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Highlanders cage Panthers, 53-47


January 20, 2010
The Floyd Central Highlanders held visiting Corydon Central to just two points in the third quarter and went on to post a 53-47 win over the Panthers last Tuesday night.

Floyd Central vs. Corydon
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"We only gave them two points the third quarter," Floyd Central coach Randy Gianfagna said. "We were really happy with that. Cody (Banet) said it on the way in, it wasn't pretty, but we won."

"Every time we had a chance to make runs, we didn't score," Corydon coach Jamie Kolkmeier said. "We weren't aggressive at the end of the game. It was a situation where we weren't attacking the basket. Normally, when a team has got a three- or four-point lead, they're going to be on their heels. We played on our heels offensively. We dribbled way too much."

BANET
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Floyd Central’s Cody Banet, left, and Corydon Central’s Garett Ross chase down a loose ball in the first half of the Highlanders’ 53-47 win. Photo by Wade Bell
Both teams got off to a shaky start, with Floyd Central ( 7-3, 1-1) missing its first four shots while Corydon misfired on its first six attempts. At that point, Corydon outscored the Highlanders 9-4. Banet and Jeffrey Thompson followed with a pair of Highlander deuces, and the Panther lead was cut to one, 9-8, after the first quarter.

An old-fashioned three by Thompson put Floyd Central in front for the first time. Brandon Dunaway and Garett Ross quickly answered with four points for Corydon, but Barrett Crone scored to keep the game tied at 13. The Panthers grabbed a five-point advantage with buckets from Dunaway and Dylan Harl. Floyd Central made up one of those before halftime, as the Panthers took a 23-19 lead to the locker room at the break.

"The first quarter, we missed seven layups," Gianfagna said. "You're not going to beat anybody missing seven layups. Then, we got a little upset at the free-throw line. We gave up two buckets off of transition."

"We put ourselves in a position (to win) early," Kolkmeier said. "We just talked about three instances where we're up six and I think we stopped them six straight times and didn't get anything out of it. We don't expand our lead. We don't put them deeper in the hole."

Seth Rennirt put Corydon up by six to begin the second half. From that point, the rest of the quarter belonged to the Highlanders, who scored the next 15 points for a 34-25 lead.

"We didn't get the ball in fast enough," Kolkmeier said. "We just settled for whatever the first decent shot was. Our shooters have got to step up and make shots. I don't want to tell guys not to shoot, but they've got to make shots."

"We were just helping big time (on defense)," Gianfagna said. "I don't think we call it a 2-3 zone, so it may have been look-and-sagging. We're guarding the ball and everybody else is in the paint because they were driving it so much."

Ross scored inside to pull Corydon within seven, but Banet and Brandon Codey scored the next six points for Floyd Central, which expanded its lead to 40-27.

In the fourth quarter, Corydon started to eat into the Floyd Central lead. Casey Saulman and Ross pulled the Panthers within six. Connor Schellenberg then put the Highlanders back up by eight, but Saulman swished a three-ball and the Panther deficit was cut to five.

With just over a minute to go, Ross cut the lead to four. Then, two freebies by Dunaway closed the gap to two. Jeffrey Thompson scored inside for Floyd Central.

Corydon missed two from downtown. Nick Veroff then secured the game with two free throws.

"In terms of closing out the game, we didn't close it out," Gianfagna said. "You're trying to run time, but we quit going to the basket. We missed some free throws in that stretch. We missed two or three one-and-ones. If you want to close out games, that's what you've got to do."

"We made runs at them, but, when you get outscored 15-2 in the third quarter, you're not going to beat anybody," Kolkmeier said.

Banet led the winners with 17 points, and Codey followed with 10. Floyd Central was 18 of 39 (46 percent) from the field and 12 of 20 from the charity stripe. The Highlanders had 20 turnovers.

"He hit some big threes," Gianfagna said of Banet. "He got in foul trouble and hit that big three in the second quarter. We got him out before he got his third, then he hit a couple of big ones. Ben (Allen) hit one in that third quarter stretch. Brandon Codey hit one."

Ross led Corydon with 18 points, and Rennirt had 11. The Panthers were just 14 of 54 (26 percent) from the field and hit just 4 of 29 three-pointers. Corydon made 11 of 14 free-throw attempts, but committed 13 turnovers.

"I thought, offensively, we were really bad tonight," Kolkmeier said. "I thought we settled for things early. I thought we didn't look inside. We weren't aggressive on our cuts. We were stationary. We didn't shoot with confidence."

It was Corydon's third loss of the season.

"I told them I thought we took a step backward tonight," Kolkmeier said. "We're way too passive, not aggressive enough. No cuts, all stationary; we've got to fix that. I don't know if there's a quick fix, but we're going to try."

"They're a nice team," Gianfagna said. "We were hoping to take away the threes. We hit a couple of key ones in that third quarter."

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