Two of the things coach Jason Longmeier will have his Seymour girls basketball team work on in practice this week are shooting and ball-handling.
The Owls had too many turnovers (21) and didn’t make enough field goals (11) during Saturday night’s season opener against Salem in the Lloyd E. Scott Gymnasium, and the result was a 45-31 loss to the Lions.
“I thought the effort was there,” Longmeier said. “I don’t think it was indicative of what the final score was. It was not a 14-point game. We didn’t make some shots, and we turned the ball over a few too many times.
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“The good thing tonight, our turnovers didn’t lead to points for them like they did last year. Last year, they had 34 points off turnovers. This year, I think we had them at nine. Turnovers didn’t hurt us a whole lot. They just happened at inopportune times.”
Seymour held a 22-20 lead at halftime and trailed 29-27 following a layup by Grace Schrader with five minutes remaining in the third period.
The Lions extended their lead to 35-27 before Grace Meyer made two free throws for Seymour with 2:14 remaining in the period, but neither team scored again in the quarter.
Salem scored the first five points of the fourth quarter to extend its lead to 40-29 before Meyer scored on a power move to the basket for Seymour’s only points of the final quarter.
Seymour shot 3-for-15 from the floor in the second half and was 11-for-30 for the game, including 3-for-16 from 3-point range.
“I thought early on, they got us on the boards (5-2 in the first period),” Longmeier said. “We made some adjustments there, and I thought we battled our way back from the rebounding standpoint, and I don’t think they ended up outrebounding us by a whole bunch.”
Salem held a 17-16 advantage on the boards. Schrader topped the Owls with six rebounds to go along with nine points, and Meyer had 15 points and four rebounds.
Salem had three starters back from last year’s team that finished state runner-up in Class 3A.
Karly Sweeney topped the Lions with 14 points, and Natalie Noel added 11 to go along with five rebounds.
“At the end, it came down to when two teams were playing hard, to making shots, and I thought in the fourth quarter, their experience showed up, and they really made some shots,” Longmeier said. “I thought Grace and Grace battled the whole night down in there, and I think we could have gotten to the free throw line a few more times. We’ve just got to be stronger with our finish.”
Only three starters scored for Seymour, and the three reserves who played combined for only three points.
“You’re not winning in our schedule with three kids scoring,” Longmeier said. “Kendall (Sterling) is a freshman (guard), and she found out really quick the speed of the game and she’s going to learn from it, and I think every game, she is just going to get better.”
Longmeier said balanced scoring and reducing turnovers are the two things they really have to fix.
“We talked about being tough for 32 minutes,” he said. “I thought there were a couple stretches where we weren’t very tough and the game kind of got away from us.”
The Owls will host Silver Creek Friday night.
“Our kids just got to play,” he said. “We’ve got to have a good week of practice and get our legs back under us these next couple of days and be ready to go.”
Seymour (0-1) — Grace Schrader 3 2-2 9, Grace Meyer 5 3-3 15, Kendall Sterling 2 0-0 4, Kendrick Sterling 1 0-0 2, Brooke Trinkle 0 1-2 1, Jamya Miller 0 0-0 0, Alyssa Perry 0 0-0 0, Eliza Cash 0 0-0 0, totals 11 6-7 31
Salem (1-0) — Callie Berkherms 1 0-1 2, Natalie Noel 3 3-4 11, Abigail Ratts 3 1-2 7, Karly Sweeney 5 3-4 14, Bailey Hypps 1 3-4 6, Sidney Brown 0 1-2 1, Olivia Weber 2 0-2 4, totals 15 11-20 45
3-point goals: Seymour (Meyer 2, Schrader), Salem (Noel 2, Sweeney, Hypps)
Rebounds: Seymour 16 (Schrader 6, Meyer 4), Salem 17 (Noel 5, Sweeney 40
Turnovers: Seymour 21, Salem 10
Fouls: Seymour 16, Salem 15
Salem 45, Seymour 25
Seymour (0-1) — Journee Brown 11, Jaidyn Nichols 5, Claire Marshall 4, Sami Foster 3, Sydney Montgomery 2