Freshman Fritsch steals the show on senior night



The friendly confines of Lloyd E. Scott Gymnasium have treated the Seymour boys basketball team well during the month of February.

Though the Owls haven’t been home much during the shortest month of the year, they’ve defended their home court well with close wins over Madison and South Ripley.

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On Friday night, against a struggling Austin side, the Owls were paced by freshman Landon Fritsch, who scored 21 en route to a 43-41 overtime win to send his senior teammates out on the right foot in their final regular season home game at LSG.

Points were at a premium with neither team finding much success on the offensive end in the early goings.

Starts to both halves saw scoring droughts of four minutes or more — both broken by Austin senior Trey Hargrave — before the teams finally found their shot.

The visiting Eagles held down the early advantage and kept the Owls playing catch up for most of the night.

That was until Fritsch drilled his then third 3-pointer of the game with two minutes to go in the third stanza giving the Owls the lead for the first time at 23-20.

“We had a really good feeling about Landon,” Owls assistant coach Steve Bush said. “He got it going a little bit tonight and people need to know and understand that he’s a freshman, and we play against some pretty big men in our 4A schedule.

“When we get a chance to play against some schools that don’t have that size and strength, Landon can see a little bit more and play more freely.”

He wasn’t done hitting big shots for the Owls, hitting another to start the fourth to try and make sure the Owls held onto their advantage for good. It also helped spark his teammates as senior Eric McCoy hit his first bucket of the game — a 3-pointer — to finally get into the scorer’s book.

“We came out firing from that first possession of the second half,” Bush said. “Our kids started playing a little better and we got into a rhythm.”

However, the Eagles wouldn’t go away and kept chipping away at the Owls’ lead, mostly from the free-throw line, to eventually tie it at 34 and force overtime.

Like he had all game long, Fritsch knocked down another 3-pointer to open up the extra period, and the teams traded blows until Casey Regruth knocked down a mid-range jumper with 2.8 seconds to go to secure the senior night victory.

Fritsch, Regruth and McCoy were three parts of the preferred lineup for the Owls in the second half. The trio, along Andrew Levine and Drew Vehslage played just about the entire fourth quarter until head coach Kirk Manns subbed players in and out for offense and defense.

Though Fritsch was the principal scorer for the Owls, they were also paced by Regruth’s eight, McCoy and Veshalge’s six, and Brooks’ two.

In junior varsity action, the Owls hung on for a 49-42 victory over the Eagles.

Coltin Wetzel led a trio of Owls that scored in double figures with 14 points. Dylan Fields added 12 and Brandon Kleber scored 10. Eli Meyer chipped in six, Donovyn Thomas netted three, and both Charlie Longmeier and Will Cottrill posted two to round out the Seymour scoring.

The Owls get back to action on Tuesday on the road against Columbus North at 7:30 p.m. Seymour will find out their sectional fate on Sunday at 3 p.m. during the IHSAA State Tournament draw.

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