BY CHRIS STONER
Jeffersonville used a big third quarter to pull away from Corydon Central on Tuesday night for a 61-49 win at Johnson Arena.
The Red Devils battled foul trouble in the first half, but came out with their guns blazing for 24 third-period points en route to defeating the Panthers for the eighth time in the last nine years.
“We converted some turnovers into points and I got my starters back on the floor,” Jeff head coach Mike Warren said of the pivotal third frame. “We played the first half with a lot of our best players on the bench. Our bench did an awesome job. They stepped up and everyone played a role. But once we got our horses back in for the third quarter, we were able to impose our will and do what we set out to do.”
With three starters on the bench in the first half in foul trouble, the hosts found scoring from seven different players to post a 25-20 halftime lead. The Red Devils (7-2) forced 10 Corydon giveaways in the first two stanzas, but the Panthers hit 8-of-10 free throws to stay close at intermission.
“For every turnover, there was a foul,” Warren said. “We had eight fouls I think in the first six minutes of the game, and then we managed to play the rest of the half with only two fouls. We just cleaned things up a bit. We wanted to be aggressive and we thought we could turn them over. But we just have to be smart about it.”
Corydon (5-4) missed its first four field-goal attempts of the third period and Jeff took advantage. The Red Devils pushed their lead to double digits, 39-27, on a Taylor Sykes triple with 2:41 left in the third. Sykes scored seven of her nine points in the third as she led Jeff to a commanding 49-33 lead entering the fourth quarter.
“At halftime, we talked about not fouling,” Warren said. “That was the first thing we talked about. We showed that we could defend them and force turnovers without fouling and we did that in the second quarter. I thought our defensive execution was much, much better in the third quarter than it was in the first half.”
The Panthers clawed back within 52-45 on a Marie Rothrock jumper with 4:15 remaining. But that would be as close as the Harrison County school would get. Rothrock, Corydon’s leading scorer on the season, was held to just three field goals on the night.
“I bet throughout the game we had five different girls that guarded her,” Warren said of his team’s defense on Rothrock. “A couple of her buckets and free throws I thought we played good defense. But things just didn’t go our way. It was nice to be able to talk about somebody and key on somebody and then be able to do it in a game. I was very proud of our defensive effort especially in the second and third quarters.”
Jeff will next hit the hardwood a week from Friday in the Floyd Central Shootout. The Red Devils will face Louisville Ballard in the their first pool-play game of the tournament.
Haley Vogen led the Red Devils with 14 points, while teammate Aurreeshae Hines chipped in 11.
JEFFERSONVILLE 61, CORYDON CENTRAL 49
Corydon Central 12 8 13 16—49
Jeffersonville 16 9 24 12—61
Corydon Central (5-4): Shelby Wilkerson 4, Chelsea John 2, Aly Chambers 7, Taylor Frederick 6, Marie Rothrock 12, Ashley Oliver 16, Reagan Mosley 2.
Jeffersonville (7-2): Nycia Ford 4, Emily Gray 9, Taylor Sykes 9, Catera Stevenson 5, Haley Vogen 14, Aurreeshae Hines 11, Makenzi Johnson 8, Jhala Henry 1.
Three-point field goals: Corydon Central 1 (Chambers), Jeffersonville 3 (Sykes, Stevenson, Johnson).
Rebounds: Corydon Central 33, Jeffersonville 29.
Turnovers: Corydon Central 18, Jeffersonville 8.
Field-goal shooting: Corydon Central 17-41, Jeffersonville 21-50.
Free throws: Corydon Central 14-19, Jeffersonville 16-30.