Tough MSC foe opens Corydon season
Out of practice and on to the regular season, Corydon Central faced a formidable foe on opening night Saturday.
Hosting Mid-Southern Conference rival Brownstown Central, the Lady Panthers had spurts of positive play. There were lapses in the final moments of the opening half, along with parts of the third quarter, which allowed the Lady Braves to go on runs.
Aided by 13 points from Kristen Stuckwisch, Brownstown Central won the season opener for both squads, 45-37.
‘We talk about little things constantly in practice that we have to make sure we move to the game floor,’ Corydon Central coach Michael Uhl said. ‘It didn’t happen tonight with some things. Once we started to do things at the end of the third quarter and the fourth, we started to score.’
It was 4-1/2 minutes of game time, from the final minute of the first half and the start of the second when Brownstown Central outscored Corydon Central 11-0.
Corydon Central took an 18-17 lead when a Cami Schmitt steal led to two points from backcourt-mate Gracie Paden.
During the final minute of the second quarter, Brownstown Central picked up a bucket with Shelby Stuckwisch scoring in transition. Inside the final 15 seconds, a Corydon Central turnover led to Ashley Schroer scoring while drawing contact to give the Lady Braves a 23-18 cushion at halftime.
‘I think the end of the second quarter was the key moment,’ Uhl said. ‘We had worked ourselves back into the game, actually taking a lead, then we gave up two layups on transition buckets. We didn’t get back, then we gave up an offensive rebound because we didn’t have anyone on the weak-side board.’
Keeping the flow going, Brownstown Central scored the first six points of the third quarter. Shelby Stuckwisch nailed a trifecta, while Schroer scored on a put-back.
Soon, Uhl had to wake up his team with a pair of time-outs called within 30 seconds of one another.
Breaking the momentum, Corydon Central got on track with Schmitt feeding Emily Harbaugh for a field goal. Madison Engleman added a 3-pointer late in the third, which saw the Lady Panthers score five points and trail 37-23.
Although a 3-pointer by Taylor Garland gave Brownstown Central its largest lead at 40-25, Corydon Central didn’t go down quietly.
Grace Carver gave Corydon Central a lift with an offensive put-back to start a 7-0 run for the home team. Katie Fessel and Schmitt added two free throws apiece during the span, along with a single make by Paden.
Defensively, Corydon Central held its opponent scoreless during 4-1/2 minutes, cutting the deficit to 40-32.
‘Finally, when they started to play the way we wanted, it started to work out,’ Uhl said. ‘It took us so long after digging that big hole. The good part is, we are better than that. I know we are better than that. They are fixable things, and we will go from there.’
Free-throw woes by Brownstown Central gave the Lady Panthers additional chances on the offensive end. The Lady Braves missed the front end of two one-and-ones, but Corydon Central couldn’t capitalize either time. Inside the final two minutes, the Lady Braves were 5 of 10 from the stripe.
With 40.5 seconds left, Engleman scored, getting Corydon Central within two possessions, 42-36. That, however, was as close as the Lady Panthers would get on the scoreboard.
It was a balanced-scoring effort for Corydon Central, led by Paden’s 11 points. She also had four rebounds and three steals. Also scoring for the Lady Panthers were Schmitt (six points), Fleace (five), Engleman (five), Lilly Wolfe (three), Fessel (three), Harbaugh (two) and Carver (two).
Fessel and Fleace led Corydon Central, who shot 29-percent from the field, with five rebounds apiece.
Uhl described Brownstown Central as a quick team that was difficult to press; but, switching to a trap in the second half seemed to rattle the Lady Braves at times.
Shelby Stuckwisch made three 3-pointers to lead Brownstown Central (1-0) in scoring with 13 points. Schroer added 12.
‘It was a real physical game, and it didn’t seem to bother us,’ Uhl said of positives to take away. ‘I wouldn’t say we handled it perfectly, but we didn’t get knocked off our spots. That was an area of concern coming into the year.’
Uhl said players have been dedicated to the weight room.
‘We battled and held our positions when last year we got pushed around a little bit,’ he said. ‘We are giving up size, but at least we are not giving up the positioning, because it was a physical game.’
Corydon Central (0-1) will return to action Friday and Saturday, hosting the Battle at the First Capital. The Lady Panthers will kick off the event Friday, taking on Lanesville at 6 p.m. On Saturday, Corydon Central is slated to face South Dearborn (10 a.m.) and Henryville (7:30 p.m.).
Brownstown Central 12 11 14 8 ‘ 45
Corydon Central 7 11 5 14 ‘ 37
Brownstown Central (1-0, 1-0 MSC) ‘ S. Stuckwisch 13, A. Schroer 12, K. Stuckwisch 7, T. Garland 6, P. Farmer 3, H. Hehman 2, M. Klinge 2.
Corydon Central (0-1, 0-1) ‘ G. Paden 11, C. Schmitt 6, K. Fleace 5, M. Engleman 5, L. Wolfe 3, K. Fessel 3, E. Harbaugh 2, G. Carver 2.
3-point goals ‘ Brownstown Central 5 (S. Stuckwisch 3, T. Garland 2); Corydon Central 2 (G. Paden, C. Schmitt).