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#4 Lady Panthers falter against Warriorettes

#4 Lady Panthers falter against Warriorettes
#4 Lady Panthers falter against Warriorettes
Corydon Central’s Josie Vaughn, left, and Ava Weber try to double team Scottsburg’s Lola Fouts during the Class 3A No. 4 Lady Panthers’ loss to the Warriorettes on Thursday night. Vaughn and Weber each put up 18 points in the effort. Photo by Brandon Minidard
By Brandon Miniard, Sports Writer, [email protected]

During the first month of the 2022-23 season, the Corydon Central girls’ basketball team put the state of Indiana on notice.

The Lady Panthers posted a perfect 8-0 record in the month of November, which included victories over the likes of Class 1A No. 1 Lanesville (59-39) and Class 4A foe Columbus East (59-45). The hot start has earned them state recognition, not only being ranked No. 4 in Class 3A, but also ascending to No. 12 on the Hoosier Basketball Coaches’ Association’s Top 20 Coaches’ poll, which ranks schools regardless of class level.

Recognized as one of the most daunting squads in the state, the Lady Panthers looked to start the second month of the season right when they hosted Mid-Southern Conference-rival Scottsburg on Thursday night. Even the best teams can have an off night, and the Lady Panthers were no exception as an uncharacteristically off-beat defense and missed shots allowed the Warriorettes to upset the Lady Panthers 57-43.

“That’s a really good Scottsburg team who’s played and beaten a lot of good teams, so all the credit to them; they came out here tonight and outworked us,” Lady Panthers’ assistant coach Dakota Brooks said. “I think that our preparation can get a little better future; it’s the first time we faced a little adversity really this year.”

The Warriorettes caught fire out of the gate as Ellie Richardson and Lola Fouts knocked down triples between a bucket from Katrina Cooper. The Lady Panthers attempted to counter with three points from sophomore guard Josie Vaughn and four free throws in six attempts from senior wing Ava Weber, but a long ball from Carrie Hiler at the buzzer gave the Warriorettes an 11-7 lead to conclude the opening quarter.

The scoring in the second quarter was more evenly matched as the Lady Panthers got 10 points from Vaughn, four points from freshman forward Jordin McCarty and another freebie from Weber. The Warriorettes countered with eight points from Hiler, a triple from Fouts and buckets from Richardson and Taneisha Griffin before heading into the locker room up 26-22.

“Several of Scottsburg’s threes came in transition, then you have Hiler with 19 and Fouts with 16; we just need to recognize where people are, getting back on defense and not lose shooters,” Brooks said.

Intermission did little to quell the Warriorettes’ hot shooting from downtown as Hiler, Fouts and Hannah Stutsman combined for another four three-pointers along with four free throws between Cooper and Griffin. Weber broke out for seven points, while Vaughn added a bucket and free throw before the third quarter ended with a 42-32 Warriorettes’ lead.

The Lady Panthers did all they could to close the deficit in the final period as Weber posted another six points, followed by a triple from senior guard Bailey Orme and a pair of Vaughn free throws. The Warriorettes kept their distance mostly at the charity stripe as Richardson, Hiler, Stutsman, Fouts and Griffin combined to make all 12 free-throw attempts along with a Fouts’ triple to seal the visitors’ 57-43 victory.

Hiler led all scorers with 19 points, while Fouts added 16. Vaughn and Weber comprised most of the Lady Panthers’ offense with 18 points apiece alongside four from McCarty and three from Orme.

Even with the loss, the MSC title is not out of reach for the Lady Panthers as all of the top teams in the conference have now suffered at least one loss on the season. The defeat did cost the Lady Panthers some ground in the rankings, dropping to No. 8 in Class 3A and No. 16 in the HBCA Coaches’ Poll.

“That’s all a credit to the girls,” Brooks said. “We had great attendance this summer, whether it was practice, shootarounds, all the way to our camps for our elementary kids, those girls are putting in the work and taking ownership of their team.

“They’re a good group of girls, not only as basketball players, but as kids in general,” he said. “They’re putting in the work, and they deserve (this recognition).”

The Lady Panthers will look to bounce back by hosting Austin tonight (Wednesday) before traveling to Salem to confront the Lady Lions on Friday night. Both contests are slated to tipoff at 7:30 p.m.

Scottsburg 11 15 16 15 – 57
Corydon Central 7 15 10 11 – 43
Scottsburg (6-2, 3-1 MSC) – Carrie Hiler 19, Lola Fouts 16, Ellie Richardson 7, Taneisha Griffin 6, Hannah Stutsman 5, Katrina Cooper 4.
Corydon Central (9-1, 1-1 MSC) – Josie Vaughn 18, Ava Weber 18, Jordin McCarty 4, Bailey Orme 3.
3-point goals – Scottsburg 11 (Hiler 5, Fouts 4, Richardson 1, Stutsman 1); Corydon Central 1 (Orme).
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