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Intensity, focus key in Panthers’ revenge win

Intensity, focus key in Panthers’ revenge win
Intensity, focus key in Panthers’ revenge win
Crawford County’s Keith Brooks shoots a free throw during the fourth quarter of Saturday’s game against Corydon Central. The Panthers rallied for the win.
George Browning, Sports Writer, [email protected]

What a difference three weeks makes. After losing to Crawford County in the Perry-Spencer Holiday Tournament, Corydon Central got revenge with a 77-72 win Saturday on the Wolfpack’s home court.

As expected, both coaches were on the opposite ends of the spectrum about the outcome.

Panthers’ coach Joseph Hinton said he loved the fact that everyone who played contributed to the win.

“It was a great team win,” he said. “It’s tough to win at Crawford County, and with that environment it’s a great win. They have a really good fan base, they are well-coached and our guys really accepted the challenge and I was very proud of them.”

Corydon Central jumped out of the gate with a 24-15 point lead at the end of the first quarter behind a strong offensive output by Koleton Kaiser, who scored 10 of his 14 points, including two threes, in the opening minutes.

While Kaiser had the hot hand for the Panthers, five different players scored for the Wolfpack in the opening eight minutes, including four points each by Noah Adams and Trevor Harvey.

The Panthers continued to lead, but, by halftime, Crawford County had pulled to within one, 35-34. The ’Pack was able to close the gap primarily due to the three-point shooting by Harvey, who finished the game with 20, nine of which game in the second quarter after he hit three threes.

Harvey hit another three in the third quarter, and his teammate, Preston Coleman scored nine of his 20 points during that stretch where a one-point half-time deficit was turned into a 55-48 lead heading into the final eight minutes.

The Panthers erupted with 29 points in the final eight minutes behind the strong scoring of Anthony Martin, who hit three three-point baskets and two free throws on his way to a team-high 18 points.

Corydon Central also hit a number of free throws in the fourth quarter, including 6 of 8 by Jagger Holton, who tallied 11 points for the contest.

Bryce Weber scored 15 for the Panthers, and Tyler Fessel added 13 points.

Corydon Central’s defense held Crawford County to just three field goals in fourth quarter.

Hinton said the difference in Saturday’s win and the loss back in the tournament was just an adjustment mentally.

“When we played (in the tournament), we lacked intensity and focus,” he said. “We let them jump out to a big lead the first time around. We let some of the things that weren’t going our way affect us. We finally got it going late in the holiday tournament and saw that we could pressure them a little bit more. This time our intensity and focus was there from minute one to minute 32, and I was really proud of that.”

Crawford County coach Jerry Hanger agreed that Corydon Central’s defense this time around helped change the outcome.

“The first game we had Triston Coleman get hot,” Hanger said. “He had 44 points in that game, and then they held him to 20 in this game. The biggest difference though was on the defensive end. We played a lot better defensively than we did this time around. We just didn’t play any defense. We tried a variety of things. They shot a lot of free throws and hit them and then, when we gave them open looks, they took advantage and knocked down some threes against us. You aren’t going to win very many games when you give up 79 points.”

While Hinton said he thought all eight of the kids who played for the Panthers played well and contributed, Hanger said he thought two players for the Wolfpack had solid games.

“Preston Coleman played well for us,” Hanger said. “He made a few mistakes but still played fairly well, and Trevor Harvey finally got on track scoring for us. He had 20 points and had been struggling with his shooting, but it finally came to life a little bit.”

The win for Corydon Central came just in time after the Panthers had lost two in a row, to Floyd Central and Clarksville, respectively.

Hinton said he and his players will never be satisfied with where they are, but he does think they are moving in the right direction.

“We are always striving for improvement,” he said. “We want to get better every day, even if that’s only 1% better; we want to improve. I like what I see. I think if we keep our heads down and keep working, we are going to end up with where we need to be.”

After playing a tough road environment at Crawford County, Corydon Central will return home this week for two Mid-Southern Conference match ups. The Panthers host Salem on Friday night and Charlestown on Saturday.

Even with the loss, Crawford County has won three out of its last four games. Last night (Tuesday), the Wolfpack was scheduled for a showdown against Providence before returning home Saturday for a game against Tell City.

Corydon Central                            24   11   13   29 – 77

Crawford County                           15   19   21   17 – 72

Corydon Central (6-7) – Anthony Martin 18, Bryce Weber 15, Koleton Kiser 14, Tyler Fessel 13, Jagger Holton 11, Tyler Gentemann 5, Jacob Eve 1.

Crawford County (7-7) – Preston Coleman 20, Trevor Harvey 20, Colton Nickelson 11, Noah Adams 7, Wyatt Allinler 5, Keith Brooks 3, Zachary Coleman 2, Reese Sturgeon 2, Noah Talley 2.

3-point goals – Corydon Central 11 (Martin 4, Fessel 2, Kaiser 2, Weber 2, Holton 1); Crawford County 6 (Harvey 5, Coleman 1).