Corydon plays potential spoiler in win over Lady Cats
George Browning, Sports Writer, [email protected]
There is nothing better than beating a rival, except possibly beating a rival and potentially keeping them from having a shot at a piece of the Mid-Southern Conference championship. That’s exactly what Corydon Central did Jan. 21 when it defeated North Harrison 60-40.
“I thought, as a team, we played well,” said Lady Panthers coach Michael Uhl. “Players did a super job both defensively and offensively. Assistant coaches Josh Conrad and Kayla Carnley made some key adjustments at halftime.
“We have been talking about someone stepping up and making plays. We had that in the second half. We ran some good offense, found the open people and hit some shots. It is amazing how good you can look when you hit shots.”
North Harrison coach Barry Geltmaker said in simple terms his team lost because of its inability to make shots.
“We went a nine-minute span without scoring and only hit 25% of our shots as a team,” he said. “We had a half-time lead and scored two quick baskets in the opening minutes of the third quarter and then didn’t score again until the fourth quarter. Corydon hit some big shots against us, but we just couldn’t score.”
The win snapped a three-game Corydon Central losing streak that started with a 61-16 loss at Pekin and was followed with much closer losses against Forest Park (44-42) and Madison (51-40).
Corydon Central used a mix of solid outside shooting and a strong showing at the free-throw line, hitting 23 of 30, to get the win.
The scoring wasn‘t the only positive for Corydon Central. Uhl said his team played well on the defensive side of the ball, too. The Lady Panthers held North Harrison’s leading scorer, Ali Saunders, to just 16 points.
“We had several people play real well,” he said. “We played good solid interior defense and had solid rebounding. Bailey (Orme) and Jessie (Johnson) did a real nice job defending Saunders. The rest of the team took care of the rest. Again, we hit some shots, hit our free throws and played solid defense. When a team can do that, good things usually happen.”
Ava Weber, who was nominated earlier this year for her play during the week of Dec. 30-Jan. 4 as an IBCA/Subway Player of the week for District 3, led the charge for Corydon Central with 18 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. She also hit 6 of 7 free throws in the fourth quarter alone and was 12 of 15 at the charity stripe for the game.
When Weber wasn’t cleaning up at the line, it was the sharp shooting of Lillian Wolfe, who scored 9 of her 11 points behind the three-point arc, and Grace Erwin, who scored her six points by knocking down two three-point baskets, scoring for the Lady Panthers.
North Harrison jumped in front early and led 13-7 at the end of the first quarter but struggled to show any consistency on the offensive end.
Geltmaker said his team’s post players getting in foul trouble also hurt them against Corydon Central. Even though they lost the next game against Bedford North Lawrence, 78-65, he felt like they played much better.
“We had as many points at halftime against BNL as we had the entire game against Corydon,” Geltmaker said. “The object of the game is to score more points than the other team, and we just weren’t able to do that.”
A win over Corydon Central would have kept the Lady Cats in a three-way tie for first place in the conference race, but, with the loss, North Harrison no longer controls its own destiny in the MSC standings. Even if North Harrison beats Brownstown in the regular season finale tomorrow (Thursday) the Lady Cats would still need Salem to lose to Austin on the same night.
Corydon Central played Floyd Central on Saturday and got a 43-37 win over the Lady Highlanders. The Lady Panthers will end their regular season tomorrow at Crawford County.
“We are hoping that this keeps us moving in the right direction,” Uhl said. “We have two very tough games before an even tougher sectional.”
North Harrison 13 7 8 12 – 40
Corydon Central 7 11 22 20 – 60
North Harrison (13-7, 6-2 MSC) – Ali Saunders 16, Diana Burgher 6, Jessica Fulk 4, Chloe Jacobi 4, Lucy Robertson 4, Maddie Messick 2, Lily Moore 2, Addison Beyerle 1, Skylie Burns 1.
Corydon (12-9, 3-6) – Ava Weber 18, Lillian Wolfe 11, Emily Harbaugh 10, Autumn Anderson 6, Grace Erwin 6, Bailey Orme 5, Katie Fessel 2, Jessie Johnson 2.
3-point goals – North Harrison 1 (Saunders 1); Corydon Central 7 (Wolfe 3, Erwin 2, Anderson 1, Orme 1).