Bedford North Lawrence put on a masterful performance on both ends of the floor Friday night, dismantling Seymour’s boys basketball team by a deceptively close final score of 44-36.
On the defensive end, the Stars (6-6) never allowed Seymour (6-7) to get the ball inside and take advantage of its height around the basket. Offensively, Bedford picked the Owls apart, alternately scoring inside and outside.
“They did a good job controlling the tempo and frustrating us tonight,” Seymour head coach Kirk Manns said. “They were happy to hold the ball for 45 or 50 seconds. I’m glad we get to play tomorrow (versus Scottsburg). Tonight left a bad taste. This isn’t the way we wanted the weekend to go.”
Seymour opened the night cold, scoring just three points in the game’s first 12 minutes. The Owls managed just five shots in the first quarter and didn’t take their first shot of the second period until the 3:47 mark when Eli Meyer scored on a turnaround in the lane.
A week ago, in a promising win over Columbus East, the Owls scored a season-high 65 points and enjoyed a combined 47 points from their three forwards. Against Bedford, however, only Meyer was active on the offensive end, scoring 13 of the Owls’ 17 front-court points.
Bedford, on the other hand, scored 24 points around the basket and was led by sophomore Colten Leach, who finished with a game-high 16 points.
BNL’s Ben Cosner added three 3-pointers to give the Stars an inside-outside balance that forced the Owls’ defense to essentially pick its poison.
“We got spread out defensively, which allowed their penetration,” Manns said.
Seymour scored nine points in the first half, just one more than its season low for a half (eight points in the first half vs. Bloomington South). At the end of the third quarter, the Owls had just 16 points on the scoreboard.
If there was a bright spot for Seymour, however, it came in the fourth quarter when the team scored 20 points and reduced a 15-point Bedford lead to eight during the game’s final four minutes.
“We want to be a basketball program that never quits, ever,” Manns said of his team’s late thrust. “We played with better energy in the fourth quarter.”
The shooting of Landon Fritsch was especially helpful. The sophomore hit four 3-pointers and led the Owls with 14 points, his best scoring effort since early December (20 points vs. Franklin).
Fritsch’s four 3s single-handedly gave Seymour its best 3-point shooting night of the season. Prior to Friday night, the most 3-pointers the Owls recorded in a single game was three (twice, against Charlestown and Bloomington South).
“We have to continue to get better,” Manns said, simply. “We have to continue to practice and learn how to execute better offensively.”
Friday’s result continued a dreary pattern in the Seymour-BNL series. The Owls have defeated BNL just once since 2007 (68-65, in 2017).
Bedford North Lawrence 44, Seymour 36
Bedford North Lawrence;9;8;12;15;—;44
Bedford North Lawrence (6-6): Colten Leach 7 2-2 16, Ben Cosner 4 0-0 11, Kooper Staley 2 3-3 8, Aden Pemberton 2 1-2 5, Colton Staggs 1 2-2 4, Jackson Miracle 0 0-0 0, Kaedyn Bennett 0 0-0 0, Dylan Nikirk 0 0-0 0, Josh Blunk 0 0-3 0, Austin Messmore 0 0-0 0. Totals:16 8-12 44.
Seymour (6-7): Landon Fritsch 4 2-2 14, Eli Meyer 6 1-2 13, Andrew Levine 1 1-2 3, Marcus Brooks 1 0-0 2, Casey Regruth 1 0-0 2, Bret Perry 1 0-0 2, Charlie Longmeier 0 0-0 0, Dylan Fields 0 0-0 0. Totals: 14 4-6 36.
3-point goals: Bedford North Lawrence 4 (Cosner 3, Staley), Seymour 4 (Fritsch 4)
Rebounds: Bedford North Lawrence 21 (Leach 4, Miracle 4), Seymour 17 (Meyer 4, Levine 4)
Turnovers: Bedford North Lawrence 11, Seymour 10
Fouls: Bedford North Lawrence 11, Seymour 12
Bedford North Lawrence 46, Seymour 13
Seymour: Luke Coomler 9, Jack VonDielingen 2, Cory Robinson 2