For The Tribune
The Seymour boys basketball team put together its best first half of the season at Switzerland County on Saturday night in building a 32-16 lead.
The Owls then started the second half on a 6-0 burst and rolled to a 55-35 victory — their first of the season.
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“I thought that our kids did a nice job against their zone,” Owls coach Coach Kyle Clough. “We knew if they had to come out and guard us in man, we were going to have a big advantage, so I thought it was important in the first half to show that we could get inside of that zone, and we could get some baskets and score the basketball.”
Alan Perry’s second 3-point basket of the game broke a 5-all tie and put the Owls in front to stay at 8-5. Seth Ragon converted a 3-point play to give the Owls an 11-7 lead going into the second period.
“I thought Alan Perry and Seth Ragon, in the first half, were really important for us,” Clough said. “It was a complete half for us, different territory for us being up 16. It was nice to all see us finish the second half by winning both those quarters.”
Seymour was on top 15-11 two minutes into the second period when Ragon drove for a layup, Toriek Miller made the first of his two 3-pointers in the quarter, and Ryan Wieneke, Jordan Miller and Tiller Cummings added 2-point baskets, and Evans Cribs hit a 3-pointer as the Owls outscored the Pacers 21-9 to lead 32-16 at the break.
Seymour shot 10 for 12 in the second quarter as Toriek Miller and Ragon both shot 3-for-3 from the floor.
Any hopes the Pacers had for a comeback at the start of the third period were quickly put to rest when Cummings scored two layups and Perry added a basket for a 38-16 lead at 6:38.
Clough said he felt that the Owls played solid defense throughout as the Pacers (2-4) made only 11 of 41 shots from the floor.
Switzerland’s 6-6 junior, Hunter Hayes, made his first shot early in the opening quarter but didn’t score again from the field until the fourth quarter.
“Give Ryan Wieneke a lot of credit,” Clough said. “He’s a kid on our team that doesn’t get as much credit as he deserves because he’s always our defensive stopper. He’s not going to score 20 points for us very regularly. He’s had some big matchup this year when we look back at (a Whiteland Player), and this kid (Hayes), who had three inches and 20 pounds on him.
“I thought (Hayes) was phenomenal. I thought he was always in good position. We thought there were two chances they could beat us tonight, and it was if (Hayes) got going and got some offensive rebounds and put backs, and if (Caleb) Furnish and some of those shooters got some 3s. We did a really good job on both of those.”
Toriek Miller topped the Owls (1-7) with 14 points, Cummings and Perry scored 10 each, and Ragon had nine.
Tyler Bloom had eight rebounds to help the Owls hold a 26-22 advantage on the boards.
“We don’t expect (Bloom) to do that, but I really challenged him, got on his but a little bit,” Clough said. “I didn’t think he was playing offensively the way he needed to play. Give him credit because he came back and got some rebounds down there and made some tough plays defensively that we really need him to make.”
Another plus for the Owls was only committing eight turnovers.
Clough said the Owls did a good job handling the ball.
“That’s going to happen against a team doesn’t pressure you as much when they sit back in a zone,” he said. “You can easily have turnovers against a zone if you’re not sharp, and I thought our guys did a great job sharing the ball. I thought we made the right pass, made the right read and we were able to get ourselves inside of that zone.
“We moved the ball around and were able to score 55 points on only five 3s’ tonight. I thought Seth, Tiller and Alan were really good tonight. If they play like that on a regular basis they give us that other dimension because Toriek is a very hard player to stop, a very good offensive threat and we’ve got to continue to build things around him.”
The Owls shot 23 for 43 from the floor.
Clough said Miller is getting a lot of attention from opposing defenses, so over the break the Owls worked on offenses to get other players move involved in the offense.
The Owls will be home to Edinburgh on Tuesday night.
“We talked about having a clean slate, being 0-0 in the new year,” Clough said. “It was a big win for us.”