ball. We were way too stagnant at times.’
Stewart paced Clarksville in scoring with 21 points, while McEwen and Ludwick scored 10 points apiece.
Clayton Schreck led Corydon Central with eight points, and Wiseman added seven.
After a stretch of winning five games in a row, the Panthers dropped three straight, falling to 6-5. They will hit the road Friday (at Salem) and Saturday (at Charlestown) in an effort to get back on track.

Corydon Central 9 10 4 14 ‘ 37
Clarksville 14 15 14 15 ‘ 58
Corydon Central (6-5, 1-2 MSC) ‘ Schreck 8, Wiseman 7, Johnson 7, Ripperdan 4, Beauchamp 4, Bradford 2, L. Lee 2, A. Lee 2, Saulman 1.
Clarksville (7-5, 3-1) ‘ Stewart 21, M. McEwen 10, Ludwick 10, Cummings 6, Van Winkle 3, Taylor 2, B. McEwen 2, Martin 2, Hamilton 2.
3-point goals ‘ Corydon Central 3 (Schreck, Wiseman, Johnson); Clarksville 4 (M. McEwen 2, Cummings 2).

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