Panthers out-gun Wolfpack in second meeting
By Brandon Miniard, Sports Writer, [email protected]
The last time the Corydon Central Panthers and Crawford County Wolfpack met on the hardwood, they stood in the gym at Tell City High School in the semifinals of the Perry-Spencer County Holiday Tournament.
The Panthers and Wolfpack battled for much of the contest on Dec. 28 before the former pulled away with a 61-47 victory. The Panthers went on to defeat Heritage Hills 65-57 to win the PSC title while the Wolfpack’s third-place date with placement game host South Spencer fell through due to COVID-19 issues.
Eighteen days later, the Panthers traveled to Crawford County for a rematch with the host Wolfpack. Despite a 23-4 first quarter, the Panthers needed timely shots in the fourth quarter to hold on for a 65-52 victory.
The Wolfpack’s offense was ice cold to open the game as they only scored four points in the period by the hand of senior center Keith Brooks. The Panthers had no such issue, taking advantage of numerous Wolfpack miscues to rack up 23 points, led by seven points from junior forward Anthony Martin. Senior guard Owen Shireman added five points in the period, concluding the early assault with a triple at the buzzer to end the first quarter with a 23-4 Panthers’ advantage.
After their ice-cold performance in the opening frame, the Wolfpack heated up offensively after the Panthers took a 33-10 lead. A 14-7 Wolfpack run ensued over halfway through the period, led by six points from junior guard Issac Nickelson and four points apiece from senior forwards Hunter Conrad and Jacob Davis. The Panthers kept their distance with triples from Shireman, senior guard Bryce Weber, junior guard Tyler Fessel and freshman center Thomas Wilkinson before heading to the locker room up 40-24.
In a contest that was becoming more physical by the minute, the Wolfpack began the second half with an 18-11 run as they flirted with cutting the deficit to single digits. That effort was led by five points apiece from senior Chase Satterfield and Davis and four points from Brooks. While no Panther took over the period, they had a variety of contributors with threes from Weber and Shireman, alongside buckets from Martin and junior center Austin Vaughn. After notching a free throw in the period, Fessel heaved one last triple at the buzzer and watched it tickle the twine as the Panthers headed to the final quarter up by a dozen, 54-42.
The Wolfpack did all they could to close the gap with a triple from Satterfield and buckets from Nickelson and Davis. Foul trouble began to plague the hosts, however, including Brooks fouling out. The Panthers capitalized on the Wolfpack’s misfortunes as Weber led the final charge with six points, followed by a Martin bucket and a combined 3-for-4 effort from senior forward Nolan Ables and junior guard Jalen Fowler at the charity stripe. Satterfield managed one last three at the buzzer, but it merely shrank the deficit to a final of 65-52.
While the Wolfpack dropped to a paltry 1-12 on the year, the Panthers lifted themselves to 8-6 after the victory, as well as defeating Clarksville 86-48 a night earlier. With the two-game weekend sweep, the Panthers have now won six of their last seven games, a significant improvement after starting the campaign 2-7.
The Panthers will return to Corydon for a weekend homestand against a pair of Mid-Southern Conference foes, starting by hosting rival Salem on Friday. Once they’re done with the Lions, they will welcome rival Charlestown during homecoming festivities on Saturday. Both contests are to tip off at 7:30 p.m.
After traveling to Clarksville to confront sectional rival Providence yesterday (Tuesday), the Wolfpack will return home on Friday to host Tell City at 8 p.m.