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Lady Panthers handle Crawford

Lady Panthers handle Crawford
Lady Panthers handle Crawford
Corydon Central’s Ava Weber, center, feels the pressure from Crawford County’s Emily Kerce, left, and Sarah Stutzman in the second half of the Lady Panthers’ 48-32 win. Photo by Wade Bell
Wade Bell, Sports Writer

Last Tuesday night, in the Crawford County Lady Pack’s second game of their four-game week, Crawford County suffered a heart-breaking, 25-24, road loss to the Lady Pioneers of Providence. That meant a regrouping before their Thursday night road game at Corydon Central. For the Lady Panthers, it was Senior Night and their final regular season game before the start of sectional play. Both teams were looking for wins for some sectional momentum. It came down to defense as the Lady Panthers held down the Lady Pack for a 48-32 win.

“We did a better job defensively,” said Corydon Central coach Josh Conrad. “I felt like we actually got some defensive rebounds tonight that created some offense, and I felt like, offensively, we moved the ball really well. That was good to see because you do have Salem there that you’re trying to get ready for. We did a lot of good things.”

“I think it’s a game that’s really going to help us going into the tournament,” said Crawford County coach Chris Broughton. “I feel like that thing is wide open. Corydon, if they were in our sectional, would be the favorite. We battled them, played them tough, and our kids didn’t quit. They had multiple opportunities to fold and they didn’t do it. They proved that to me tonight, when things get tough next week, we’re going to battle and stick with it.”

Nearly all of the first quarter was the two teams trading paint back and forth. Midway through the period the Lady Panthers found some grip with Bailey Orme and Ava Weber scoring inside for a 13-8 lead. Sarah Stutzman scored for the Lady Pack in response. Both teams came up dry for the following two minutes, then Autumn Schigur got a freebie and converted off of a Corydon Central turnover for a 13-13 tie at the end of the period.

The second quarter was a disaster for the Lady Pack, who committed 10 turnovers during the eight minutes. Crawford County put up just six shots with Stutzman getting the lone basket in the paint late in the quarter. The Lady Panthers outscored Crawford County 15-2 in the period to have a 28-15 lead at halftime.

“I think we were tired,” said Broughton. “We played Thursday, Saturday, Monday then Tuesday at Providence. Providence is a team that’s just going to pack it in and make you shoot outside. We shot 9 of 49 Tuesday. I don’t think we played horrible at Providence. We literally could not make a basket.”

“We wanted to get back to controlling the things we wanted to control, and it starts defensively,” Conrad said. “We try not to get driven, and we contest shooters and we’ve got to have people rebounding. We’ve kind of lost that the last few games and have given up some offensive rebounds late in the game.”

The Lady Panthers extended their lead in the third quarter. Jessica Fulk scored to begin the period but was countered by Taylor Herbaugh and Stutzman, who closed the gap to 11. The Lady Panthers then went on a 7-0 run; Kayden Ferguson hit from behind the arc. Crawford County hit just three of 13 shots in the quarter, and Corydon Central led 40-23 with one quarter left. The Lady Pack won the final eight minutes but only by a point. Corydon Central got the 48-32 win.

“I feel like today we did a little bit better job staying strong defensively, staying solid, especially in the second, third and fourth quarters,” said Conrad. “The first quarter we came out a little bit rough but, after that, I felt like we did a pretty good job.”

“I thought we played hard and battled,” Broughton said. “I’m really happy with our effort. Corydon is a good team. … We played with them the first quarter but had a bad second quarter. Maybe had a bad stretch in the second half, but I thought we played with them other than that. I think we can take a lot of positives away from this game.”

Weber led the Lady Panthers and all scorers for the game with 19 points. Corydon Central knocked in 21 of 41 field goals (51%) and 5 of 9 free throws. The Lady Panthers coughed up the ball 20 times on turnovers.

“Ava is a great kid and works hard,” Conrad said. “She wants to win. That’s the big quality you have from her. She doesn’t care if she’s scoring or passing. She’s going to get after it. The big thing I saw tonight is that every time Crawford shot a free throw, she was going to get the rebound. I think that was good to see because we did give up two late offensive boards in the Floyd Central game that hurt us.”

“She does a good job of offensive rebounding and feasting off of your turnovers,” Broughton said of Weber. “We didn’t do a very good job of keeping her off of the glass. We’re not going to hold her down. She’s a good player.”

Stutzman led the Lady Pack with 17 points. The Lady Pack was 12 of 36 from the field (33%) and 5 of 14 from the charity stripe. They had 23 turnovers for the game, 16 of those in the first half.

“She’s a good player; she scores a lot of points,” Conrad said of Stutzman. “After the first quarter, we tried to get with Schigur, to get the ball in her hands and not let her give it back. That frees up the other girls to go play defense and get Stutzman and find those people. I felt like we did better with that, and the girls were a little aware of where people were.”

“I thought we played better tonight,” said Broughton. “We have to come out better Saturday when we play our game at Orleans; we’ve got to play consistent. We’ve got to play hard and give effort and, if we do that, we’re going to be fine.”

Conrad said the game did help prepare his team for their sectional opening game against the Salem Lady Lions.

“I felt like at times we did a really good job moving the basketball, finding people, cutting to the middle, turning and looking opposite,” he said. “That set up some great shots. Defensively, we’re going to have to do a way better job defensively locating players.”

Crawford County            13     2     8   9 – 32

Corydon Central             13   15   12   8 – 48

Crawford County – Stutzman 17, Herbaugh 7, Dennis 3, Schigur 3, Kerce 2.

Corydon Central – Weber 19, Fulk 8, Cantrell 7, Edwards 6, Adams 4, Connor 2, Orme 2.

3-pointers – Crawford County 3 (Dennis 1, Herbaugh 1, Stutzman 1); Corydon Central 3 (Edwards 2, Fulk 1).