Lady Panthers hurry Perry, take opener
Brian Smith, Sports Editor
The Corydon Central girls’ basketball team forced 27 turnovers in its season opener last Tuesday, toppling Perry Central 67-34.
Both teams suffered through a sloppy opening eight minutes with the Lady Panthers turning the rock over six times. On the other end, Corydon Central was able to force 10, leading to a 20-13 lead.
The pressure from Corydon Central created scoring opportunities, kicked off by an early swipe by Lillian Wolfe out of a trap with Bailey Orme, resulting in a lay-in.
Scoring for Corydon Central came from a lot of different areas. Ten different players scored, led by 20 from freshman Ava Weber.
“We had some combinations of lineups out there we were playing with to see what works,” said Corydon Central coach Michael Uhl. “Hopefully, we will figure out what lineup is the best.”
Perry Central’s Bree Noland carried the scoring load for her squad, notching 19 points. She had six inside the first three minutes, keeping the score even at 6-all.
Corydon Central took off on an 8-0 run led by Grace Erwin scoring off the bounce. Steals by Orme, Weber and Wolfe led to transition buckets as well.
To close the opening quarter, Wolfe netted a triple and Kayla Willoughby scored on a cut to the rim, fed the rock by Erwin before the horn blared.
During the next two quarters, Perry Central was held to nine points.
“Our guards have to take away that weak side,” Uhl said of Perry Central’s early scores. “Our guards have to take away that post. We discussed that a few times. I think Bailey got to where she was halfway understanding, but it gives us things to work on in practice.”
After a few misses underneath, Corydon Central closed the opening half of the season with a flurry. A Katie Fessel steal led to a combination of passes from her to Wolfe to Weber for an easy finish. Consecutive offensive rebounds –– one each by Fessel and Wolfe –– led to another score.
From downtown, Erwin pumped in a triple. Free throws by Emily Harbaugh, Willoughby, Weber and Erwin helped balloon the margin to 36-20 at half.
Perry Central went scoreless for the first 7:47 of the second half as Corydon Central went on an 18-0 run.
One area of concern for the Lady Panthers moving forward is the turnover stats.
“(Assistant coach) Josh (Conrad) had us for 21 turnovers against a team that wasn’t pressing a lot,” said Uhl. “We will have to take care of that situation. One on one, nobody is going to take the ball away from you. We are strong enough ball handlers that, in those one on ones, you can’t throw it all around the gym. We did that a few times. Some we were trying to hit someone over the break and were too strong. I understand those.”
The debut of freshmen Orme (six points) and Weber brought some offense and defense to the guard positions. Uhl said he plans to prepare the young pair to see more physical play as the season progresses.
To go with Weber’s 20 points, Wolfe tallied 13 while Erwin pitched in 11.
Corydon Central’s next opponent will be at Charlestown on Friday. The Lady Panthers will return home on Saturday to face New Albany.
Perry Central 13 7 2 12 – 34
Corydon Central 20 16 18 13 – 67
Perry Central (0-3) – Bree Noland 19, Olivia Hauser 5, Maddy Elmer 4, Emily Parker 4, Abby Schwartz 2.
Corydon Central (1-0) – Ava Weber 20, Lillian Wolfe 13, Grace Erwin 11, Bailey Orme 6, Emily Harbaugh 5, Jessie Johnson 4, Kayla Willoughby 3, Autum Anderson 2, Katie Fessel 2, Kierstin Burres 1.
3-point goals – Perry Central 2 (Noland 2); Corydon Central 2 (Wolfe, Erwin).