The things that have hurt the Seymour boys basketball team all year were factors in the opening game of the Class 4A Sectional 15 on Tuesday night in the Lloyd E. Scott Gymnasium.
“It’s the things that have given us problems all year,” Owls coach Tyler Phillips said following a 70-44 loss to Jeffersonville.
He was referring to missed shots and turnovers.
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“We get kind of careless with the ball,” Phillips said. “We stand and watch when a teammate gets trapped. We expect someone else to go and create the passing lane rather than take it upon ourselves to do it.”
The Owls started out controlling the tempo the way Phillips was hoping, as a layup by Montana Suits at 3:42 put Seymour up 8-6.
Phillips said the Owls missed several shots from close range, and some of those came during the next nine minutes when the Red Devils went on a 20-0 run to take control of the game at 26-8 with 2:35 left in the half.
The Owls shot 0-for-7 and had five turnovers during their dry spell before Jack Roberts finally made a layup at 1:40 of the second quarter. Roberts scored Seymour’s only other basket of the period with 1:05 on the clock.
Seymour shot 6-for-17 and had 12 turnovers in the first half.
The Red Devils held a 29-12 lead at the half and quickly increased their lead to 33-12 in the first minute of the third period before Roberts scored for the Owls at the 6:40 mark.
Jeff was leading 41-15 when the Seymour offense picked up. Eric McCoy scored twice within 25 seconds and later added a 3-pointer, and Roberts scored in the closing seconds.
“We came out with the mentality that the way you beat a puncher, you punch back. You hope you land that one haymaker and it knocks them out, “ Phillips said.
“We weren’t going to come out and stall (in the third period). We weren’t going to come out and hold the ball,” he said. “We were going to patient but assertive, which we talked about. If we make half the shots we missed, it’s probably a 10-point game, and that’s right where we wanted to be.”
The Red Devils went to their perimeter game in the third quarter by hitting six 3-pointers, including three by Caleb Mason, to outscore the Owls 25-15 to lead 54-27 going into the fourth period.
McCoy and Roberts each had two field goals in the fourth quarter.
McCoy topped the Owls (3-20) in scoring with 16 points, and Roberts added 14 to go along with a team-high six rebounds.
Tre Coleman topped Jeff (17-5) with 16 points, Caleb Mason scored 12 and Jordan Starks added 11.
“I don’t know how many shots we missed in the paint, but it was too many,” Phillips said. “Those kinds of things have plagued us all year, and tonight was no different. The kids played hard and they executed the game plan, but at the end of the day, we missed shots, and we gave them too many extra opportunities.”
The Owls shot 20-for-42 for the game and had 17 turnovers. The Red Devils shot 25-for-59 and had 11 turnovers for the night.
“We as coaches said we had to play near perfect to give ourselves a chance,” Phillips said. “We knew we were going to have some turnovers. They’re just too athletic, too long and too aggressive, so you’re not going to play a perfect game from that standpoint. We could have shot the ball better. At the end of the day, it came down to missed shots.”
Jeffersonville will face Bedford North Lawrence at 6 p.m. Friday.
“Based on history, I think a lot of people are talking about New Albany (with five-straight sectional titles), and Floyd Central has had a real nice year, but anybody that is sleeping on Jeff in this sectional is crazy,” Phillips said. “They’ve got every piece they need to win this sectional.”