One thing is for sure in the Class 3-A Charlestown Sectional — a team from Harrison County will play for the championship Saturday night.
Cross-county rivals Corydon and North Harrison both posted wins — in rather contrasting fashion –in the first round Wednesday night. Corydon needed a fourth-quarter rally to down host Charlestown 50-43, while North Harrison smothered Scottsburg 76-48.
In Friday night’s semifinals, Brownstown (21-1) will face Salem (0-20) and Corydon (17-5) will take on North Harrison (14-7).
“It’ll be a great game against two rivals,” said North Harrison coach Greg Walters.
* Corydon-Charlestown: The Panthers trailed 36-32 late in the third quarter and then went on a 12-4 run over the next 8:41 to take charge.
“We did a better job of closing out on their shooters,” said Corydon coach Jamie Kolkmeier. “In the first half, we just backed away from them.”
Charlestown coach Sean Smith said he wanted to spread the floor and make Corydon chase them. The game plan worked like a gem in the first half, as the Pirates went into the locker room with a 29-25 edge.
In the second half, the shots stopped falling for the Pirates, with Charlestown (11-10) hitting just 6 of 24 shots.
“We had some really good looks,” said Charlestown coach Sean Smith. “But we probably took some shots we probably shouldn’t have taken.”
Kolkmeier pointed to the play of 6-foot-3 Tyler Ross, who tallied nine assists, eight rebounds and six points. “Right now, he’s playing great basketball,” the Corydon coach said.
“We were playing better defense (in the second half),” Ross said. “We started to get to their shooters.”
Bronson Kessinger, Corydon’s 6-foot-7 center, led all scorers with 21 points. “Bronson, obviously, did some nice things out there, and he ran the floor real well,” Kolkmeier said.
Chris Braun led the Pirates with 18 points. Justin Conrad, who scored all of his points on four 3-pointers, added 12 points, and point guard Aaron Daniel added 10 points.
Like Charlestown, Kolkmeier said North Harrison is a tough team to defend because of their quickness and pinpoint shooting. “But we’re a tough matchup for them because of our size,” he said.
* North Harrison-Scottsburg: From the opening minute, the Cougars left little doubt about the outcome in the nightcap.
North Harrison led 10-3 and then hammered the Warriors with a 24-2 run.
Walters said the Cougars were particularly sharp. “It’s the best we’ve played in terms of defending and rebounding,” Walters said.
Cory Smith, who hit three from beyond the 3-point line, led the Cougars with 23 points, Just a junior, Smith eclipsed the 1,000-point plateau. He now has 1,019 points.
For the Cougars, Austin Nolot and Tyler Bement added 17 points apiece.
Israel Cook led Scottsburg (4-17) with 14 points.