Floyd Central proved it’s still the king of the hill in the Hoosier Hills Conference on Friday night.
The Highlanders (11-2) used a 10-0 first-half run to gain control of the contest, then patiently pulled away from Seymour’s boys basketball team to claim a convincing 60-50 victory.
“They’re a handful,” Seymour head coach Kirk Manns said. “It’s hard to deal with their size, and if their guys are making shots from the perimeter, it makes it even more difficult.”
Four different FC players hit 3-pointers and all eight players who saw the floor scored. Perhaps making life most difficult was the combination of 7-footer Wesley Celichowski and 6-foot-5 forward Caleb Washington.
Celichowski had three blocked shots while Washington led with 13 points and eight rebounds, both team highs.
“They had a lot to do with how we played on both ends of the court,” Manns said. “They made their shots and did what they had to do. But I give our guys a lot of credit. We didn’t lack fight tonight. We had opportunities but didn’t hit enough shots.”
Consecutive 3-pointers by junior Landon Fritsch gave Seymour a 12-10 lead with 1:35 left in the first quarter. That would be the only time the Owls (9-5) would enjoy the advantage.
Floyd Central responded by scoring two layups, a 3-pointer and jumper just before the first-quarter buzzer to turn the two-point deficit into a 20-12 lead. Seymour was forced to chase the Highlanders the rest of the game.
Fritsch found his range on Friday, making five 3-pointers and leading all scorers with 21 points.
Perhaps the most entertaining player of the night was Seymour point guard Charlie Longmeier, who finished with nine points. Four of those points came on drives to the basket in which the 5-foot-8 Longmeier challenged, and scored over, the 7-foot Celichowski.
“Charlie was aggressive and assertive tonight,” Manns said.
Friday’s win further solidifies Floyd Central’s hold on the top spot in the HHC standings. The Highlanders improved to 4-0 in the conference with games vs. Bedford North Lawrence and Columbus East remaining on its schedule.
For Seymour, meanwhile, the loss closed the door on dreams of a first-ever HHC title. The Owls ended their conference schedule with a 4-2 record and a likely second-place finish in the league.
Though their hopes of a title were dashed, the Owls’ four conference wins are noteworthy. Seymour last won four conference games in 2010, when a 4-3 record was good enough for fourth place in the HHC.
The last time the Owls finished as high as second place was in 2006. Seymour’s last conference championship came back in 1994 when it won the South Central conference, ending in a three-way tie atop the standings with Bloomington South and Center Grove.
Seymour will play again tonight at Martinsville.