Owls win nail-biter over Hoosier Hills rival Madison


Eric McCoy made four free throws in the final 21 seconds to give Seymour a 55-53 win over Madison in Hoosier Hills Conference action Thursday night in the Lloyd E. Scott Gymnasium.

A layup by Andrew Levine with 28 seconds put the Owls on top 51-48 before Nick Center made two free throws for the Cubs with two seconds remaining.

McCoy’s free throws boosted the Owls’ lead to 55-50 before Center hit a 3-pointer for the Cubs with one second remaining.

McCoy led all players with a career-high 30 points, including six 3-pointers.

Seymour finished shooting 20-for-35, with McCoy going 9-for-14.

The Owls had one of their best opening quarters of the season, leading 15-8.

The Owls shot 7-for-10 from the field as they took a 4-0 lead on baskets by Marcus Brooks and McCoy.

After the Cubs scored their first basket, the Owls came back with six straight points, and Drew Vehslage’s layup put the Owls on top 10-2.

Seymour coach Kirk Manns was expecting a high-scoring game.

“Madison is an up-tempo team and push the ball,” he said. “They push it off a rebound, and they push it off a make.”

The Cubs went to their up-tempo style in the second period as Luke Miller drilled three 3-pointers, and Kaden Oliver and Nick Center each had two baskets to spark Madison to a 20-point period and a 28-21 lead at the half.

Montana Suits’ basket at the start of the second period gave the Owls a 17-8 lead. The Cubs scored seven straight points, and after Landon Fritsch scored for the Owls, Madison used a 13-0 run to take a 28-19 lead.

Vehslage finally made two free throws for the Owls with 54 seconds left in the half.

Seymour shot 9-for-17 and Madison was 11-for-21 from the floor in the first half.

He said the Cubs like to pick up full court on defense, so holding down the turnovers would be key.

The Owls had six turnovers in the first half and the Cubs had four and both teams had 11 for the game.

Manns wants his team to continue to improve.

“We’re looking forward to continuing to get better,” he said. “We need to have a good February.

“We need to finish the year not only strong, but we need to finish the year getting better,” he continued. “We’ve had some injuries, we’ve had some setbacks, and some of those have been unfortunate. We hate to see that for the kids, but at the same time that’s athletics and that’s how things go, so it’s an opportunity for some other guys to step up and earn some playing time, and to improve as well.”

Seniors Jayden Brown and Colin Madden missed Thursday’s game because of injuries.

The Owls (3-4 HHC, 6-10) forced the Cubs in two turnovers in their first two possessions of the third quarter, and McCoy scored five points off the turnovers.

Brooks followed up with a basket to tie the game at 28-28 with six minutes left in the third quarter.

The Cubs responded with a string of eight consecutive points to take a 36-28 lead.

McCoy came right back with seven straight points of his own and had 12 points in the period.

Seymour outscored Madison 17-15 in the quarter but trailed 43-38 going into the fourth period.

For the game, Brooks scored nine, Vehslage and Suits had four each, and Aiden Goen, Casey Regruth, Levine, and Fritsch scored two apiece.

Miller and Center topped Madison (1-4 HHC, 10-7) with 17 points apiece.

Seymour won the junior varsity game 65-26. Will Cottrill was high scorer with 12, Coltin Wetzel scored 10, Andrew Levine scored nine, Eli Meyer made eight, Dylan Fields, Charlie Longmeier, and Brandon Kleber made six each, and Donovyn Thomas and Aden Burnside with four each.

The Owls will play at Salem Saturday at 1:30 pm.