While it was only the second game of the season for both boys basketball teams, the county rivalry match-up at the Lloyd E. Scott Gymnasium boasted a tournament atmosphere Friday night.
In a game that came down to the last few possessions, the visitors walked away the victors.
Class 3A No. 5 Brownstown Central used a fourth-quarter surge to break a 32-32 tie after 24 minutes, for a 47-42 victory at Seymour.
The Braves (2-0) outscored the Owls (1-1) 15-10 in the fourth quarter, and 27-14 in the second half.
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In the first half, the Owls jumped to the early lead.
Seymour scored seven unanswered points from the 6:01 to 4:02-mark in the first quarter, topped by a 3-pointer from Ty McCory to lead 9-2.
In the final 2:33 of the opening quarter the Braves outscored the Owls 7-2, behind three different scorers, as they trailed 11-9 at the end of eight minutes of play.
Seymour took advantage of a handful of Brownstown turnovers, and six fouls, in the second quarter.
The teams traded the lead three times until an and-one conversion by Alan Perry put the Owls up 18-17 with 5:20 left in the half.
In the bonus, the Owls scored six straight points, with four from the free throw line, to extend its lead to 22-17 with 4:18 on the clock.
The Braves picked up a 10th foul at the 2:41, and Seymour went 4-for-4 from the free throw down the stretch to lead 28-20 at intermission.
Michael Boshears topped the Braves with eight points and McCory had 11 points at the break.
Both teams utilized their benches, with the Braves playing nine and the Owls putting eight different players on the floor in the first 16 minutes.
“I was really disappointed the first half,” Braves coach Dave Benter said. “I didn’t think we were focused. We had breakdowns on defense and had silly fouls. It was undisciplined, especially in the second quarter. I thought our guys responded at halftime.”
In the third quarter, the Braves held the Owls to just four points.
In the final 6:01 of the third, the Braves went on a 12-0 run on two 3-pointer each by Caleb Bollinger and Cameron Luedeman to tie the game at 32.
“A couple possessions, we fell asleep defensively and you can’t do that on a shooter,” Owls coach Tyler Phillips said. “ We need to make sure shots are contested, and Bollinger got some easy looks.”
Keaton Seniours hit a 3-pointer to open the fourth quarter, to put the Owls back on top, but the Braves would answer every shot in the first six minutes of the final period.
Split free throws by Tiller Cummings put the Owls up 40-38 with 1:39 left before Luedeman buried another 3-pointer to give the Braves the edge back.
Perry got a basket to fall and a foul, but failed to make the free throw attempt, as the Owls led 42-41 with 53 ticks left.
On the ensuing possession, Braden Neal’s jump shot near the free throw line fell, and the Braves got a stop and were intentionally fouled with 35 seconds remaining up 43-42.
Luedeman hit both his free throws, to put his fourth quarter point total at nine, and Neal hit another two freebies with 4.4 seconds left, to seal the win for the Braves.
“We needed guys besides (Boshears) to make plays,” Benter said. “We had so many guys make plays in the fourth quarter, whether it was a loose ball, defensive stop or making a basket. No matter who we put in, it seemed like we were so much more focused compared to the first half.”
Luedeman led the Braves with 17 points and McCory topped the Owls at 15.
Luedeman was the only senior to take the floor for the Braves on the night.
“I kind of challenged (Luedeman) at halftime,” Benter said. “We have high expectations for him — not just as a leader, but also as a scorer. We need him to step into that role, and he really made some plays in that second half. Teams will take (Boshears) away at times, and Seymour was doing a nice job of taking away our ball screen and dribble-drive action.”
The Braves won the rebounding margin 34-30 and both teams had nine turnovers.
At the free throw line, Seymour was 14-for-22 while the Braves went 8-for-11.
“We need to knock those free throws down,” Phillips said. “We need to make them to put ourselves in a better position to win. We only shoot about 200 free throws a day, but maybe we need to make that more.”
Brownstown hasn’t lost a game to Seymour since the 2007-08 season.
On top of the win, the Braves will retain the “John Harrell Mythical Traveling Trophy,” which they took from Salem earlier this week.
The Owls will travel to Franklin tonight and the Braves will host Scottsburg for a Mid-Southern Conference game on Thursday.