Owls, Braves compete in offseason action at Seymour Shootout


With under 10 seconds to go trailing by one, Seymour’s Kendall Sterling had the ball above the 3-point line against Mount Vernon.

Sterling found Journee Brown under the basket. Brown missed the shot, but Greer Henry grabbed the offensive rebound and kicked it out to Brooke Trinkle, who had to hoist up a 3-pointer to beat the buzzer. Trinkle drained it, and Seymour beat Mount Vernon 45-43 at the last second.

That was one example of all of the competitive, beneficial games taking place at Seymour High School on Wednesday for the Seymour Shootout.

The event had 11 teams come out for it — Seymour, Brownstown Central, Mt. Vernon Fortville, Columbus East, Jennings County, Charlestown, Lanesville, New Albany, Bloomington South, Silver Creek and Bloomington North.

Each team got to play three games in the main gym or the auxiliary gym. JV schools from Seymour, Brownstown, Jennings County, Columbus East, Mt. Vernon Fortville, Silver Creek and Charlestown got to play games at the Seymour Middle School, as well.

“I think it’s why we started doing it when I took this job 10 years ago. It allows you to stay home and get some quality games,” Seymour head coach Jason Longmeier said. “It’s to showcase this facility that we have, and we got 11 varsity teams in here, and they’re all pretty solid teams.”

Seymour’s thrilling win over Mt. Vernon, who is coached by former Seymour great Julie VonDielingen, was the Owls’ most stressful game of the afternoon.

Seymour beat Lanesville 42-23 and Bloomington North 49-36.

“I feel good about,” Longmeier said. “Julie has done a great job with that program and will continue to do so. To play against a physical team like that and come out with a win, find a way to win, even though it’s a summer game, I think it goes a long way at this point.”

Kendall Sterling, Seymour’s leading scorer from last season, looked to be much more aggressive throughout Wednesday’s competition.

It’s an area of her game that she wanted to grow in.

“I feel like I’ve definitely been more aggressive and not as passive,” Sterling said. “I’ve done a pretty good job, and that’s what my team wants me to do.”

Longmeier has noticed it, too.

“I think (her game) is 10 times better than what it was last year,” he said. “We’re opening the floor up a little bit more now than we did last year. That’s a big part of what we feel like we have to do with who we have. I’m a spread guy and a lot of dribble drive stuff, and so we’re getting back to that, which benefits Kendall.”

Sterling plays AAU ball in Kentucky, and they’ve played three tournaments so far and have the month of June off but will ramp back up in July.

As for the Seymour team, the Owls will be competing in a DI camp next week in Fort Wayne. Trinity Lutheran’s girls team also will be there.

Like Seymour’s game against Mt. Vernon, Brownstown also had a close game.

In the Braves’ second game against Lanesville, it was a back-and-forth battle down the stretch where both teams got to work on late-game strategy. Lanesville came out on top 36-33.

Brownstown defeated New Albany earlier in the day and then lost its third game against Bloomington South.

“It allows us to see some things we definitely have to work on,” head coach Brandon Allman said. “We have several freshmen, a bunch of sophomores that haven’t played a whole lot of varsity, so it allows me to see them in live action, and again, just see things we need to work on.”

Allman used the example of in the game against Lanesville, the Braves saw a lot of zone, which is something they haven’t focused on early in the summer.

“I think our girls have competed their tail ends off,” Allman said. “I’ll take the blame for the game against Lanesville. We led most the game, but they’ve competed and moved the basketball. We just haven’t shot the ball well, but a lot of that is getting our legs under us and getting more reps up.”

One Brave who has seen her shot go in more, especially from the outside, is Kalee Borden.

Borden’s offensive production saw a major uptick in Brownstown’s regional run last year in the postseason, and she has continued to work on that part of her game this summer.

“This spring, we had open gyms a lot, so I just made sure I got shots up, finished around the rim, just all the stuff I feel like I have to work on for this year,” Borden said. “Pull more weight because we’re losing tough seniors that had big roles, so trying to fill those spots.”

At Brownstown’s end-of-year banquet from last season, Allman challenged players to work as hard as Borden and Maddy Hackman, who will be the Braves’ leaders this season.

Borden has embraced that responsibility so far this offseason.

“I think it’s always trying to be that leader,” she said. “I think some of the underclassmen have stepped into their roles. I think they’ve all responded really well to that.”

Borden also plays volleyball in the fall, so she’s balancing both sports right now. She plays Monday night leagues for volleyball and practices two days a week. Then for basketball, she practices two days a week and league play on Tuesday nights.

“It’s hard, but I think it’s good for you,” she said. “For an athlete, being in the gym all the time is good for you, just always getting reps and staying in shape.”

One of Allman’s beliefs is that players are made in the summer and teams are made in the winter. He feels Brownstown is doing a good job in that area so far.

“We focus on our individual improvement,” Allman said. “I think from the spring and early summer, our skill across the board has gotten better at every position. I think every girl that has worked on it this spring and summer has gotten better, and we’re going to continue that. If you can put five girls on the floor that can score the basketball, you’re going to be pretty successful. We’re not there yet, but I think we’re getting close.”

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