Owls battle but fall


A share of the Hoosier Hills Conference won’t go to Seymour in 2017.

Despite scraping and clawing their way back from a double-digit halftime deficit, and forcing extra minutes on a prayer, the Owls (14-6, 3-2 HHC) fell to Jeffersonville (13-7, 6-0 HHC) 65-61 in overtime Tuesday.

With five seconds left in regulation, Seymour’s Kayla Griffin rose above a pair of defenders in the paint and hit a short jump shot to tie the game at 55-55 to force the OT.

Despite keeping it close through the entire OT period, it was the Red Devils who would emerge victorious — outscoring the Owls 10-6 in the final four minutes.

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In the first quarter, the defense translated to offense for the Owls.

The Owls capitalized on five Red Devils turnovers to go on an 8-0 run, led by five points by Griffin, and take a 12-5 advantage by the 1:55-mark.

Baskets by Jaylnn Brown and Jacinta Gibson cut the Red Devils’ deficit to 12-5 after eight minutes of play.

Seymour caught the turnover bug in the second quarter, coughing-up the ball eight times.

Jeffersonville took full advantage of the Owls’ mistakes, scoring 18 unanswered points from 6:24 to 1:30 to go up 30-18.

A pair of free throws by Ashton Chase halted the streak, but a banked-in 3-pointer by Nan Garcia at the buzzer bolstered the Red Devils’ lead to 33-20 at intermission.

In the first half, the Red Devils won the battle of the boards by outrebounding the Owls 17-9.

However, out of the break, the Owls responded in a big way.

Following a pair of scores from Gibson, the Owls strung together a 12-2 run in part of 3-pointers by Lauren James and Sarah Benefiel.

A basket by Makenna Fee with eight seconds left put the Owls within two points at 43-41 after three quarters.

“We took care of the ball,” Owls coach Jason Longmeier said. “I felt we played too much of the second quarter in the back court. We cleaned that up at halftime. We gave our kids some more outs which allowed them to take care of the ball better.”

The Owls turned the ball over five times in the first two minutes of the fourth quarter, and fell behind 51-43 with 3:49 left in the fourth quarter.

James sank a 3-pointer, Fee added a basket and Benefiel hit free throws as the Owls trailed 54-53 with 17 seconds on the clock.

Gibson split her free throws following Benefiel’s scores before Griffin hit the big shot.

The teams were tied at 61-61 until Chelsea Gibson got a score with 38 seconds left to lift the Red Devils up 63-61.

The Owls wouldn’t get another basket, despite getting a good look at the basket they missed by inches, and Jacinta Gibson converted her free throws as they escaped with a win.

Jacinta Gibson led the Red Devils with 12 points, and James topped the Owls with 16 points.

“We played hard, and I think that’s the best team we’ve played up to this points,” Longmeier said. “They have a lot of pieces and depth. They have good players at every position. I thought our kids came in and battled.”

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