Slow start: Sluggish first half leads to season-opening loss for SHS


Seymour High School’s girls basketball team struggled to find much offense in its season-opener.

The Owls never led in a 43-37 season-opening loss to Class 3A No. 3 Salem on Saturday at the Lloyd E. Scott Gymnasium.

Leading 7-6, with 2:41 left in the first quarter, the Lions (1-0) went on a 11-1 run.

In that span, Hope Tomlinson hit a pair of 3-pointers and Karly Sweeney added a trey to put the Lions up 18-7.

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The Owls (0-1) committed five fouls in the first 3:29 of the game, and had to adjust the rotation earlier than they’d hoped.

"We had some really bad fouls early," Owls coach Jason Longmeier said. "That took any momentum that we wanted early out with the lineups we wanted."

Both teams scored seven points in the second quarter, as the Lions maintained an 11-point advantage at the half.

At intermission, the Owls had made just five field goals on 19 shots.

Grace Meyer caught fire for the Owls in the third quarter, but the rest of the team failed to score.

In a four-minute span, starting at 4:45, Meyer scored seven straight points for the Owls. She scored all nine of the Owls’ points in the third, as the team trailed 31-23 going into the final eight minutes.

The Owls were able to chip away at the deficit in the fourth quarter, with Aidan Hiester hitting a 3-pointer, Ashton Chase sinking two free throws and Meyer adding another three to narrow the margin to 40-34 with 44 ticks on the clock.

After a pair of free throws by Tomlinson, Meyer converted a layup to bring it to 42-37 with 15 seconds remaining.

While the Lions split free throws on the next possession, the Owls weren’t able to get another basket to go.

Seymour made 13 of 37 field goals while Salem hit 13 of 43 in the game. The Owls were 6-for-8 from the free throw line while the visitors made 12 of 20.

Longmeier said that the offensive mistakes were self-inflicted.

"It was really a struggle until the fourth quarter," he said. "I think a lot of our woe was created by ourselves. We couldn’t handle their zone very well. I didn’t feel like we were aggressive as we needed to be in it. The more we stayed passive, the more they stayed comfortable."

Meyer led the Owls with 17 points and Chase added 13. Tomlinson topped the Lions with 16 points and Lettie Nice had 10.

The Owls were rebounded 28-22, and lost the turnover battle 13-6.

Makenna Fee, an All-Hoosier Hills Conference player a year ago, did not score along with fellow starters Alyssa Perry and Megan Ritz for Seymour.

Chase, a regular starter a year ago, came off the bench for the Owls. The senior came off a short week of practices after competing at the state cross-country meet on Oct. 27.

"It starts with our stud," Longmeier said. "We have an all-conference player that wasn’t able to put the ball in the hoop. We aren’t going to win many games with it going that way, and she knows that. It was one of those nights where we need to turn the page and come back and focus on two tough games."

Seymour will host Silver Creek on Friday before traveling to Greenwood on Saturday.

"It’s a long season," Longmeier said. "A lot of our girls are coming from a fall sport. We haven’t been at it very long, and the season crept up on us. We feel like we have the pieces to get where we want to go."

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