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Panthers foil Wolfpack

Panthers foil Wolfpack
Panthers foil Wolfpack
Corydon Central senior center Austin Vaughn goes for a layup, despite resistance from Crawford County junior guard Zander Sattler, during the Panthers’ 65-45 victory over the Wolfpack on Saturday night. Photo by Brandon Miniard
By Brandon Miniard, Sports Writer, [email protected]

With the turn of the calendar to 2023, both Corydon Central and Crawford County have started the second half of the regular season on positive notes.

The Panthers christened the new year by winning each of their first three contests against Rock Creek Community Academy (52-45), Floyd Central (70-43) and Clarksville (60-52). The Wolfpack went 2-1 in that same span, their lone loss coming in a 56-23 Patoka Lake Athletic Conference loss to Class 1A No. 1 Orleans.

Both squads were riding high when they met Saturday night in Corydon to conclude Corydon Central High School’s first-ever Panther Pride Day celebration. The celebration endured as the Panthers pulled away from the visiting Wolfpack for their fourth-straight victory, 65-45.

While Wolfpack sophomore forward Blake Seibert drew the opening iron, the Panthers responded with a pair of triples from sophomore forward Thomas Wilkinson, a couple of buckets from senior guard Tyler Fessel and a free throw from senior center Austin Vaughn, making for an early 11-2 host advantage after one quarter.

Offense was the name of the second quarter, as both squads exploded for more than 20 points in the period. For the Wolfpack, senior forward Cody Wheatley led the charge with eight points, six of which came from downtown, along with a pair of triples from Seibert. Senior guard Isaac Nickelson added six points, while junior guard Zander Sattler chipped in four points on a bucket and two freebies.

Fessel, who was honored for reaching the 1,000-point plateau prior to tipoff, added to his scoring line with seven points. Wilkinson followed with five points, along with four from seniors Jalen Fowler and Kameron Walter, triples from senior forward Anthony Martin and sophomore guard Trey Wiley and a Vaughn bucket before the Panthers retreated to the locker room with a 39-26 edge.

The intermission did little to slow down the Panthers’ offense to begin the second half as Fessel and Martin led the way with eight points apiece, followed by a pair of freebies from Walter and a bucket each for Fowler, Wiley, Wilkinson and Vaughn. The Wolfpack’s counterattack was led by seven points from Nickelson flanked by Sattler, Wheatley and junior forward Nash Stroud, resulting in a 59-39 Panthers’ lead heading into the fourth quarter.

Both offenses began to run out of gas in the final period as Fessel posted another five points along with a Fowler free throw. Wolfpack sophomore guard A.J. Bell joined the scoring with three points, followed by a bucket from Stroud and a Nickelson freebie to finalize the Panthers’ 65-45 victory. With the win, the Panthers are a perfect 4-0 to begin 2023.

Fessel continued his ascent up the Panthers’ all-time scoring list with a game-high 21 points, followed by 13 from Wilkinson and eight from Martin. Nickelson paced the ’Pack with 14 points, along with 10 from Wheatley and eight from Seibert.

The Panthers will be on the road for a Mid-Southern Conference contest starting on Friday when they travel to Salem. They will return to action the next night at Charlestown. Both contests are slated to tip off at 7:30.

The Wolfpack began the current week yesterday (Tuesday) by hosting Class 2A No. 10 Providence before they head to Tell City on Saturday to face the Marksmen at 8 p.m.

Crawford County 2 24 13 6 – 45
Corydon Central     11 28 20 6 – 65
Crawford County (4-10) – Nickelson 14, Wheatley 10, Seibert 8, Sattler 6, Stroud 4, Bell 3.
Corydon Central (12-2) – Fessel 21, Wilkinson 13, Martin 8, Fowler 7, Walter 6, Vaughn 5, Wiley 5.
3-point goals – Crawford County 4 (Seibert 2, Wheatley 2); Corydon Central 8 (Wilkinson 3, Fessel 2, Martin 2, Wiley 1).