For The Tribune
The Seymour High School girls basketball team defeated Bloomington South 52-48 in overtime during a game Tuesday evening at home.
Owls coach Jason Longmeier said he thought his team displayed a great amount of mental toughness in its win.
“It was a tough situation for us there, but our kids kept battling and hit some big shots and at the end we pulled it out,” he said. “It just shows our toughness, and we played five kids on a lot of minutes tonight, and I thought late in the fourth quarter is when we executed our best game.”
Seymour faced quite a challenge as South had a solid foundation on both sides of the ball.
The Owls were also coming off two strong victories against Rushville and Floyd Central.
Longmeier said he thought this would continue the momentum and help build more confidence.
“I think it keeps the momentum going,” he said. “Two weeks ago when we were struggling, we really challenged the kids on their toughness and ability to execute, and since then I think we have been able to execute and do a really good job of making plays.”
Both teams started slow offensively in the first quarter, but both held well defensively. The Owls struck first on two made free throws from sophomore guard Ashton Chase.
The Panthers answered quickly with a jump shot from freshman Kristen Ridner to tie the game.
Then both teams experienced difficulties executing plays. Both teams also had trouble retaining possession of the ball.
The Owls had seven turnovers in the first quarter while the Panthers had six.
The Owls were 4-4 from the line in the first quarter and the Panthers added a free throw to bring the score 6-3 at the end of the first.
Seymour struck first in the second quarter with a jump shot from Makenna Fee. The Panthers answered back and then used a 5-0 run to tie the game. During that stretch, the Owls missed several opportunities on three breakaways down court.
Fighting back, the Owls used an 8-0 run to take the 17-13 lead with 40 seconds remaining until intermission.
The Panthers took the lead back in the last six seconds for an 18-17 advantage going into the locker room at the half.
The start of the second half featured more of the Panthers scoring than the Owls.
While the Owls scored a quick three from senior Lauren James, the team mostly went quiet offensively and let the Panthers go on a 6-0 run.
That’s when things heated up for the Owls and the team went on a 10-2 run behind another three from James and senior Sarah Benefiel and a turnaround shot off a rebound from senior Kayla Griffin.
The Owls held a 30-28 lead to end the quarter.
The fourth quarter showed both teams’ strengths as both went back-and-forth on possessions. Both teams traded baskets and the game was tied at 40 with 1:40 left.
That’s when Gehlhausen made a layup to give the Panthers a 42-40 lead, but Chase answered with a three to give the Owls a 43-42 lead with 53 seconds left.
Blackwell was fouled and hit both free throws to give the Panthers a 44-43 lead. She was also fouled on the next possession and hit one free throw giving the Panthers the 45-43 lead with 29.6 seconds remaining.
After a series of turnovers by both teams, the Owls had the ball with 15.4 seconds left. Fee scored on an inbounds play to send the game into overtime.
Overtime began with Blackwell hitting one free throw and James returning with a three for the Owls to bring the score 48-46.
The Panthers tied it on a bucket and the Owls regained the lead with a basket from Griffin to a roaring crowd with a minute left.
South missed two free throws and turned the ball over.
Chase was fouled and hit one free throw with 22 seconds left to put Seymour up 51-48.
The Owls played strong defense and forced a turnover with 4.1 seconds left.
Benefiel sealed the game with a free throw at the line and the Owls won 52-48.