Bull Dogs’ big run too much for Owls to overcome

For The Tribune

Another night, another tough opponent. And unfortunately for Seymour’s boys basketball team, another loss.

On Tuesday night, it was Columbus North’s turn, and the visiting Bull Dogs wasted no time establishing their command of the game.

North (16-6) scored the game’s first 10 points, then used a decisive 20-0 run that bridged the first and second quarters to down Seymour 77-31.

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The loss extended the Owls’ losing streak to 11 straight and dropped their season record to 3-18.

“We knew coming in that (North was) playing well,” Seymour coach Tyler Phillips said. “Their 1-2-2 (defense) gave us problems. We kept picking the ball up in their trap. We’ve got to do a better job avoiding the trap areas.”

Seymour ended the night with 19 turnovers, feeding a Bull Dogs offense that was hitting on all cylinders, especially from 3-point range.

North finished with a season-high 15 3-pointers, including a red-hot 9-for-14 (64 percent) in the first half.

After falling behind 10-0 to start the game, Seymour narrowed the deficit to 13-8 with 2:17 left in the first quarter. That’s when North responded with a 20-0 run that expanded its lead to 33-8 with 3:50 to go in the second quarter.

Five different Bulldogs hit at least two 3-pointers, led by senior Blake King, who drained a season-best six long shots. King finished with a game-high 20 points.

Despite North’s dominant long-range shooting, the night’s most exciting 3-pointer was made by Seymour’s Eric McCoy, who connected from half-court as the buzzer ended the third quarter.

“I told Eric, ‘From now on, if you get trapped in that corner, shoot it,’” Phillips said with a chuckle.

McCoy finished with five points. Jayden Brown led Seymour with seven points, including a four-point play that resulted from a 3-pointer while being fouled and the resulting free throw.

Braden Christopher added five points for the Owls and finished with a team-high four rebounds.

With Tuesday’s loss, Seymour has now dropped 10 straight games to North, with the losses coming by an average of 26.3 points. Last year’s eight-point defeat to the Bull Dogs was the only loss during that stretch to come by less than 10 points.

Demonstrating just how firmly the yearly Seymour-Columbus North rivalry has tilted in North’s favor, in the 10 games during the previous decade (2000 to 2009), the Owls had the upper hand while going 7-3 versus the Bull Dogs.

None of the history matters to the current players and coaches, of course. Phillips and the Owls have two more difficult contests to prepare for, with Silver Creek (18-3) visiting for the season finale Friday and Jeffersonville (15-5) visiting for next Tuesday’s Seymour Sectional opener.

“We’ve got to get better between now and next Tuesday,” Phillips said, simply.