New Albany showed it remains achingly out of reach for Seymour’s boys basketball team on Tuesday night.
For the third time in the last four seasons, the Owls played well enough to win against the Bull Dogs, but couldn’t quite seal the deal in a 49-41 defeat.
Seymour (1-7) led by two with two minutes left in the third quarter when New Albany asserted itself. The Bull Dogs (7-1) were perfect from the field in the fourth quarter and made 17 of 22 foul shots down the stretch to claim the win.
“The game played out the way we thought it would,” Seymour head coach Kirk Manns said. “It was a close game that could have gone either way. Both teams play hard on defense. It came down to they made some shots and we didn’t.”
The result was an exasperating reminder of the Owls’ tantalizingly close overtime losses to New Albany in 2019 and 2020. Seymour has not beaten the Bull Dogs since 2005, a string of 24 straight losses.
On Tuesday, an 8-0 run to start the second half allowed the Owls to take a 26-24 lead with 2:30 to go in the third period. But a spate of Seymour fouls put New Albany in the bonus for most of the second half and the Bull Dogs took advantage.
Led by senior Josten Carter, New Albany made nine of its first 10 foul shots of the second half, which fueled an 8-0 run that regained the advantage for the Bull Dogs.
Carter made seven of his eight free throws and ended with a game-high 13 points.
Perhaps more importantly, Carter used his long 6-foot-4 frame to frustrate Seymour’s best scorer, Landon Fritsch, throughout the contest.
A double-digit scorer, Fritsch managed to take just five shots and ended with five points against Carter.
Senior point guard Charlie Longmeier picked up some of the slack for the Owls, draining three 3-pointers and scoring a team-high 11 points.
“Charlie really stepped up for us,” Manns said. “When he hits outside shots, it spreads out the defense for us. Hopefully that will boost his confidence going forward.”
Jaylan Johnson ended with 10 points in the lane, while Eli Meyer added eight. Bret Perry scored seven.
Longmeier’s third 3 from the right baseline cut New Albany’s lead to 33-31 with seven minutes left in the fourth quarter, giving the Owls momentum and hope.
The Bull Dogs, however, maintained distance on Seymour throughout the final minutes. Carter hit a driving jumper in the lane and Jordan Treat made two foul shots to restore a six-point lead.
After two free throws by Meyer closed the gap to two points with 4:41 to go, the Owls never got closer than four points the rest of the way.
“(New Albany) did a good job of spreading us out and forcing us to foul and play from behind,” Manns said.
Despite the defeat, Manns remained encouraged by his team’s effort.
“We’ve been playing with a ton of energy,” he said. “We’ve got to do a better job of putting the ball in the basket, but that will come. Our best basketball is still ahead of us, there’s no doubt about it. We’ve just got to keep believing.”
New Albany 49, Seymour 41
New Albany (7-1);7;15;8;19;—;49
New Albany: Josten Carter 3 7-8 13, Jeremy Rose 3 4-6 11, Jordan Treat 1 4-4 7, Chase Loesch 3 1-2 7, Tommy Devine 2 0-0 6, Chris Lampkins 1 1-2 3, Rylan Schrink 1 0-0 2, Kenny Watson 0 0-0 0, Totals 14 17-22 49.
Seymour: Charlie Longmeier 4 0-0 11, Jaylan Johnson 4 2-3 10, Eli Meyer 2 4-4 8, Bret Perry 2 3-3 7, Landon Fritsch 2 0-0 5, Ethan Silcon 0 0-0 0, Josh Rennekamp 0 0-0 0, Cory Robinson 0 0-0 0, Evan Smith 0 0-0 0, Totals 14 9-10 41.
3-point goals: New Albany 4 (Devine 2, Rose, Treat), Seymour 4 (Longmeier 3, Fritsch).
Rebounds: New Albany 18 (Loesch 9), Seymour 19 (Johnson 5).
Turnovers: New Albany 7, Seymour 8.
Fouls: New Albany 15, Seymour 19.
Seymour 39, New Albany 37
Seymour (4-4): Michael Brooks 13, AJ Harrell 9, Ross Pumphrey 6, Parker Thompson 5, Aden Kruse 2, Brady Harpe 2, Ty Tormoehlen 2.
Seymour 49, New Albany 20
Seymour (7-2): Nate Fritsch 12, Mack Longmeier 11, Nolan Bartels 11, Tyson Hillian 7, Evan Unterseher 4, Traysean Hawkins 2, Brandon Martinez 2.