Corydon Central tumbles in opener
Alan Stewart, Contributing Writer
From the opening tip of the Class 3A Charlestown Sectional last Tuesday night, it was apparent that No. 2-ranked Silver Creek was locked in: 6-9 Purdue University-signee Trey Kaufman-Renn tipped to classmate Kooper Jacobi, who took a couple of dribbles before stuffing the ball through the iron.
The slam was followed by a three by Trey Schoen and a basket by Isaac Hinton.
Three shots, three baskets and a 7-0 lead.
Corydon Central didn’t roll over, however, and fought back late in the period but ultimately had no answer for the smoke the Dragons brought to the matchup as the Panthers dropped a 77-42 decision.
Silver Creek raced to a 13-4 advantage before the Panthers got on track with sophomore Anthony Martin swishing a three, Bryce Weber scoring twice and Nolan Ables marking a goal to make it a two-point game, 15-13, with :58 left in the opening quarter.
Silver Creek’s Hayden Garten hit a three and Kaufman hit a free throw for a 19-13 lead at the quarter break.
“I thought our defensive effort in the first half was pretty good early,” said Corydon Central coach Joseph Hinton. “I know we were holding Kaufman to a low amount and were able to get guys to the right spots, and we fought on the boards. We played like every possession mattered at the time.”
To that point, Silver Creek played mostly man-to-man defense, which Corydon Central took advantage of by driving the lane when Kaufman and Jacobi were away from the basket. The defending state champions (the 2020 state finals were canceled last March due to COVID-19) adjusted and clamped down on the Panthers with a Kaufman-Jacobi wall that resulted in multiple blocked shots.
The Dragons outscored Corydon Central 21 to 10 in the second period for a 40-23 half-time lead that was never threatened in the second half.
“In the second half, they started running the floor and got some easy baskets; the score can get away from you. They had some guys hit some shots that normally don’t hit those shots, and then when Kaufman and Jacobi get going they are a really difficult team to defend,” Hinton said. “The first part of the first half when we got things flowing a little bit we hit some shots and made them sweat for just a little bit.”
Silver Creek was 29 of 52 (56% from the floor), 9 of 19 (47%) on threes and went 10 for 17 at the line; Corydon Central shot 16 of 60 (27%) overall, went 3 of 19 (16%) from long range and was 7 for 12 at the stripe. The Dragons won the rebounding battle, 35 to 27, with Corydon Central coughing up the ball 13 times to Silver Creek’s 10.
Tyler Fessel, Martin and Weber each scored eight, and Ables wound up with seven points. Jagger Holton scored four alongside Owen Shireman, Clayton Crawford had a third-quarter basket and Koleton Kaiser sank one freebie in the fourth quarter for his lone point.
“I thought we competed better than we did the other night and fought extremely hard from the get-go. We were ready. We took some smacks in the mouth and had to fight back from those. I thought our guys competed tremendously well tonight and just really worked hard and worked together at times,” Hinton said.
Silver Creek was paced by the 19 points of Jacobi, 17 from Northern, 13 from Isaac Hinton and 11 by Kaufman.
The Panthers ended their season 10-13 with all but three players coming back.
“We’re going to miss the seniors a lot; they were a great part of our program and are tremendous kids that I wish nothing but the best for them in their future,” Hinton said. “Koleton was a three-year varsity starter, Jagger was a three-year varsity player, (Blake) Skinner was a kid who worked hard to improve and got up to varsity this year. They will always be Panthers in our hearts.
“We have a bunch of guys coming back, though. Five or six guys who played a lot this season and some younger guys who, hopefully, can come in and work hard for us and we’re looking up,” he said. “We are talking about getting in the gym immediately and getting back to work. We want guys who are going to be in the trenches and really fight together and get dirty when they need to. You’ve got to get the work in when nobody is watching to get the success when everyone is there. When the gym is open, you need to be there so you can become the best basketball player you can become.”
Silver Creek 19 21 17 20 – 77
Corydon Central 13 10 12 7 – 42
Silver Creek (19-4) – Jacobi 19, Northern 17, Hinton 13, Kaufman-Renn 11, Schoen 6, Decker 3, Garten 3, Stricker 3, Gilbert 2.
Corydon Central (10-13) – Fessel 8, Martin 8, Weber 8, Ables 7, Holton 4, Shireman 4, Crawford 2, Kaiser 1.
3-point goals – Silver Creek 9 (Northern 2, Schoen 2, Decker 1, Garten 1, Hinton 1, Jacobi 1, Stricker 1); Corydon Central 3 (Martin 2, Fessel 1).