Panthers’ size overwhelms Owls


For the Tribune


The Jennings County boys basketball team took advantage of its size and experience to defeat Seymour 53-40 on Saturday night in a Hoosier Hills Conference game.

When Seymour’s Alan Perry made a free throw with 1:09 remaining, it left the Owls trailing 46-40.

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But the Owls were unable to score in their final three possessions and fell to 0-3 in the HHC.

“I think their experience and size really wore us down a little bit down the stretch,” Owls coach Kyle Clough said. “I’m just so proud of our kids because we were a little overmatched, obviously, physically. We had some guys really step up tonight and just give us some quality minutes, and just battle their butt off.”

The teams battled on even terms in the first period as Isaiah Thomas scored seven points for the Owls to help the visitors to a 15-14 lead. Dan Leach scored eight for the Panthers during that time.

Seymour’s offense cooled off in the second period to 2-for-7 shooting, and committed six turnovers, while Chace Wilson had five points for Jennings to help his team to a 25-21 lead at

the break.

“Give them a lot of credit for (the turnovers),” Clough said. “Joe (Hartwell) is a great coach, they’ve got a really smart staff over there. They tried to take away our best options and Toriek (Miller) and Isaiah (Thomas) were a little handcuffed down the stretch, but that’s just part of the game. We’ve got to have guys step in, and I thought we did. I thought Ty Christensen made a couple big shots for us. He stepped to the foul line and made free throws. We did everything right except finish it.”

The Panthers, winners of six-straight games and 2-0 in the HHC, held a 36-28 lead with three minutes left in the third period before Tiller Cummings scored a layup and Christensen hit a 3-pointer to close the difference to 36-33 at the end of the period.

Miller topped the Owls with 14 points, while Thomas scored 11 while grabbing

13 rebounds.

Leach topped all players with 20 points, Wilson scored 12 and Tyler Vogel had 10 points and 12 rebounds.

The Panthers shot 19-for-46 for the night and held

a 29-28 advantage on

the boards.

“If there is one thing I’ve got in that locker room, it’s fighters, tough kids,” Clough said. “They believe in us; they believe in this process. We’ve got to find a way to get more points on the board, and that falls on me a little bit. We’ve got to do some different things to get some more scoring because our defense has been really, really good.”

The Owls are 1-6, and this marks the fifth time they have scored 45 or less points.

Seymour shot 14-for-43 from the floor, and Clough said he was generally pleased with the shot selection.

“I thought we got to a point in the fourth quarter where had to start taking a couple quick shots,” Clough said. “We needed one or two of those 3-point shots to go in. It’s one of those situations down the stretch where you just gamble and you say, ‘If we make them we’re going to have a chance to win it, and if we lose it, it’s going to get to 12 or 13.”

Seymour will try to get back on the winning track tonight at Scottsburg.

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