Owls battle, but Panthers pull away in sectional semifinal


JEFFERSONVILLE — A control-the-tempo game plan employed by Seymour’s girls basketball team worked to perfection for a half.

Then came the third quarter.

Jennings County turned up the pressure defensively, knocking the Owls out of their comfortable rhythm and freeing up the Panthers’ potent offense.

JC assembled a game-turning 14-0 run midway through the third period and pulled away to a 46-26 victory in the semifinal round of the Class 4A Sectional 15 tournament at Jeffersonville on Monday night.

The loss ended Seymour’s season with an 11-11 record and advanced Jennings (17-6) to today’s sectional final where Bedford North Lawrence awaits.

Bedford (22-2) defeated Floyd Central in Monday’s other semifinal.

To earn a spot in the championship game, Seymour knew it had to find a way to slow a Jennings County offense that scored 70 points on the Owls during the two teams’ regular-season contest in December.

With strong half-court defense and a patient, spread-out offense, the Owls did just that during the first two quarters.

Seymour limited JC to 6-for-15 shooting and went into halftime with the game knotted at 177.

“We felt like we left some things on the floor late in the second quarter, but for the most part, the first half was very well executed, both offensively and defensively,” Seymour head coach Jason Longmeier said.

To change the game’s dynamics, Jennings County adjusted its half-court defense by focusing on Seymour’s guards.

“They turned up the pressure,” Longmeier said. “They started face-guarding Kendall (Sterling) and Brooke (Trinkle), and that forced our younger players to start making decisions. Give credit to Jennings County for making us do that, but that’s good experience for our younger kids in the long run.”

Seymour turned the ball over seven times in the third quarter, which restricted its offensive opportunities. The Owls took just five shots during the period and scored six points.

Jennings, meanwhile, used Seymour’s turnovers to quicken the game’s pace. The Panthers scored 22 third-quarter points and turned a one-point lead into an insurmountable 36-21 advantage after their 14-0 run.

“In the second half, (Jennings County) didn’t do a whole lot differently offensively. They just pushed tempo,” Longmeier said. “They got into their stuff sooner. That got us off balance. We started settling for some shots that led to good opportunities for them. We didn’t have an answer for that.”

Trinkle led Seymour with seven points, followed by Greer Henry’s six. Journee Brown and Kendall Sterling each added four points for the Owls.

Juliann Woodard led Jennings County with game-highs in points (11) and rebounds (seven). Alivia Elmore and Megan Vogel each added eight points, while Lily Ernstes matched Woodard’s seven rebounds.

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