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Braves shoot Panthers’ lights out

Braves shoot Panthers’ lights out
Braves shoot Panthers’ lights out
Despite being pursued by Brownstown Central’s Jack Benter, left, Corydon Central guard Jalen Fowler goes for a transition layup during the Panthers’ 84-53 loss to the Class 2A No. 8 Braves on Saturday night. Fowler led the Panthers with 17 points. >i>Photo by Brandon Miniard
By Brandon Miniard, Sports Writer, [email protected]

With the rising prominence of the three-point shot in basketball during the past decade, the adage “live by the three, die by the three” rose with it.

If that saying truly means anything, then Class 2A No. 8 Brownstown Central lived like kings when they hosted Corydon Central on Saturday night. With a win over the host Braves, the Panthers looked to move into a tie for first place in the Mid-Southern Conference standings.

However, the long-range firepower of the Braves proved too much for the Panthers to overcome, despite holding star junior Jack Benter to 17 points. Parker Hehman, his shooting hand draped in medical tape after missing much of the season with a hand injury, performed his best Stephen Curry impression as he broke Benter’s single-game school record with 12 long balls to finish with a game-high 36 points.

Hehman’s big shooting night was only part of the story for the Braves as they accumulated a school-record 22 three-pointers to burn the Panthers in The Pit, 84-53.

Benter got the Braves off to a hot start with seven points followed by a trio of triples between Hehman and Chace Coomer and a bucket from Colby Hall. Panthers’ senior guard Jalen Fowler led the counterattack with six points followed by a long ball from senior guard Tyler Fessel and a deuce from senior forward Anthony Martin to make for an early 18-11 host advantage.

The Panthers tried to close the deficit in the second quarter with four points from Fessel, along with buckets from Fowler and sophomore forward Thomas Wilkinson. The Braves were prepared as they answered with five points from Micah Sheffer, a pair of Benter free throws and two more Hehman triples, the latter finding the bottom of the net right before the buzzer and scoreboard read 31-19 at halftime.

Hehman began the second half the same way he ended the first, by drilling two consecutive long balls, before ending up with five for the third quarter. Jakob Arthur added a trey of his own, while Benter added eight points from inside the three-point line. Senior center Austin Vaughn led the Panthers’ response with eight points followed by five from Martin, four from Fowler and buckets from Fessel and Wilkinson to cut the Braves’ lead to 57-38.

The Panthers gave one last push to close the deficit in the final period with five points from Fowler, four from sophomore guard Trey Wiley, buckets from Fessel and senior forward Kameron Walter and a pair of Vaughn freebies. It made little difference against the Braves, who made nine triples in the frame to set the school record. Four came courtesy of Hehman, a trio of triples came from Coomer, and Hall and Caiden Gwin each knocked one down as the Braves pulled away to seal the 84-53 victory. The outcome was the Braves’ fourth straight game where they scored at least 80 points, and seventh game overall, this season.

Coomer posted 15 points to complement Hehman’s 36 and Benter’s 17. Fowler paced the Panthers with 17 points, while Fessel added 11 and Vaughn chipped in eight.

Not only were the Braves’ 22 long-range bombs a school record for the Braves, but also the fourth-highest margin for a team in a single game. According to an article from The Indianapolis Star posted in February 2021, Owen Valley holds the state record with 26 triples vs. Monrovia during the 1991-92 season followed by University High School making 24 in 2018 and Northridge drilling 23 against Plymouth in 2021.

The Panthers suffered their first 0-2 weekend of the season after falling to Paoli 68-44 at home the previous night. They will look to bounce back tomorrow (Thursday) when they continue MSC play by hosting Austin then traveling to Clarksville on Saturday to confront Class 2A No. 7 Providence. Tipoff against the Eagles is set for 7:30 p.m., while the matchup with the Pioneers will tip at 1:30 p.m.

Corydon Central 11 8 19 15 – 53
Brownstown Central 18 13 26 27 – 84
Corydon Central (14-4, 3-2 MSC) – Fowler 17, Fessel 11, Vaughn 8, Martin 7, Wiley 4, Wilkinson 4, Walter 2.
Brownstown Central (13-4 7-0 MSC) – Hehman 36, Benter 17, Coomer 15, Hall 5, Sheffer 5, Arthur 3, Gwin 3.
3-point goals – Corydon Central 3 (Fessel 1, Fowler 1, Martin 1); Brownstown Central 22 (Hehman 12, Coomer 5, Arthur 1, Benter 1, Gwin 1, Hall 1, Sheffer 1).