Owls can’t quite catch up to Columbus North

Combining for just 12 points in the second and third quarters, the Seymour boys basketball team dug itself too deep a hole.

Columbus North (15-7) used its length to stifle the Owls’ offense, while also using their depth, in a 56-39 victory at the Lloyd E. Scott Gymnasium on Tuesday.

The first eight minutes featured slow, half-court sets.

North’s Trey Vincent hit a 3-pointer on the opening possession, but the Owls (8-13) answered with an 8-0 run led by 3-pointers from Alan Perry and Tyler Bloom.

Bloom and the Bull Dogs’ Alex King exchanged threes before North finished the final 2:25 of the first quarter with an 8-2 run to lead 14-13.

The Bull Dogs dialed in on defense in the second quarter, allowing just seven points, and the bench took on the scoring load.

North strung together 10 unanswered points, led by four from Ethan Mitchell, to go up 24-14 by the 2:46-mark before halftime.

A trey from Bloom ended the scoring string, and Perry added another three with four ticks on the clock, but the Owls trailed 28-20 at intermission with just seven points before the break.

Mitchell, Trenton Kelley, Bailey Hester and Zach Green accounted for 11 of the Bull Dogs’ 14 second-quarter points.

Nathan VanDeventer, who went scoreless in the first half, went on a self-made 7-0 run to open the third quarter and bolster the Bull Dogs’ lead to 35-20 with 5:32 on the clock.

Alex Hofer stopped the Owls’ bleeding and Tiller Cummings added a shot from behind the arc, but the Owls wouldn’t score again in the final 3:16 of the third as they trailed 46-25.

“They switched from a zone to a man (defense), and their length gave us problems,” Owls assistant coach Jeff Nicholson said. “We found Tyler Bloom early, he was getting open looks, then they switched. We didn’t execute great, but that was pretty much the difference.”

In the final eight minutes, the deficit proved too much, but the Owls continued to fight.

Seymour outscored the Bull Dogs 14-10 in the fourth quarter, led by six from Jordan Miller.

“It’s part of changing the culture; it’s something we’ve been working on since they were freshmen” Nicholson said of the play in the fourth quarter. “Jordan Miller, the last month and one-half or so, I’ve been most proud of him. He’s changed his demeanor and how he practices. It has been a bright spot. Whatever Jordan does after high school, that’s going to take him a lot further down the road. We’re not getting the wins we want, but these kids as people are what we care about also.”

Bloom topped the Owls with nine points, while Perry and Cummings each chipped in with eight.

Alex King topped the Bull Dogs with 11 points and VanDeventer added 10. Nine different Bull Dogs scored.

On the boards, the Bull Dogs outrebounded the Owls 27-16.

Seymour will conclude their regular season at home Friday against Silver Creek.