Jason Longmeier said Juliann Woodard is one of the best junior basketball players in the state and Tuesday night she showed the fans in the Lloyd E. Scott Gymnasium why the Seymour coach has a high opinion of her.
The 6-foot junior scored 23 points and grabbed 17 rebounds to lead the Panthers to a 48-28 Hoosier Hills Conference win.
“This is a very good basketball team that we played (Tuesday) night, with arguably the best junior in the state of Indiana, one of the best players in the state all together,” the Seymour coach said.
Woodard didn’t wait long to show her talent as she hit a 3-pointer on one of the Panthers’ first possessions of the game, and she followed it up with a 3-point play and another basket from close range for eight points in the first period. She also had six rebounds during that time.
The Owls (7-1) missed their first four shots and suffered two turnovers early in falling behind 6-0. Elizabeth Kirby finally put the Owls on the scoreboard with a layup at 3:32. Kirby added another layup and Journee Brown scored on a move to the basket for an 8-6 game heading into the second period.
After Greer Henry made a free throw at the beginning of the second period for an 8-7 score, the Panthers went on a 6-0 run to lead 14-7 before Lainey Jackson scored for the Owls at the 1:36 mark.
Kirby scored her third basket with 14 seconds remaining in the half for a 16-11 score before Mollie Ernstes put up a half-court shot at the buzzer to give the Panthers the momentum and a 19-11 lead at the half.
The Panthers scored the first four points of the third period and led 34-18 going into the final period. Jennings scored the first five points of the fourth period.
Kendall Sterling made two free throws and followed with a 3-pointer to spark the Owls in the third period, while Jaidyn Nichols hit two 3-pointers in the final quarter.
Nichols, Brown and Kirby topped the Owls with six points each and Sterling topped her team in rebounds with six. Seymour was without starting guard Brooke Trinkle on Tuesday, who missed the game with the flu.
Longmeier said this game began a busy week for his team as they travel to Bedford North Lawrence Thursday and to Madison Saturday afternoon. BNL is 8-1 and ranked No. 4 in the state.
“This is arguably our toughest stretch throughout the entire season with what is on the line with what these three games bring,” Longmeier said.
The Owls are 0-1 in the HHC and Thursday is another conference contest.
Panthers 48, Owls 28
Jennings County (6-2): Juliann Woodard 9 4-4 23, Manto Vadell 3 1-2 8, Abrey Belding 2 0-0 5, Mollie Ernestes 2 0-0 5, Madelyn McIntosh 2 0-0 4, Alexis Carson 1 0-0 3, Totals 19 5-6 48.
Seymour (7-1): Journee Brown 2 2-2 6, Jaidyn Nichols 2 0-0 6, Elizabeth Kirby 3 0-0 6, Kendall Sterling 1 2-2 5, Greer Henry 1 1-2 3, Lainey Jackson 1 0-0 2, Totals 10 5-6 28.
3-point goals: S 3 (Nichols 2, Sterling) JC 5 (Woodard, Ernstes, Vadell, Belding, Carson).
Rebounds: S (Sterling 6), JC (Woodard 17).
Jennings County 53, Seymour 35
Seymour: Emmy Munson 17, Abby Otte 6, Emmy Followell 4, Kenzie Gagner 3, Claire Skaggs 2, Sophie Skidmore 2, Jada Miller 1.