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Panthers sink Commodores

PSC Tournament
Panthers sink Commodores
Panthers sink Commodores
Corydon Central's Alton Adams (11) fires up a shot over Perry Central's Cameron Bland (12) and Reece Davis in the second half of the Panthers' 73-68 win over the Commodores. Photo by Wade Bell
Wade Bell, Clarion News

After falling short against Crawford County during the morning session of the Perry-Spencer Holiday Tournament on Dec. 27, the Corydon Central Panthers bounced back during the evening to fend off Perry Central in a close second-round game. The third quarter was the determining factor where the Panthers pulled away just enough to hold off a final run by the Commodores to get the win.

“We played really hard,” said Corydon Central coach Joe Hinton. “We accepted the challenge. We knew Perry Central was going to be a really physical team. We knew they were going to be very disciplined. I thought we fought really hard, and I was really proud of our guys tonight.”

Perry Central got the early lead in the first half as the two teams battled back and forth. The Panthers took a brief lead on a deuce-and-one by Tyler Fessel, but Patrick Mitchell responded with a three-ball to tie the game. The two teams traded paint through the remaining minutes with Corydon Central holding an 18-16 edge at the end of one.

The second period began the same way, but midway through Koleton Kaiser drilled back-to-back threes for a 30-22 Corydon Central advantage. Perry Central was unfazed and responded with threes from Camiren Etienne and Ethan Edwards to close the gap to one, 33-32, at halftime.

“The plan was to push the tempo on them,” Hinton said. “This morning they played a game in the 30s. They played real physical. We knew we didn’t want to be completely physical with them, so we wanted to push the ball up and down the floor We wanted to stop them on defense, so we played a lot of 1-3-1 zone and a lot of traps and jumped to man. Really, the guys bought into that.”

The Panthers continued to hold a slight edge during the third quarter but four quick points at the end of the period allowed Corydon Central to gap the Commodores by six, 51-45. The lead went to 10 early in the fourth as Anthony Martin sank two freebies and Jagger Holton scored inside.

Perry Central made another charge as Mitchell drove the lane twice. Dylan Hubert also scored inside, and Edwards later followed with a three to close the gap to one, 59-58. The Commodores took a brief lead when Mitchell sank a pair of free throws and Edwards scored in the paint for a 62-59 edge. A 6-2 burst gave Corydon Central the lead for good for the 73-68 win.

“I gave the challenge to a lot of kids,” Hinton said. “I wasn’t sure our people were going to do this or if we were going to do that. They really fought hard tonight and accepted the challenge and accepted their roles tonight, and I was very proud of them.”

Kaiser led the Panthers with 20 points, and Fessel finished with 13. Alton Adams added 12 for the Panthers, who were 28 of 57 from the field (49%) and 16 of 22 from the charity stripe. The Panthers finished the game with 15 turnovers.

Hinton said, “We asked him before the game … ‘Koleton, do you think you can score inside?’ He said, ‘I don’t know, coach. I think I can.’ I said, ‘I know you can.’ He went out there and he played hard. He got most of his buckets inside, and he got a couple on the outside, which is what I told him to do. I wanted him to go inside then outside.”

Mitchell led the Commodores with 21, and Ethan Edwards had 12. Etienne came off the bench for 11. Perry Central was 27 of 56 from the field (48%) and 7 of 13 in free throws. The Commodores had 20 turnovers for the game.

“Our big guys came off the bench tonight,” Hinton said. “They’re not used to coming off the bench, and I’m telling you now they played the best game they’ve played all year. I was proud of them. Tucker Gentemann gave us huge minutes. The bench gave us huge minutes. Tonight, we played as a team. Tonight, it wasn’t about the individuals. It was about Corydon Central basketball.”

The next day in their game for fifth place against Boonville, the Panthers had a 38-32 lead at halftime. Boonville rallied back to take a brief lead midway through the fourth and, with 3:04 to go, the game was tied at 52. Corydon Central finished with an 8-0 run and secured a 65-58 win to finish fifth in the tournament.


Corydon Central            18   15 18   22 – 73

Perry Central                  16   16 13   23 – 68

Corydon Central (3-5) – Kaiser 20, Fessel 13, Adams 12, Holton 8, Martin 8, Weber 5, Gentemann 4, Eve 3.

Perry Central (5-3) – Mitchell 21, Edwards 12, Etienne 11, Davis 8, Bland 6, Mullis 6, Hubert 4.

3-point goals – Corydon Central 3 (Kaiser 2, Weber 1); Perry Central 5 (Edwards 2, Mitchell 2, Etienne 1).