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Panthers show ‘fight’ in epic comeback

Panthers show ‘fight’ in epic comeback
Panthers show ‘fight’ in epic comeback
Corydon Central forward Bradley Nalley draws a foul while going in for a transition lay-in during Friday's game against Scottsburg. Photos by Alan Stewart

In 1994, the University of Kentucky pulled off arguably the greatest comeback in men’s college basketball history, rallying from 31 points down with 15:30 to play to defeat Louisiana State University, 99-95.
While the comeback Corydon Central had Friday night here barely bumps the needle compared to UK’s rally, the impressive moxie showed against Scottsburg will easily go into Panthers’ basketball lore as one of the most ” if not THE most ” thrilling comebacks to ever take place on the CCHS hardwood.
Trailing by 17 at halftime and multiple times in the third quarter, the home-standing Panthers clawed back behind Joey Wiseman’s 35 points and Bradley Nalley’s 34 points to topple the Warriors in an overtime thriller, 83-79.
Wiseman, who eclipsed the 1,000-point mark for his career with his scoring output, and Nalley accounted for all but 11 of Corydon Central’s 62 points in the second half and overtime.
While several local basketball pundits debated as to whether or not it was the first time two Corydon Central boys players had ever topped 30 points in the same game, Panthers head coach Jamie Kolkmeier simply shook his head and shrugged his shoulders when asked how a team almost 20 points down in the second half could snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.
‘We actually did some things at time that hurt our comeback,’ he said. ‘We’d make a little run and turn the ball over, or we’d make a run and give up a bucket underneath. Or, we’d miss a free throw. Or, we’d come up with a steal and turn the ball over again.
‘At times, I was starting to wonder if we were going to be able to do it,’ Kolkmeier said. ‘I was looking at the body language at halftime, and I wasn’t sure if we had (a comeback) in us. I told them that we know we need to do some things better. We didn’t rebound real well in the first half. We have guys who have quiet demeanors and who are really reserved, and sometimes people might question the intensity level that we really have. The best thing for us was finding out that we have a little bit of fight in us.’
A Nalley triple started the contest 10 seconds in, but Corydon Central didn’t retake the lead again until the extra stanza when Alton Adams converted a goal 17 ticks into overtime, a span of more than an entire regulation game.
With Nalley on the bench due to early foul trouble, Scottsburg’s first big run came when it closed the opening quarter on a 18-4 streak. Then, it started the second period with another run that ballooned to its first 17-point lead of the ballgame on a Treyton Owens basket at the 6:23 mark, 26-9.
Corydon Central (3-3, 2-0 Mid-Southern Conference) was able to slice the deficit to 10 on a pair of charity tosses by Nalley with a minute remaining in the half, but the Warriors’ Owens scored, followed by a steal and lay-in by Nicholas Sebastiao and a buzzer-beating triple by Mitchell Prince for a 38-21 half-time lead.
After trading baskets to start the second half, Scottsburg’s final 17-point advantage came with five minutes remaining in the third on a pair of free throws by Hayden Cutter.
That’s when the Panthers started showing signs of life.
Nalley converted an old-fashioned 3-point play, Bruce Todd hit a free throw, Nalley added a basket and a free throw and Adams hit a goal to trim the margin to single digits, 45-37. Scottsburg (4-2, 3-2 MSC) pushed the lead back out to 14 points and eventually closed the third quarter up by 13, 57-44.
Corydon Central’s second gasp came a couple of minutes into the fourth as Nalley and Wiseman knocked down shots and free throws to again slice into Scottsburg’s lead.
‘We came out flat in the first half,’ Wiseman said. ‘We got a lot better shots in the second half and got into a rhythm. We just had better focus on both ends in the second half and came up with big stops when we needed them.’
Thanks to 15-of-18 shooting from the foul stripe and some timely steals, the Panthers continued to inch closer throughout the fourth quarter, with Wiseman sinking two free throws with 43 seconds left to tie the affair at 72-all.
Scottsburg turned the ball over on the ensuing possession, giving the home team one last chance to win it in regulation. The Warriors stepped up their defense on Wiseman, who had to give up the ball to Nalley. A last-second shot was well off the mark, sending the tussle into extra time.
Corydon Central got the upper-hand to start overtime when Adams hit a deuce, but Scottsburg came back to take a 76-75 lead on a 3 by Cutter with 2:31 left and a 79-77 lead on a pair of Cutter free throws with 57.5 showing on the clock.
The Warriors didn’t score again.
Wiseman buried a 3 from the wing and hit a free throw for an 81-79 advantage. As they’d done in regulation, the Warriors turned the ball over with the game on the line.
Nalley was fouled with 10.2 left and sank two free throws for the final margin.
‘I don’t think we’ve scratched the surface of what this team can do,’ Kolkmeier said. ‘We can be better, and we’ll get better. Now the question is what our toughness level will be Monday through Thursday at practices.’
Wiseman said he knew he was close to reaching the 1,000-point plateau but said it wasn’t a goal for the night.
‘Honestly, I’m much more excited about the win,’ Wiseman said. ‘I knew I was close, but I didn’t think I had 35 points. I don’t want to take away from the game, but that’s a lot of hard work put in, watching a lot of games with (brothers) Tommy and Timothy coming through, and it drove me to be the best player I could be.’
Corydon Central, which got seven points from Adams, four points from Tucker Gentemann and one apiece from Logan Murphy, Alex Lee and Bruce Todd, was 25 of 65 (38 percent) from the field and 6 of 21 on 3-pointers (29 percent).
While Corydon Central wasn’t fantastic from the line at 27 of 44 (61 percent), the Panthers made almost as many free throws (27) as Scottsburg attempted (28).
After being beaten on the boards in the first half, Corydon Central made up the difference in the second half to finish only three rebounds back, 38-35. The Panthers had 15 miscues while forcing Scottsburg into 28 turnovers.
The Warriors were 28 of 50 (56 percent) from the floor, 9 of 22 (41 percent) from downtown and 14 of 28 (50 percent) from the foul line. Scottsburg had a balanced scoring line with Cutter posting 24 points, Sebastiao had 16, Owens had 12 and Jimmy Neace and Mitchell Prince scored 11 apiece.
The Panthers are off until Dec. 28, when they play in the Perry-Spencer Tournament at 11 a.m. at Tell City. On Jan. 4, Corydon Central will host one of the top teams in Class 4A, Floyd Central, at home before returning to MSC play on Jan. 11 at Clarksville.

Scottsburg 18 20 19 15 7 ‘ 79
Corydon Central 7 14 23 28 11 ‘ 83
Scottsburg (4-2, 3-2) ‘ Cutter 24, Sebastiao 16, Owens 12, Neace 11, Prince 11, Deaton 5.
Corydon Central (3-3, 2-0) ‘ Wiseman 35, Nalley 34, Adams 7, Gentemann 4, Lee 1, Murphy 1, Todd 1.
3-point goals ‘ Scottsburg 9 (Prince 3, Neace 3, Owens 1, Sebastiao 1, Deaton 1); Corydon Central 6 (Wiseman 5, Nalley 1).