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Creekers rally past Lady Panthers in opener

Creekers rally past Lady Panthers in opener
Creekers rally past Lady Panthers in opener
Corydon Central’s Ava Weber looks for a driving lane against a pair of Silver Creek defenders during the first round of the Class 3A Charlestown Sectional last Tuesday night. The Lady Panthers led for much of the first half before falling 43-33. Photo by Chris Timberlake
Chris Timberlake, Staff Writer, [email protected]

When sectional pairings were announced on Jan. 26, Silver Creek coach Scott Schoen had a sinking feeling when he saw his fifth-ranked Dragons matched up against Corydon Central.

“We saw we had Corydon, and it was one of those things like, crap, because I know Mike’s going to do a great, great job preparing his girls,” Schoen said following a hard-earned 43-33 win over the Lady Panthers last Tuesday night at Charlestown.

Michael Uhl’s Corydon Central squad stymied the Dragons for much of the first half before Silver Creek closed with a 9-2 run the last 1:27 to forge a 20-20 half-time tie.

“We were just trying to keep them from getting transition baskets and to try and take away their drive,” said Uhl. “For the most part, we did that.”

Corydon Central (13-11) got a combined 10 points from freshman Ava Weber and senior Emily Harbaugh to open a 12-6 lead after the first quarter.

Junior Grace Erwin connected on back-to-back three-pointers midway through the second period as the Lady Panthers built their biggest lead, 18-11.

Silver Creek junior Alana Striverson then rallied her team with seven points in a span of 27 seconds to tie the game at 18 before the teams traded buckets in the final 45 seconds of the half.

“I told the girls it’s 20-20 and we played a really bad half of basketball and credit Corydon, they played really, really well, but we’ve got to settle in here,” said Schoen. “Jimmy V said it best, right? Survive and advance.”

The Dragons were able to do just that in the second half, turning a rash of Corydon Central turnovers into points.

“The end of the first half we made some costly turnovers that extended into the third,” said Uhl. “We lost our spacing on the floor a little, and that made us easier to guard.”

Corydon Central made 25 turnovers in all, which Silver Creek converted into 20 points on the night.

“That was the game plan. It took us a while to get to them,” said Schoen. “I thought the (Sydney) Sierota girl came in for us in the third quarter and defensively changed the tempo of the game for us to get the pace up and down.”

Silver Creek used a 10-2 run to open its biggest lead at 41-29.

Striverson led all scorers with 23 points and also had five rebounds.

Weber had a near double-double with 14 points and nine boards.

“We missed a couple shots we probably should have hit and then lost a couple rebounds to jump balls, and that was the difference,” said Uhl. “You give a very good team those opportunities and they will more than likely take advantage of it.

“Silver Creek is very good, and they took advantage of those situations,” he said. “However, we played well. No regrets.”

*  *  *

Silver Creek (21-4) advanced to Saturday night’s title game but fell to top-ranked Salem, 54-52, on a buzzer-beater by Karly Sweeney, giving the Lady Lions (22-3) their third straight sectional title.

Corydon Central            12     8     5     8 – 33

Silver Creek                      6   14   11   12 – 43

Corydon Central (13-11) – Weber 14, Erwin 6, Harbaugh 5, Wolfe 4, Johnson 2, Orme 2.

Silver Creek (20-3) – A. Striverson 23, Emily 9, Rooney 7, Kirchgessner 2, K. Striverson 2.

3-point goals – Corydon Central 2 (Erwin 2); Silver Creek 5 (A. Striverson 3, Emily 1, Rooney 1).