Lady Panthers edge Paoli, 48-45
Mike Arnold, Contributing Writer
The Corydon Central Lady Panthers got a go-ahead basket from freshman Ava Weber with 40 seconds to play and maintained their advantage to hold off visiting Paoli 48-45, last Tuesday night.
Paoli senior EB Kerby drained a three-pointer with 1:20 left, tying the game at 45. Corydon Central’s next possession ended with senior Lilian Wolfe at the line; however, she missed both. After a subsequent Corydon Central timeout at the 40-second mark, the Lady Panthers inbounded the ball under their own basket and junior Grace Erwin hit the streaking Weber, who dropped in a layup to put her team ahead 47-45.Corydon Central freshman Bailey Orme, added a free throw with 20 seconds left, and Paoli missed three-pointers on its last two possessions, allowing the Lady Panthers to preserve the win.
Corydon Central coach Michael Uhl said the outcome that produced the final basket was not the first option on the inbounds play; however, his players came through with the score. The intent was to get the ball in and hold it for one last shot. He praised Erwin for finding Weber.
“Grace made a good read on it,” he said. “Ava made a good finish.”
The Rams never led in the fourth quarter but didn’t fade either. They stayed close by hitting two of their three three-pointers in the period. The tightly-contested fourth quarter played out opposite from the third, which was defined by both teams mounting large runs.
Corydon Central made its charge first, tallying 14 consecutive points in just over three minutes. The Lady Panthers trailed 19-18 at the 6:32 mark and, with just under three minutes on the clock, found themselves enjoying a 32-19 advantage.
Senior Emily Harbaugh, who led all scorers with 15, keyed the Corydon Central scoring run, netting seven during that span. With time running out in the third, and Corydon Central firmly in the driver’s seat, the Lady Rams went to work on a run of their own, ripping off 12 unanswered points to eventually pull within one, 32-31.
“We let them get into the lane,” Uhl said of Paoli’s comeback.
A Weber basket eventually stifled the Lady Rams’ run and put Corydon Central up 34-31 to begin the final period.
Both teams began the game slowly, and the Lady Rams did not manage a field goal in the first period. They then trailed 7-1 to begin the second with their only points coming via a Jackie Crews free throw. The second period saw the Rams settle down and eventually score their first field goal at the 5:16 mark. Paoli used the free throw line to stay close in that period, making eight foul shots, which comprised half of their made free throws for the game where they were 16 of 29 (55%). Corydon Central also visited the line frequently, going 14 of 25 (56%) as the teams combined to take 54 total shots from the stripe.
Uhl said Paoli’s physical, half-court defense was expected.
“We knew they were going to,” he added.
In addition to Harbaugh’s 15, Corydon Central got 13 from freshman Bailey Orme and Weber finished with nine. The Lady Panthers were 17 of 44 on field goals (39%) and missed all four of their three-point tries.
Crews paced Paoli with 11, and Madison Cunningham added 10. The Lady Rams finished 13 of 40 from the field (33%) while making 3 of 16 from behind the arc (19%).
Uhl said his team would continue working on handling defensive pressure while also focusing on becoming more intentional on offense.
“You’ve got an opportunity to score, go score,” he added.
Paoli 1 16 14 14 – 45
Corydon Central 7 11 16 14 – 48
Paoli (1-3) – Crews 11, Cunningham 10, Manship 8, Kerby 7, Blankenbaker 5, Anderson 2, McBride 2.
Corydon Central (4-1) – Harbaugh 15, Weber 13, Orme 9, Fessel 4, Wolfe 4, Erwin 3.
3-point goals – Paoli 3 (Cunningham 1, Kerby 1, Blankenbaker 1).
Photos by Amanda Arnold