Owls knock off Olympians


COLUMBUS — A strong defensive performance paired with a 15-4 offensive run in the second quarter carried Seymour’s boys basketball team to a 52-42 victory over Columbus East on Saturday night.

The Owls (7-4) limited East to 11 first-half points and just 20 over the game’s first three quarters.

Seymour’s offense found traction in the second period by scoring the quarter’s first eight points and ending on a buzzer-beating 3-pointer by Andrew Levine to build a 22-11 lead at the intermission.

The Owls grew their lead to 41-24 early in the fourth quarter before East made a late run to narrow the score to its final 10-point spread.

“We defended very well tonight,” Seymour head coach Kirk Manns said. “We gave up 22 points in (the fourth quarter), but give East credit, they made some tough shots. But up until that point, we were in control the whole game, and I thought we did a really nice job.”

Three Owls finished in double figures, led by Landon Fritsch, who scored 13 points. Eli Meyer followed with 12, while Marcus Brooks added 11. Levine ended with eight points.

Fritsch’s performance was especially welcome for Seymour. The junior enjoyed his best game since scoring a season-high 25 in a Dec. 21 loss to Whiteland.

“The first one (3-pointer) felt great,” Fritsch said. “It felt like my shot selection was a lot better tonight. We were moving the ball, and when it came back to me, I was able to hit the shots that were open.”

Manns said he liked what he saw from his shooting guard.

“Landon played with purpose tonight,” Manns said. “He got into a good rhythm and hit open shots. He didn’t force things. If he continues to play under control like that, he’ll be fine.”

Seymour enjoyed a size advantage against East, which was reflected in the Owls’ comfortable 27-17 rebounding margin. Brooks led with nine boards, followed by Levine’s six.

Coupled with its 10-point win over Columbus North in November, Saturday’s win gave Seymour its first sweep of the Columbus schools since the 2005-06 season. The last time the Owls beat North and East in the same season by double digits was during the 1996-97 season.

Saturday’s victory also boosted Seymour’s Hoosier Hills Conference record to 3-1, good for second place in the current standings. The Owls’ two remaining HHC games will be played in the next two weeks when they travel to Bedford North Lawrence on Friday and host Floyd Central on Jan. 28.

“If we can continue to guard, make things difficult for our opponents, rebound at a good level and continue to get better offensive execution, those games are winnable,” Manns said.

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