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Lady Panthers storm over Crawford

Lady Panthers storm over Crawford
Lady Panthers storm over Crawford
Corydon Central’s Ava Weber (13) draws a foul on Crawford County’s Kylie Rickenbaugh in the first half of the Lady Panthers’ 67-40 senior night win Thursday. Photo by Wade Bell
By Wade Bell, Sports Writer

For about 12 minutes, the visiting Crawford County and Corydon Central girls’ basketball teams battled hard against each other Thursday night in their last regular game of the season. The Lady Panthers then went on a bombing raid and stormed past the Lady Pack to take a 67-40 win into this week’s sectional play in the Corydon Central sectional.

“We said we kind of wanted to stay the way we normally do, pressure people and don’t get beat,” said Corydon Central coach Josh Conrad. “Crawford did a good job passing over the top in the first half. We decided to adjust and stay with our gaps a little bit. We were coming out of that defensively and not getting all the way there with it. I think we did a lot better job in the third quarter of taking those extra passes away.”

“A team like that, what I tried to explain to the girls, is a team that’s as good as what Corydon is, when you turn it over, they make you pay for it every time,” said Crawford County coach Chris Broughton. “We just had too many poor decisions passing the ball.”

The Lady Panthers started the game with a 7-2 burst but Crawford County soon came back to close the gap to three following a basket by Emery Stroud. Bailey Orme drilled a Corydon Central three-ball in response, but Crawford County countered with four, the gap now down to two. The two teams traded baskets, and the Lady Panthers held a 16-12 edge after the first period.

Maddyson Sturgeon cut the Corydon Central lead to one with a three to start the second period, but the Lady Panthers exploded for 11 unanswered points to lead by 12. Nether team gained any ground on the other through the remainder of the period, Josie Vaughn drilling a Lady Panthers’ three at the buzzer to send Corydon Central to the locker room with a 32-20 lead.

“Obviously, when you play Corydon, you’ve got to pick your poison,” Broughton said. “I thought in the first half we’d play a triangle-and-two on Ava (Weber) and Josie (Vaughn). I thought we did a good job on Josie. She got loose and hurt at the end of the half when she hit that three at the buzzer, but I thought we did a pretty good job. So, you’ve got to pick your poison.”

“We talked at half time that you’ve got to settle down and go straight up and down on shots,” Conrad said. “We were trying to force things too much. I think we missed eight or nine shots in the paint in that first quarter just rushing. We told them to settle down or go straight up and down and make the extra pass.”

The game was decided in the third quarter when the Corydon Central bombadiers took over. Bre Edwards slammed two long three-balls to start the second half. Vaughn scored in the paint, then Orme drilled a third three for a 44-20 Corydon Central lead. Emily Kerce and Sturgeon put down threes for the Lady Pack, but the Lady Panthers outscored Crawford County 20-7 in the period for a 52-27 lead. The fourth quarter was much tighter, but Crawford County failed to make up any ground, eventually falling by a 67-40 decision.

“Anytime when you hit shots it takes a whole heck of a lot of pressure off of you,” said Conrad. “We’re a good passing team whenever the ball is moving quick, and you’re going to get open shots and you’re going to open things up inside. I think the ball movement helped out getting those shots. It helped to alleviate some of that stress.”

“I really thought the first half we did pretty well,” Broughton said. “We played with them but just had some untimely turnovers. They went on a few little runs, but I was really proud of our effort the first half. Unfortunately, in the third quarter, they went about on a 11-0 run and that was about it.”

“We tried out triangle-and-two and tried a few things defensively, but I think when we were able to get Corydon where we wanted them, it worked pretty well,” he said. “Our defense wasn’t bad. They just spread it out too much for transitions and those kinds of things. But I think you take away our kids played hard. Our defense wasn’t horrible, and we got them in situations where we could play them.”

Weber led the Lady Panthers with 19 points, and Vaughn followed with 16, canning four from behind the arc. Alyssa Groover added 14 for Corydon Central, which put in 24 of 38 field goals (63%) and 11 of 12 free throws. The Lady Panthers finished with 13 turnovers.

“It wasn’t that we left Edwards open,” said Broughton. “When you’re trying to help on Ava inside, it’s like we need to make them hit a couple of shots and they did. Orme hit a couple. Edwards hit a few. When they play like that, they’re going to be very hard to beat.”

“They went to a triangle-and-two and left everybody open,” Conrad said. “Bre is like a 37 or 38% shooter for her career, so she’s going to hit those shots when open, and I thought she did a good job of stepping up and knocking those down.

Kerce led Crawford County with 14 points. Crawford County put in 14 of 37 from the field (38%) and 5 of 6 free throws. The Lady Pack had 20 turnovers.

Both teams have tough sectional games this week when the Lady Panthers take on Charlestown and Crawford County opens up with South Spencer at Forest Park.

“I thought the best thing we did tonight was in the first half we handled their press very well. We really executed our press offense,” said Broughton. “That’s what I think South Spencer will probably get out and press us like they did the first game. Obviously, Corydon has probably one of the best presses and they’re the best team we’ve played this year. So if we can handle Corydon’s press and do the same thing Tuesday, I think we’ll be OK.”

“What you take away is that you’ve got three seniors; well, not their last home game, but last of the regular season,” Conrad said. “You’ve got to be happy with the way they’ve led and the role models that they are and where they’ve put the program at. We’re going to talk about, as far as next week, making sure we’re one pass away because Charlestown has shooters you can’t lose. They have a post player who’s going to go north-south on you.”

Crawford County 12 8 7 13 – 40
Corydon Central 16 16 20 15 – 67
Crawford County – Kerce 14, Sturgeon 8, E. Stroud 6, A. Adams 2, Ash 2, House 2, Mauck 2, Rickenbaugh 2, Wolf 2.
Corydon Central – Weber 19, Vaughn 16, Groover 14, Edwards 6, Orme 6, M. Adams 3, Teeter 3.
3-point goals – Crawford County 5 (Kerce 3, Sturgeon 2); Corydon Central 10 (Vaughn 4, Edwards 2, Orme 2, M. Adams 1, Teeter 1).