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Panther 'D' foils Highlanders

January 09, 2013
Defense proved to be the determining factor as Corydon Central used a third quarter blitz to stop visiting Floyd Central Friday night for a 49-35 win. Timothy Wiseman, a sophomore guard, provided the fuel for the Panthers' defense, keeping the Hoosier Hills Conference Highlanders off balance up and down the floor.

"When you score 35 points, you can't beat anybody," Highlanders coach Randy Gianfagna said. "They did a nice job defensively. What we talked about in there is, we had guys who had open shots that didn't take them and then guys took contested ones with a little bit of pressure."

Floyd Central’s Trevor Smith (41) looks for a door inside against Corydon Central sophomore Bronson Kessinger in the first half of the Panthers’ 49-35 win. Photo by Wade Bell
"We did some nice things defensively," Corydon Central coach Jamie Kolkmeier said. "Tyler Ross did a nice job defending flashes. We've got to clean up our rebounding a little bit. We've got to keep the ball out of the post just a little bit."

The first quarter moved at a snail's pace as the Highlanders got off just four shots, hitting two. Floyd Central had seven turnovers in the period, allowing Corydon Central to hit 5 of 11 field-goal attempts for a 10-4 lead.

Also hurting the Highlanders was 6-8 center Codie Hamsley drawing his second foul early in the period. Corydon Central's towering center, 6-7 Bronson Kessinger, drew his second early in the second period but stayed in the game.

"They left Bronson in," Gianfagna said. "Maybe I should have left Codie in."

The Highlanders pulled themselves back into the game midway through the quarter when Austin Newell scored inside to close the gap to three, 13-10. The Panthers outscored Floyd Central 8-2 in the remainder of the half to take a 21-14 lead to the locker room at the half.

"They let both teams kind of beat on each other," Gianfagna said of the slow pace of the first two quarters. "That's just the way it was going."

"They (Floyd Central) were pretty deliberate at the beginning in that I think it got us standing a little bit too much early," Kolkmeier said. "If we had finished a couple of moves a little stronger, we'd have got a couple of scores in early. I think our energy level would have come up a little sooner."

Floyd Central held its own through the first half of the third period as Jackson Logsdon sank a pair of three-balls to keep the Highlanders within seven points. Bronson Kessinger then followed a missed Corydon Central deuce with a hammering dunk that sparked the Panthers to a 10-0 run. Timothy Wiseman also forced three Floyd Central turnovers as the Panthers took a 39-22 lead with one quarter left.

Floyd Central had one final 6-0 burst near the end of the game, but it went for naught as the Panthers got the 49-35 win.

"The big stretch for me was early with the four consecutive turnovers," Gianfagna said. "I think it went bam, bam, bam, and it was a tight game. It was four consecutive. We were only going to be down five at half and we get taken at midcourt for a layup. It was just little things like that."

"Obviously, defensively we wanted to (pick the pace up)," Kolkmeier said. "I thought our post guys had to be more active. Our perimeter guys had to move with more of a purpose and not be so stagnant. We needed to try to take advantage of some flashes, and we didn't quite get the flashes we wanted. We were a little bit stronger in our moves, and probably our defensive intensity picking up probably created our offense more than anything."

Logsdon led the Highlanders with 10 points. Floyd Central connected on 14 of 30 field-goal attempts (47 percent) and five of eight free throws. The Highlanders had 19 turnovers.

"I think we threw three at the top of the key that went for turnovers and layups," Gianfagna said. "Then, we got picked once, so there's eight points. You're not going to do anything there."

Wiseman led the Panthers with 13 points, while Ross and Kessinger finished with 11 each. Corydon Central hit 20 of 45 field-goal attempts (44 percent) and seven of 12 free throws. The Panthers finished with 12 turnovers.

Gianfagna said he was pleased with his team's defense on Kessinger.

"I didn't think we did a bad job on Bronson," Gianfagna said. "I thought Codie did a really nice job on him. They just made it really hard for us to score, and we couldn't get anything where we wanted to go."

Both coaches said there are things that need tweaking as they get into the second half of the season.

"Our offense," Gianfagna said. "That's all we did this week, too. We're only giving up 50 points, so, when you give up 50 points, you expect to win, but, when you're not scoring, we had 14 at half. Really, it wasn't as close as it was because we scored six late. We've got to get better offensively."

"There's a lot of little things we have to work on," the Corydon Central coach said. "I wouldn't say one thing. Right now, defensively, we'll do a lot of good things then we'll have that one breakdown right at the wrong time. When the game is close, we've got to cut down our breakdowns and make sure they don't happen.

"Offensively, we've got to move with a little bit more purpose and a little bit more intensity," Kolkmeier said. "We stood around a little bit too much and just got caught trying to go from spot A to spot B. We've got to catch the ball ready to make a play."

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