Strong ender polishes off Generals
Corydon Central’s one-time 14-point lead gradually faded against Clarksville in the third and fourth quarters Friday night. Although the Generals showed a will to come back, Corydon Central’s response to being down five with three minutes to go was much quicker.
The need for a rally culminated in Corydon Central keeping its perfect Mid-Southern Conference record in tact, defeating Clarksville 56-54.
When things went south for the Panthers, coach Jamie Kolkmeier said he wondered to himself, ‘Maybe this isn’t our night.’
Bradley Nalley was hampered with foul trouble in the second half and, in the fourth quarter, he, along with fellowing scoring leader Joey Wiseman, had turnovers under the rim.
‘Late, Joey drives and the ball hits off his knee and goes into the upper deck. Then, Bradley loses a ball under the basket. It was all in the last three minutes,’ Kolkmeier said. ‘If those two guys have that happen, you wonder if this isn’t our night. These guys rallied and pulled it out.’
Once the home-standing Generals took the lead, extending it to five points, 50-45, on a pair of Jaren Starks free throws, Corydon Central came up with stops and scores.
Nalley, re-entering after being whistled for four offensive fouls, nailed a pull-up jumper. Keeping with the mid-range game, Nalley sank another field goal after Alton Adams forced a turnover.
‘Alton is becoming one of our most solid defensive players,’ Kolkmeier said.
After Clarksville threw the ball away with 2:19 to play, Corydon Central quickly regained the lead. Nalley cleaned up his own miss with a put-back, drawing contact on the play. Converting the old-fashioned 3-point play put the Panthers up 52-50.
‘Bradley came in there and made some huge baskets for us when we got down,’ Kolkmeier said. ‘We had to put him in late with four fouls. We need some better decisions by him in the paint. At times, he needs to, when within 10 feet, just rise up over people and shoot. He was able to get going late for us.’
A series of Clarksville turnovers gave Corydon Central the chance to push the game to a two-possession contest. With a minute to play, Wiseman drew the Generals to the right wing, eventually slipping a pass to a cutting Koleton Kaiser for two points.
Dae’von Fuqua netted a bucket for Clarksville with 22.8 seconds left before Wiseman countered with a pair of free throws. Fuqua again cut the margin to two with under 10 seconds to play, but the Generals weren’t able to score again.
It was a rough second half from the foul line as the Panthers went 7 of 18 from the stripe.
‘Guys have to stick their free throws in better,’ Kolkmeier said.
Wiseman finished the game with 20 points, 15 coming in the opening half. He also had six steals and three assists.
‘The first half, it was encouraging to see Joey shooting it better,’ Kolkmeier said. ‘He had some good looks in the third quarter that just didn’t go down. I know he’ll come back and hit those and his free throws moving forward.’
Consecutive buckets by Tucker Gentemann and fields goals from Bruce Todd and Jacob Eve highlighted a second quarter that lifted the Panthers to a 35-22 lead. Wiseman also netted seven points, while Nalley had a pair of free throws.
‘Early, we made some shots, which was positive,’ Kolkmeier said.
Trailing 40-27, Clarksville went on a 15-2 scoring run during the final 3-1/2 minutes of the third quarter. The only interruption was an Eve tip in, his second of the night.
‘We are playing at the speed they want us to play at instead of us dictating,’ Kolkmeier said. ‘We can still get up and down the floor quickly but, once they applied pressure, we went 150 miles and hour. That led to a couple poor decisions, and we didn’t score for a long period of time.’
Clarksville took the momentum into the fourth quarter, where the Generals took their first lead of the night on a pair of Fuqua freebies. The lead, however, didn’t last as the gritty Panthers earned a road victory in league play.
Nalley finished with 14 points, with half of those coming in the final three minutes, to go with eight rebounds.
‘He has to score for us,’ Kolkmeier said of Nalley. ‘Our last five games, when he’s on the bench, we don’t score as well. We have to reverse the ball more. We have to figure out when people pressure us to take the layup when it’s there. If not, we need to wait for the shot we want.’
Gentemann closed with seven rebounds to go with his four points. Eve had six points, while Adams added five.
‘Tucker came in and rebounded, and Bruce Todd gave us some great minutes,’ Kolkmeier said. ‘Jacob had two huge tip-ins. You may not think that first one was as big of deal, but the second one was huge for us.’
Fuqua and Starks led Clarksville in scoring with 12 points apiece.
The win for Corydon Central puts the Panthers at 3-0 in MSC play. The Panthers, along with Brownstown Central, are the lone remaining unbeatens within the conference.
‘I hope we get better on the defensive end,’ Kolkmeier said.
The Panthers will go on the road for two key MSC game this weekend: Friday night at Salem and Saturday night at Charlestown.
Corydon Central 18 17 7 14 ‘ 56
Clarksville 14 8 20 12 ‘ 54
Corydon Central (5-6, 3-0 MSC) ‘ Joey Wiseman 20, Bradley Nalley 14, Jacob Eve 6, Alton Adams 5, Tucker Gentemann 4, Logan Murphy 3, Koleton Kaiser 2, Bruce Todd 2.
Clarksville (3-9, 1-3) ‘ Dae’von Fuqua 12, Jaren Starks 12, Kohe Quarles 9, Keyshawn Minor 6, Clayton Aranda 6, Jailen Swain 6, Dakota Capps 3.
3-point goals ‘ Corydon Central 2 (Wiseman 2); Clarksville 6 (Starks 2, Minor 2, Quarles, Aranda).