Short-handed Panthers sweep two
Alan Stewart, Contributing Writer
Without the services of half of its basketball roster due to coronavirus contact tracing, Corydon Central parlayed a Friday win over Clarksville with a yeoman’s effort against a much-taller Crawford County club on Saturday.
The Panthers went to the triangle-and-two on defense and good ball movement on offense that outscored Crawford County 17-6 in the second period en route to a 61-47 victory.
“We never went away from it,” Corydon Central coach Joseph Hinton said of his defensive lineup. “We were short-handed, so we wanted to stay out of foul trouble; and we knew they had two really good players in (Noah) Adams and (Trevor) Harvey and they had the (Keith) Brooks kid in the middle, who is an outstanding rebounder. I stuck Bryce (Weber) on Adams like glue and had Jagger (Holton) on Harvey like glue, and their only job was to keep those guys from scoring, and, if they do score, it’s got to be a really tough shot. Inside, I had Blake Skinner and Koleton Kaiser and Owen Shireman and Sean Woods blocking out every possession as much as we could to keep them off the boards because we were at such a height disadvantage. (Crawford County) started shooting shots that weren’t them, and we were getting the rebounds.”
“It was good basketball, good ball movement and staying under control,” he said. “Basketball is a possessions game, and it’s about the number of possessions and what you do with those possessions.”
Crawford County first-year coach Jerry Hanger Jr. admitted Hinton’s defensive plan worked to perfection.
“You have games like that, and, unfortunately, we’ve had two in a row. If Trevor Harvey isn’t hitting and Noah Adams isn’t hitting, then it’s going to be a long night. Keith is big on the inside, and we need to get him the basketball. We did a few times but not enough,” Hanger said. “Joe left some guys open on the floor in places he wanted them to shoot from, and our guys bit on it. I know in the first quarter we shot nine three-pointers … We settled for the shots they wanted us to have and not the shots we needed to take. I thought that was very smart on Joe’s part in leaving our guys open and baiting us. … ”
The Wolfpack (2-7) led briefly 7-5 early on in the contest on five points from Harvey and a deuce from Adams. Weber canned a three to retake the point, and then the two teams played even to the first-quarter break, 10-10.
Crawford County shot only 2 of 15 from the floor as Corydon Central (4-8) pulled away on 5-of-8 shooting in the second period.
Skinner dropped in three frees to start the quarter, followed by a three from Shireman and a goal by Weber. Brooks dropped in a freebie to end the drought at the 5:07 mark, but Skinner connected on his second three, then Weber and Woods scored deuces and Kaiser hit a free throw for a 26-11 advantage.
The Wolfpack’s first field goal in the quarter came with 2:21 left on a bucket inside by Brooks, and the second with just 19 ticks left on a bomb by Hunter Conrad for a 27-16 half-time score.
“The second quarter killed us,” Hanger said. “A lot of it was intensity on defense. We don’t communicate on defense. Corydon had some open threes and some wide-open layups, and that’s the defense breaking down and a lack of communication. It has to get better … ”
Kaiser, who scored a team-high 16 points, added two more threes to his total as the Panthers extended the lead to 17 points, 40-23, after a pair of frees by Skinner with 2:08 left in the third. The Wolfpack had back-to-back threes by Adams and Josh Talley, then Holton slipped inside and scored, capping the period with the hosts on top, 42-29.
The Panthers built their largest lead of the game, 60-37, on a goal by Holton with just under three minutes left.
Corydon Central shot 20 of 44 (45%) from the floor and went 7 of 17 (41%) on triples.
“We were hitting shots because we were getting the ball to the middle and kicking out and getting shots in rhythm,” Hinton said. “We like to shoot threes and like to shoot shots, but we don’t like to shoot bad shots. Last night we were 9 of 16 and tonight we were 7 of 17, that means we’re getting ball movement, hitting open guys and shooting with confidence and rhythm.”
Skinner and Shireman scored 13 apiece, and Weber followed with 11.
The Panthers sank 14 of 23 free throws and hung with the much-taller Wolfpack in rebounding, pulling down 36 boards to 40 for the visitors.
“We are getting guys ready for the next game and getting them to reach higher, and every guy in our program is getting better each day, so we really work on skill work and teamwork with all of them. These guys played amazing and stepped up tonight,” Hinton said. “When we get everybody back and play as a solid unit, we’re going to be a tough team that’s going to be tough to compete against. Tonight was really a 20-something point game, and they came back on us a little bit late, but Crawford is a good ball club. They are going to win some more games this season.”
Crawford County went 17 of 51 (33%) from the field, 6 of 33 (18%) on threes and 7 of 15 at the line.
Adams, who was held scoreless in the pivotal second quarter, led all scorers with 17 points, followed by 12 from Harvey and eight from Brooks.
Corydon Central will look to extend its two-game winning streak on the road this weekend with Mid-Southern Conference dates against Salem (1-9) on Friday and at Charlestown (3-6) on Saturday.
Crawford County is scheduled to take on Evansville Day (4-4) on Saturday at Southridge.
Corydon Central 63, Clarksville 58
Kaiser torched the host Generals for 21 points, including three triples, on Friday night in a Mid-Southern Conference victory.
Holton went scoreless in the first eight minutes but came back in a big way with 14 points, followed by 12 each from Weber and Shireman.
“Last night, we had one extra player, Jalen Fowler, who started as PG, and he did a good job out there and we got the ball in the right spots. The big thing was we were able to close the game out and it showed a lot of maturity,” Hinton said of Friday’s contest. “Guys stepped up that hadn’t stepped up yet, and they played tremendous basketball. Our motto here at Corydon is ROAR: Rise Over All Resistance, and that’s what we’re doing.”
Crawford County 10 6 13 18 – 47
Corydon Central 10 17 15 19 – 61
Crawford County (2-7) – Adams 17, Harvey 12, Brooks 8, Conrad 3, Talley 3, Nickelson 2, Satterfield 2.
Corydon Central (4-8) – Kaiser 16, Shireman 13, Skinner 13, Weber 11, Holton 4, Woods 4.
3-point goals – Crawford County 6 (Adams 2, Harvey 2, Conrad 1, Talley 1); Corydon Central 7 (Kaiser 2, Shireman 2, Skinner 2, Weber 1).
Corydon Central 17 17 18 11 – 63
Clarksville 15 11 14 18 – 58
Corydon Central (3-8, 2-1 MSC) – Kaiser 21, Holton 14, Shireman 12, Skinner 12, Fowler 4.
Clarksville (4-5, 1-2) – D. Capps 21, Starks 20, Lamar 10, Forward 4, Minor 3.
3-point goals – Corydon Central 9 (Kaiser 3, Holton 2, Shireman 2, Weber 2); Clarksville 8 (Starks 6, D. Capps 1, Minor 1).