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Panthers fend off hot Rebels

Panthers fend off hot Rebels
Panthers fend off hot Rebels
Corydon Central's Bruce Todd rises up for a put-back over South Central's defense in the opening quarter last Tuesday night. Photos by Brian Smith
Brian Smith, Sports Editor

Corydon Central may have entered last Tuesday’s contest against county-foe South Central with 15 straight wins in the series, but the Panthers had to earn No. 16 against an upward trending Rebels’ squad.
Carrying an eight-game win streak to the match-up, Class 1A No. 14 South Central launched to an eight-point lead in the first quarter. Corydon Central eventually found an offensive groove behind five Bradley Nalley 3-pointers to land a 53-40 victory at home.
‘I missed my first two shots,’ Nalley said. ‘I knew they didn’t look good, but I kept shooting with confidence. I know I can knock down shots.’
The 6-foot-6 forward was among five senior basketball players honored before the game. Nalley closed his final home game with 20 points, many coming from beyond the arc. The American University signee also had eight rebounds.
‘Bradley was able to get going from the perimeter in the second and third quarters,’ Corydon Central coach Jamie Kolkmeier said. ‘That helped open the game up a little bit.’
South Central entered the second quarter with a 16-10 lead, but Corydon Central took the lead by the half-way point.
Joey Wiseman scored the first five points: a three from the outside while the other was off a ball-fake and drive to the rack. Wiseman, a senior, then came up with a steal, dishing an assist to Koleton Kaiser, who finished around the rim to level the score at 17-all.
Another Kaiser bucket put the Panthers up by three, 20-17. South Central’s lone field goal of the second frame came on a drive by Lucas Stewart. The Panthers closed out the half on a 6-0 run to lead 26-19. Nalley had a second-chance field goal fall after Kaiser snagged a ball off the offensive glass. A Nalley triple before the final horn capped the momentum-swinging quarter.
‘We got big minutes and big plays out of Koleton,’ Kolkmeier said. ‘He keeps getting better each time out.’
In the frame, South Central coughed up possession seven times while starter Chase Schoen had to sit the final four minutes of the second with three fouls. The senior had six points in the early going and closed with a team-best 15.
‘The second quarter really hurt us,’ South Central coach Greg Robinson said. ‘They did a good job defending us, and we weren’t really ready to play against these guys. It was more on me than anything else. We took some shots at times that we probably shouldn’t have taken. Our guys played hard. This is always a hard game. I didn’t think I had them ready to play like they needed to get this win.’
The Rebels were coming off winning the Southern Athletic Conference title the previous Friday, backed by a win over Class 1A-ranked Springs Valley.
‘It was a long week,’ Robinson said.
Off the tip, South Central built an eight-point lead. Wesley Wilson drilled a 3-pointer, then balanced scoring from Brandon Summers, Dylan Patterson, Schoen and Stewart led to a 14-6 lead.
Corydon Central got going with field goals from Alton Adams and Tucker Gentemann.
Nalley said nerves likely had a bit to do with the slow start. The Panthers started all five seniors: Jacob Eve, Bruce Todd, Logan Murphy, Nalley and Wiseman.
‘I was most nervous for this game than I have been for any other game,’ Nalley said. ‘I think it being senior night had something to do with it and also made us play harder. (South Central) was playing hard, but we pulled through. We had to pick up our hustle.’
A 3-pointer fell early in the third quarter along with a basket from Adams to give Corydon Central a 31-19 lead. South Central saw long balls fall for Stewart and Wilson, eventually cutting the deficit back to eight.
In the final frame, Schoen got going with five straight points, including a pair of freebies to put the Rebels within six, 42-36.
‘I thought Chase Schoen became hard for us to guard,’ Kolkmeier said. ‘He made a lot of good cuts we did not defend very well. He did a good job of finishing as he got fouled.’
Corydon Central answered with a drive and kick from Adams to an open Nalley for his fifth triple. Wiseman had four points late to help secure the win. The senior guard closed with 12 points. Facilitating the offense, Wiseman had six assists along with four boards and three steals.
Off the bench, Kaiser closed with 11 points on 5-of-7 shooting. He also had four rebounds.
Among the senior class, Todd had four points and four boards while Eve had five rebounds. Murphy had one assist.
‘Bruce did a nice job on the boards and got a few scores,’ Kolkmeier said. ‘He plays with a lot of energy and attacks the glass. When we go to shoot, he’s going to get it.’
Stewart closed with nine points. Patterson was everywhere for the Rebels. He had 12 rebounds and three assists and scored four points.
‘Dylan has gotten a lot better handling the basketball this year,’ Robinson said. ‘We put him at the point some, which was good to see. He struggled at times last week, but this was as good of a team we will play, and Dylan responded well.’
Robinson said he thought the Rebels played well enough on defense but weren’t able to grind out the win.
‘We won’t see two better players than (Nalley and Wiseman) in our sectional,’ Robinson said. ‘We lost those two a couple of times. We didn’t do a great job stopping either one of them, but it was good practice for sectional. It’s a good game to get us ready for the tournament, especially seeing that kind of athleticism and length.’
Corydon Central seeks to carry the win into sectional play as well.
‘We have good length, but we need to continue to work on staying in front of the ball and defending,’ Nalley said. ‘Offensive, we need to work to get open shots off our drives.’

South Central 16 3 12 9 – 40
Corydon Central 10 16 13 14 – 53
South Central (15-8) – Chase Schoen 15, Lucas Stewart 9, Wesley Wilson 6, Dylan Patterson 4, Brandon Summers 2, Austin Tyree 2, Will Weber 2.
Corydon Central (10-12) – Bradley Nalley 20, Joey Wiseman 12, Koleton Kaiser 11, Alton Adams 4, Bruce Todd 4, Tucker Gentemann 2.
3-point goals ‘ South Central 3 (Wilson 2, Stewart); Corydon Central 7 (Nalley 5, Wiseman, Kaiser).