Coach Jason Longmeier says his Seymour girls basketball team will need to play its best game of the season on Saturday in order to advance to the championship game of the Jeffersonville Sectional.
Seymour defeated New Albany 59-47 Tuesday night to advance to the upper bracket semifinals against Jennings County.
The Owls and the Panthers will play at 6 p.m., and that game will be followed by Bedford North Lawrence (21-2) against Floyd Central (9-13). BNL defeated Jeffersonville 51-42 in the second game Tuesday night.
The Owls lost to the Panthers 70-42 in a Hoosier Hills Conference game at North Vernon on Dec. 7 and are 11-10 while the Panthers are 16-6.
Kendall Sterling scored 15 and Grace Schrader 13 in the earlier game against Jennings.
“They’re a really good basketball team,” Longmeier said of the Panthers. “We have some things that they’re going to have to handle. We can’t let the game be played the way they want it to be played.
“We’ve got to control tempo, and I thought (against New Albany), we were really solid. There were some times where we didn’t have to play at the pace which we played at. I thought at times, we let that game get too fast, so that will be some things that we talk about going in when we play Jennings. We’ve just got to stay focused and ready to go.”
Juliann Woodard, a 6-foot sophomore, leads the Panthers in scoring at 16.4 points per game and is also averaging 12.9 rebounds. Guard Alivia Elmore is averaging 15.3 points per game.
Elmore scored 23, Kali Thompson scored 16 and Woodard netted 11 in the earlier game against the Owls.
Following Tuesday’s win, Schrader said the Owls will need a strong defensive effort.
“We’ve got to be prepared to stop Woodard and not let Thompson beat us,” she said. “We can do it.”
Schrader and Brooke Trinkle both scored 15 and Sterling and Journee Brown both scored 10 against New Albany.
Seymour has one of the youngest teams in the sectional with just one senior, Schrader, in the starting lineup. Trinkle is a junior, Sterling and Brown are sophomores and freshman Greer Henry rounds out the starting five.
Sterling leads the Owls in scoring at 12.6, Trinkle is averaging 11.8 and Schrader is averaging 10.