Owls can’t hold lead against Jeffersonville


While school may have been out of session, there were still Hoosier Hills Conference games to be played.

Seymour’s girls basketball team ventured to Class 4A No. 9 Jeffersonville, but didn’t leave with the upset they’d hoped for on Tuesday.

Jeff used its speed and length to create 20 Seymour turnovers in a 60-43 HHC win against the Owls at Johnson Arena.

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The Owls (9-11, 3-3 HHC) and Red Devils (14-4, 5-1 HHC) exchanged the lead five times in the opening quarter.

Back-to-back baskets by Makenna Fee and Ashton Chase gave the Owls an early four-point advantage, and the SHS held on to the lead until 3:41 when Jeff’s Nan Garcia converted an and-one to put the Red Devils up 9-8.

Maddie Roark hit a pair of shots to put the Owls back on top at 12-9, and Seymour was able to hold onto the lead as they were up 13-12 at the end of eight minutes of play.

The Red Devils forced five straight Owls turnovers to start the second quarter, and converted those mistakes into 12 unanswered points.

Kelsie James and Jasmine Lily hit 3-pointers in the scoring stretch as the Red Devils led 24-12 with six minutes left in the half.

Baskets by Aidan Hiester, Grace Meyer and Chase halted the Red Devils’ run, but the Owls trailed 26-19 by the 3:22-mark.

In the final three minutes, the Red Devils outscored the Owls 11-1 to hold a 37-20 advantage at halftime.

At the break, Garcia, 5-foot-11, led all scorers with 16 points.

“A lot of (the turnovers) was just our feet,” Owls coach Jason Longmeier said. “We knew where our people were supposed to be, and we made passes where we had hoped they were at — rather than getting our feet set, stepping through and getting solid. I’m proud of our girls, at that point we could have let that game out of hand. I think, for three quarters, we played with a very good basketball team. We led in the first quarter, had a trainwreck second quarter and then were able to stabilize ourselves in the third and fourth quarters.”

A 7-0 run from 6:32- to 5:37- propelled the Red Devils to a 46-26 lead in the third quarter.

However, in the final 3:38 of the quarter, the Owls outscored the Red Devils 9-5.

At the end of 24 minutes of play, the Owls trailed 53-35.

Despite a 5-0 Red Devils scoring streak to start the fourth quarter, the Owls finished the game strong.

Seymour scored eight points in the final 4:22 of the game while just allowing one. In that span, Roark went 5-for-6 from the free throw line and Fee drilled a 3-pointer.

Fee and Roark topped the Owls with 13 points each while Garcia led all scorers with 20 points.

“Nan Garcia, by far, is the most improved player in our conference,” Longmeier said. “If there’s a more improved sophomore in the state of Indiana, I’m not sure who it is. She’s the real deal.”

The Owls had 20 turnovers to Jeff’s six errors and the Red Devils outrebounded the visitors 39-30.

Longmeier said the team will be better prepared should they face the Red Devils again in sectional play.

“I don’t think they hammered us with their zone, I think it was with the live ball turnovers,” he said. “We’re going to look at the film, and that if we get them again in the sectional we will do a better job of changing defenses up. We would throw a lot of different things at them.”

While the students have been out of class since last Thursday, Longmeier said the irregular practice schedule wasn’t to blame for the loss.

“We really felt like there would be a point where we had heavy legs,” Longmeier said. “From the first quarter into the second is where we really felt it. That’s the fault of nobody. I have a lot of respect for the people who make the decisions in our school corporation. We take safety into consideration first.”

The Owls will host Scottsburg in a varsity-only game at 6 p.m. on Saturday before the sectional pairings are announced on Sunday afternoon.

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