Winning ways: Owls’ point guard led team in scoring

There were six seniors on the Seymour girls’ varsity roster this past winter.

One of the key contributors in that class that won 50 games and a Hoosier Hills Conference title the past three years was Lauren James.

“I enjoyed playing alongside them,” Janes said. “I played alongside most of them since third grade, just feeding off each-other.”

James said she began her basketball playing in the Enter His Courts League, starting in kindergarten.

She then played in the Boys and Girls Club League and when she was in third grade. Jeff Benefiel started a travel team and she played on that team.

“I’ve always been a point-guard,” James said. “I’ve always liked shooting the ball. Because I’m undersized just a little bit, I knew that people had to respect my shot as well as my drive, and if they were playing off of me to take away the drive, I would have to shoot it. So I knew I had to develop a really good shot.

“I think it’s easier to get a shot off against a man (defense), just the movement and the screens. I like playing better against a man than a zone.”

She said she adjusted her offense according to opponents’ defenses.

“I liked shooting from the very top of the key,” James said. “I tried to go into every game playing off what the defense gave me. If they tried to take away my shot, I tried to drive more that game. If they were playing the drive I would try to get shots to open up the drive and open up opportunities for other players.”

This season James topped the Owls in scoring with an average or 15.7 points per game with highs of 28 against Silver Creek, 27 against Hamilton Heights and 26 against East Central.

When Seymour was on defense, James said she preferred playing half-court man-to-man.

She said the Owls would play zones against some opponents to, “to keep their offense off-balance.”

James said she enjoyed playing in the East Central Holiday Tournament where they lost in the finals to Southport.

On the calendar, James always looked forward to the home games.

“Those were, by far, my favorite, James aid. “I looked forward to every home game, just the atmosphere. LSG (Lloyd Scott Gymnasium) is different from any other gym that I’ve ever played in.”

She said her career highlights were her junior season winning the conference and this year beating Columbus North.

James said playing AAU basketball over the years was important in helping her improve her game.

She played with a team from Westfield, and five of her teammates on that team are going Division I, and others Division II.

She said she enjoyed attending Seymour.

“I think the academics here are just as good as any school in the state, and it really prepares you for college,” James said. “I’m thankful for the opportunity.”

James is going to play basketball at Taylor University beginning this fall

[sc:pullout-title pullout-title=”James file” ][sc:pullout-text-begin]

Name: Lauren James

School: Seymour High School

Parents: Mike and Karen James

Siblings: Kevin

Sports: basketball 4 years, golf 2 years

Athletic highlights: basketball winning HHC in 2015-16

Plans after high school: attend Taylor University, play basketball, study exercise science

Organizations: National Honor Society, 4H Junior Leaders

Favorite food: blueberry pancakes

Favorite musician: Carrie Underwood

Favorite movie: Jason Bourne

Favorite athlete, team: LeBron James, Cleveland Cavaliers