Owls enjoy HHC victory over East

COLUMBUS

Seymour looked like it was on its way to coasting to a Hoosier Hills Conference boys basketball victory Saturday night at Columbus East.

The Olympians came charging back.

East was down 22-2 in the second quarter and inched its way back in the game with less than a minute left, but the Owls did just enough by hitting their free throws down the stretch for a 58-51 win.

“We had such a good start offensively,” Seymour coach Kirk Manns said. “You have to be able to play with a lead and learn how to play with a lead. When it is easy like that, we started shooting a little too quick on the offensive end and let up a bit on the defensive end to let Columbus East crawl back into it.”

The Olympians (3-10, 0-2) came back to cut the lead to 52-49 with 41.2 seconds remaining. A turnover by the Owls turned into a Daniel Murphy basket underneath to make it 52-51 with about 30 seconds left.

Murphy was unable to connect on two free throws, and a Jayden Brown basket underneath in transition sealed the win for Seymour.

The Owls (5-7, 2-2) established good patience to find the right shot to start the game, and that led to them getting off to a 9-0 start that forced an early East timeout. It didn’t help much for the Olympians when they couldn’t buy a basket, and Seymour took advantage to jump out to a 17-2 lead after one.

Seymour extended the lead to 22-2 following a Casey Regruth 3-pointer. East got a quick spurt with two Tyler Boyer free throws and a triple from Jacob Pierce to force Seymour to call timeout, but the Owls still possessed a 22-7 lead. The Olympians ended the first half on an 8-2 run, but Seymour still led 24-15.

The Owls held on to a 33-21 lead midway through the third quarter, but then East finished out the quarter on a 6-0 run that was capped off with a 3-pointer from Crase Bergman at the buzzer to cut the deficit to 33-27 heading into the fourth.

The Olympians came within 35-31 early in the fourth, but then Eric McCoy drained a 3-pointer to widen the margin for Seymour, setting up the final ending sequence.

Boyer finished with a game-high 21 points ,and Bergman added 12 to lead East. Eric McCoy had a team-high 16 points and Regruth added 13 for the Owls.

“It’s a good Hoosier Hills Conference win,” Manns said. “You enjoy those a little more. We’ll get back to practice and try to correct some of the things we didn’t do well. There were plenty of those down the stretch. Our focus was what we did down the stretch, making 10 of 12 free throws in the fourth quarter to close it out.”