Panthers stay in front of Rebels
Last Tuesday, by the time the final horn sounded on the South Harrison match-up between Corydon Central and South Central, both squads were ready to prepare for the upcoming sectional tournament.
On the floor, Corydon Central netted nine 3-pointers in Elizabeth, sending the Panthers to a 51-40 victory. Both teams have had ups and downs over the season, but are keen to prepare for the postseason.
For Corydon Central coach Jamie Kolkmeier, he wants his team to better close out games when ahead. When South Central closed the gap to two points, 38-36, with a Bradley Hertle put-back, Corydon Central had a chance to pull away. Braydon Beauchamp, who netted a game-high 20 points, had a 3-pointer and a pair of free throws.
The rest of the way, Corydon Central went 8 of 13 from the foul line without making a field goal in the final 5:32.
‘We finished the game, but I’m not sure we played real smart in the fourth quarter,’ said Kolkmeier. ‘We took some shots earlier than we needed to shoot it. We gambled like crazy on defense and gave up some looks. We had some guys looking for dunks rather than finishing a game.’
South Central, meanwhile, was held to eight points in the fourth quarter. Baskets only fell for Lucas Stewart and Chase Schoen after the deficit was cut to two.
‘I cannot fault what we did defensively,’ said South Central coach Greg Robinson. ‘It’s all about what happened on the other end of the court. We had a lot of guys second guessing themselves; kids, I felt, weren’t shooting when they should. A lot of it is confidence, and you have to get over that. In sectional, you can’t worry about it. You have to play though it. I know we are capable of making shots. Right now, we have that to work out between now and next Tuesday.’
Corydon Central’s lead reached double digits in the final quarter when Alton Adams made a single free throw, setting up the Panthers’ fifth win.
‘We have to get a little bit more fight,’ said Kolkmeier. ‘We had opportunities to really finish a game. I hope we have that opportunity Tuesday night, too. If we continue to let teams hang around, it becomes dangerous. Scottsburg has some 3-point shooters. If we are in a similar position next Tuesday night, we can’t let teams hang around.’
Early on, South Central recognized all five seniors by giving each a starting nod. Taking full advantage was guard Andrew Miller. Normally a spark off the bench, Miller opened play with a pair of 3-pointers.
Each, however, was offset by Corydon Central’s outside shooting. Logan Murphy knocked down a pair of triples, then Joey Wiseman got in the act with a long ball for a 9-6 Corydon Central lead.
‘Wiseman can stretch you out so far,’ said Robinson. ‘They can open you up.’
Adams got in on the 3-point action, as well, putting one down for the Panthers, after receiving a swing pass from Wiseman for the open look.
For the game, Corydon Central made good on 9 of 21 3-point tries.
‘Tucker (Gentemann) didn’t have great rhythm tonight,’ said Kolkmeier. ‘Logan stepped up and hit some shots. He has to get better on defense.’
Beauchamp, who sat out the first quarter, entered in the second to give the Panthers a 21-10 lead with a long ball.
South Central’s best run of offense in the first half came when Schoen got going underneath. In the paint, he made consecutive baskets, the latter while getting fouled. Grouped with another Miller 3-pointer, South Central crawled back to within five points, 23-18.
‘Chase worked hard,’ said Robinson. ‘We have to see him a little better. I thought we saw him better in the second quarter to get him some touches.’
Beauchamp ended the half with a steal and score inside 10 seconds to play for a 25-18 Panthers lead at the break.
In the third quarter, Beauchamp stepped back to hit a pair of 3-pointers. Held to one field goal in the first half, Corydon Central’s Bradley Nalley scored five points in the third. He created a field goal off the bounce, then leaped for a tip-in. He closed with seven points and eight boards. He also had three assists.
‘He’s really unselfish, but we need him to be more selfish,’ Kolkmeier said of Nalley. ‘We need him to score. It’s great that he has the ability to get other guys shots. There is a time for that. Then, there is time where you have to go score. We need him to do that right now.’
South Central scoring in the third came from T.J. Boyd and Brandon Summers 3-pointers. They also saw Schoen, Stewart and Summers get to the free-throw line.
Overall, South Central was 7 of 15 at the stripe.
‘We couldn’t leave the shooters,’ said Robinson. ‘Their shooters got us, so we had to make some adjustments in the second half. I felt like when we made a nice little run, we missed some free throws and a few lay-ups. There were some plays that could have made a difference.’
Schoen paced South Central in scoring with 12 points followed by nine from Miller. Stewart had five boards.
Prior to the game, the Rebels honored the senior class, including Ben Wibbels, Conner Smith, Bradley Hertle, Boyd and Miller.
‘Kids get fired up and adrenaline rolling for senior night, then you hit that lull,’ said Robinson. ‘I think that was part of it. It’s different when you change your line-up completely like you do on senior night. What you are used to substitute patterns is all changed. We probably rolled with it a little too long.’
Corydon Central saw Wiseman score 12 points while also dishing three assists. Beauchamp had nine boards to go with his 20 points.
The Panthers were set to face Scottsburg in the first round of sectional play last night (Tuesday), while South Central took on Borden. If both local teams won, they would return for the semi-final on Friday.
‘We have a draw that is pretty good, if we can take advantage of it,’ said Robinson. ‘We know we will be competitive with Borden ‘ Their defense is a lot like Corydon’s but not with Corydon’s size. They switch screens with their defense. It’s good preparation.’
The Panthers lost to Scottsburg in the regular season. It was the first game back for Nalley and, at the same time, Wiseman played with an illness.
‘It’s not going to be easy all the time,’ said Kolkmeier. ‘It was Bradley’s first game back, and he was rusty.’
Corydon Central 13 12 13 13 ‘ 51
South Central 10 8 14 8 ‘ 40
Corydon Central (5-17) ‘ Beauchamp 20, Wiseman 12, Nalley 7, Murphy 6, Adams 4, Gentemann 2.
South Central (8-15) ‘ Schoen 12, Miller 9, Summers 7, Stewart 5, Boyd 3, Hertle 2, Smith 2.
3-point goals ‘ Corydon Central 9 (Beauchamp 4, Wiseman 2, Murphy 2, Adams); South Central 5 (Miller 3, Summers, Boyd).