Seymour’s girls basketball team started the busiest stretch of its season with a much-needed conference victory over Jennings County, 59-53, on Tuesday night.
The win is the Owls’ first in Hoosier Hills Conference play and kicks off an eight-day span that includes four games. Seymour hits the road for HHC games at Bedford North Lawrence (Thursday) and Madison (Saturday) before returning home for a Dec. 11 contest with Columbus North.
“They’d much rather be playing games than practicing anyway,” Seymour head coach Jason Longmeier said of his players. “It’s tough in girls basketball when you have games stacked like this. You have to walk a fine line to maintain your legs, especially since we’re only playing seven kids.”
On Tuesday night, the Owls appeared to be in for a battle after a back-and-forth first half that saw the two teams tie or exchange the lead 12 times.
[sc:text-divider text-divider-title=”Story continues below gallery” ]Click here to purchase photos from this gallery
Seymour then started the third quarter sluggishly before a 12-2 scoring surge allowed the Owls to take control.
Down 28-24 two minutes into the second half, sharp shooting by Seymour guards Aidan Hiester and Ashton Chase turned the deficit into a 36-30 lead.
After a brief pause, during which Jennings County’s Madi Skinner dropped in two of her four 3-pointers to cut the Owls’ advantage to 38-36, Seymour assembled another run to build a 48-39 lead.
The second Seymour scoring run was highlighted by a buzzer-beating 3-pointer by Grace Meyer to end the third quarter and a productive 30-second stretch by Grace Schrader that included a free throw, a blocked shot and a layup.
With Jennings on the ropes, the Owls used good-enough free-throw shooting by Megan Ritz, Makenna Fee and Hiester to secure the victory.
“We fell down by four early (in the third quarter), but our kids responded,” Longmeier said. “I thought we were hard to guard in the third quarter.”
Hiester and Fee led Seymour with 18 points each, countering a 26-point night by Jennings County’s Skinner. Chase finished with eight points, including two 3s during the Owls’ decisive third quarter.
The second-half play of Chase, Fee and Ritz caught the attention of their coach.
“That’s what we need from our seniors,” Longmeier said. “They came through when the game got tight.”
Paired with last Thursday’s overtime win over Brownstown Central, Seymour has won back-to-back games and moved back over the .500 mark. The Owls now stand at 1-1 in the conference and 5-4 overall.
“We’re getting there,” Longmeier said. “Right now, we’ve got to take care of the ball, because we’ve got some scorers. (Tuesday’s) 12 turnovers is still way too many, but it’s better than what we’ve been doing.”