Owls’ slowdown tactics can’t stop Floyd Central

Floyd Central overcame Seymour’s slowdown offense to outscore the Owls in each quarter for a 44-26 win of the Class 4A Sectional 15 in the Lloyd E. Scott Gymnasium Friday night.

The Owls played a slowdown, ball-control offense from the start as they attempted only five shots in the opening period and eight in the second quarter.

Tiller Cummings gave the Owls an early 2-0 lead with a layup at 6:40.

The Highlanders stormed back with a 9-0 run, with Cobie Barnes leading his team with two baskets and a free throw during that time.

[sc:text-divider text-divider-title=”Story continues below gallery” ]

Click here to purchase photos from this gallery

Dylan Wilson finally ended Seymour’s dry spell with two free throws with 35.8 seconds remaining in the opening period.

Ty McCory opened the scoring in the second period with a 3-pointer at 6:50, and Cummings added two free throws at 3:44 to close the gap to 11-9.

The Highlanders outscored the Owls 10-3 for the remainder of the half to lead 21-12 at the break.

The Highlanders’ Luke Gohmann converted a 4-point play at the 3:25 mark.

Floyd Central shot 8-for-22 from the floor in the first half.

Owls coach Tyler Phillips said he thought the best chance for his team to win was to slow the ball down.

“We wanted to attack them just like we did Jeff (Tuesday night). We wanted to control the time of possession,” he said.

“They switch everything in their man-to-man, so we wanted to try to find a mismatch and exploit that when we could. At the start of the game we did a really nice job of that, and then they made some adjustments and we couldn’t overcome their length.”

The only points the Owls could score during the first five minutes of the third period were free throws by Alex Hofer and Alan Perry.

The Highlanders extended their lead to 29-14 before Cummings scored Seymour’s only field goal of the period, off an offensive rebound at 2:20.

Floyd Central took a 36-18 lead into the final period, and the Owls’ only basket in the final eight minutes was a 3-pointer by Tyler Bloom with 6:20 remaining.

Cummings and Perry topped the Owls in scoring with six points each, while Bloom was tops in rebounds with six.

The Highlanders held a 32-12 advantage in rebounds.

Phillips said a lot of that had to do with the Highlanders’ size.

“We don’t have a lot of size, especially at the guard position,” he said. “Inside we’re about the same size as they are, but when you go to the perimeter, Alan’s 6-1, Tyler’s 5-10 and Jordan (Miller)’s 5-10. We getting guarded by kids that are as quicker or quicker than them, and they’re 6-4 or 6-5. That’s a lot of length. You can take away a lot of shots like that, and they took Tyler out of the offense, and they were going to beat us in an uncomfortable way.

“We wanted to try to run a five-out and run some cuts. We knew they were going to switch screens, and we wanted to make little big screens and try to get a mismatch that was in our favor. Offensively we did about as good as we could do.”

Cobie Barnes topped the Highlanders with 10 points.

The Owls finished 9-15 on the season.

“These kids exceeded any expectations that anybody had for them this year,” Phillips said. “They had every reason to lay down and give it a half-hearted effort and they didn’t. They had nine wins and a sectional win for the first time in a long time and beat four different (Hoosier Hills) conference teams. They gave it everything they could and I couldn’t be any prouder of them if I had to be.”