BY HANSON CRAFTON
Visiting Jeffersonville found out one important thing about Class 3A No. 4 Corydon Central on Tuesday night — the Panthers have more than just 6-foot-7 junior forward and NCAA Division I prospect Bronson Kessinger.
Three Corydon players scored in double figures in their 63-48 victory over the struggling Red Devils. The Panthers defeated for the first time since 2007. In addition, Corydon (16-2) pulled off a rare feat by beating Jeff and New Albany in the same season.
“I think that’s something that our kids can say they did,” Panthers’ coach Jamie Kolkmeier said.
The Red Devils (9-10) fell below .500 for the second time in 2013-14 and lost for the fourth time in five games. Since starting the season 6-1, Jeff has gone 3-9.
“You’re frustrated because you’re getting good shots and not making them,” Jeff coach Matt Pait said. “You’re frustrated because you’re down and they’re hitting free throws. You’re frustrated because you’re not winning.”
Kessinger tallied a team-high 20 points and grabbed a game-high 12 rebounds, but the contributions the Panthers got from the rest of their roster were crucial in the victory.
Junior guard Timothy Wiseman had 19 points, making 6-of-10 from the floor, 3-of-5 from 3-point range and 4-of-5 from the free throw line. He also had a game-high four steals and three assists.
Corydon senior guard Brayden Lander chipped in 15 points and six boards. Teammate Tommy Wiseman dished out a game-high nine assists.
“It’s a team game,” Kolkmeier said. “Sometimes certain individuals get a lot of credit [like Kessinger]. Rightly so, [Kessinger] should get a lot of notoriety. He’s a special player, but we don’t win without the other guys. We’re not 16-2 without Bronson Kessinger or Brayden Lander, but we’re not 16-2 without those other guys either. They understand you win together and lose together.”
The Red Devils led 27-24 at halftime thanks to the shooting of Drew Ellis. The 6-3 senior scored 17 of his game-high 26 points in the opening half. In the first 16 minutes, Ellis shot 6-of-12 from the field and 3-of-6 from 3-point range.
The Panthers turned the game in their favor at the outset of the third quarter. They started the second half on an 11-2 run to go up 35-29 near the midway point of the stanza.
“The first three minutes of the second half is always a big deal in any close game, and that’s an area we’ve been really good at,” Kolkmeier said. “Those first three minutes sometimes dictates how that half is going to start.”
Pait thought the third quarter was the game’s critical stanza.
“They did a better job on offense in the third quarter,” Pait said. “We got frustrated a little bit and didn’t get our help-side [defense] there every time. We had some good looks in the third quarter that we just didn’t knock down.”
After Jeff trimmed its deficit to 41-38 at the end of the third, Corydon put together another run by starting the fourth on a 9-2 spurt to take a 50-40 advantage. The Panthers’ lead grew to as high as 19 points in the final stanza, as Jeff scored only 10 points in the fourth.
Lander had a huge fourth quarter. He scored 10 points, as he hit 4-of-5 field goals and converted both of his free throw attempts.
Red Devil senior Keenan Williams had 13 points on 6-of-10 shooting along with a team-high three assists. Ellis snagged a team-high seven rebounds and made a game-high four steals.
Jeff will host Castle (13-6) on Saturday. Red Devil senior center Dionte Allen sat out again on Tuesday because of an injured knee. Pait says he hopes to have Allen back for Saturday’s contest.
CORYDON CENTRAL 63, JEFFERSONVILLE 48
Jeffersonville 14 13 11 10—48
Corydon 17 7 17 22—63
Jeffersonville (9-10): Drew Ellis 9-20 4-5 26, Keenan Williams 6-10 1-2 13, Chad Hudson 1-8 2-2 4, Demarre Sims 2-2 0-1 4, Chandler Dale 0-2 1-2 1, Leonard Kwitonda 0-0 0-0 0, C.J. Lambus 0-0 0-0 0, Tyrise Major 0-1 0-0 0, Ronnie Todd 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 18-43 8-12 48.
Corydon Central (16-2): Bronson Kessinger 7-13 4-7 20, Timothy Wiseman 6-10 4-5 19, Brayden Lander 6-12 3-5 15, Mitchell Frederick 3-6 0-0 6, Tommy Wiseman 0-6 3-4 3, Grant Robinson 0-1 0-0 0, Dillon Simler 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 22-49 14-21 63.
3-point field goals: Jeffersonville 4-13 (Ellis 4-8, Major 0-1, Williams 0-1, Hudson 0-3); Corydon Central 3-6 (Ti. Wiseman 3-5, Kessinger 0-1).
Rebounds: Jeffersonville 30 (Ellis 7); Corydon Central 31 (Kessinger 12).
Assists: Jeffersonville 7 (Hudson, Williams 3); Corydon Central 15 (To. Wiseman 9).
Steals: Jeffersonville 9 (Ellis 4); Corydon Central 8 (Ti. Wiseman 4).
Blocked shots: Jeffersonville 0; Corydon Central 3 (Kessinger 3).
Total fouls: Jeffersonville 18, Corydon Central 13.
Junior varsity: Corydon Central 54, Jeffersonville 52.