Owls defense key to victory


The old saying that defense leads to offense was on full display at the Lloyd E. Scott Gymnasium on Thursday night.

Seymour’s boys basketball team held South Ripley to six points or fewer in three of four quarters to come away with a 46-29 victory.

The win marked the 10th for the Owls this season, the first time the program has eclipsed double-digits in wins since the 2009-10 campaign.

In a low-scoring first quarter, the Owls got the edge.

After trading the lead three times, baskets by Tiller Cummings and Aiden Goen put the Owls up 7-4 with 1:05 left on the clock.

Another score from Cummings gave the Owls a 9-6 lead after eight minutes of play. On that second basket by Cummings, Owls senior Alan Perry became the all-time assists leader in Seymour history. Perry’s 358th career assist passed former record-holder Ryan Schrink (357). Perry would finish the night with seven assists to boost the record to 363.

“It means a lot,” Perry said. “I think it kind of shows what kind of teammate I am. A lot of guys want to score 1,000 points or be the career-leading scorer at their school, but for me to be the all-time assist leader, I don’t think it sums enough more who I am. It’s awesome and I think the world of it.”

Ty McCory accounted for 12 of the Owls’ 16 points in the second quarter.

McCory hit back-to-back 3-pointer to extend the Owls’ advantage to 15-8 one minute into the second quarter before the Raiders (6-13) responded with an 8-0 run to retake the lead at 16-15.

McCory converted an and-one before baskets from Max Otte and Zach Moore put the Owls on top 22-18 with 1:45 left in the half.

Making all of his free throws after getting fouled on a 3-point attempt, with 2.1 ticks on the clock, McCory propelled the Owls to a 25-20 lead at the break.

Cummings scored four straight points out of intermission for the Owls, and a basket from Eddie Louden put the Owls up 32-22 with 1:39 left in the third quarter.

A layup by Goen gave the Owls a 34-24 lead going into the final eight minutes.

Outscoring the Raiders 12-5 in the fourth quarter, the Owls were able to hang on for the win.

“We figured they would come out and spread us out,” Owls coach Tyler Phillips said. “We figured they would try and keep the game to low possessions. We did a really nice job, especially in the second half, of taking away their gaps. I thought we also did a nice job of taking away their driving lanes, and making them uncomfortable.”

McCory led the Owls with 18 points and Cummings added 10. Zach Pickett and Dillan McQueen led the Raiders with nine points each.

“When Ty is shooting like that, it opens so many things for us,” Phillips said. “You can’t double Tiller on the block and you can’t sit in the lane and wait on Alan to drive. When he’s shooting like that, it adds another dimension to our offense.”

Phillips said that Perry is a special talent and is deserving of the new record.

“It takes a special kid to break an assist record,” he said. “Nothing he does is about him, and that personifies him. He’s the best floor leader I’ve ever coached.”

The Owls outrebounded the Raiders 22-13 and both teams had 10 turnovers.

Seymour (10-8) has own four straight games, the longest streak since 2015, going into Tuesday’s game at Greensburg.

“These four wins have all been in different ways,” Phillips said. “Against Madison, we didn’t play well but found a way to win. At Salem, we shot the ball extremely well and found a way to beat a really good team. Jennings County we found a way to protect the lead. Tonight, we didn’t shoot the ball well but willed our way. These guys are doing a good job of finding ways to win down the stretch.”

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