Owls defeat Cougars for the first time in 30 years


When Seymour’s Ethan Silcox secured a hard-fought 43-40 overtime victory on Saturday night by grabbing the rebound from a missed desperation 3-pointer by Bloomington North’s Connor O’Guinn, the excitement level surrounding the Owls’ boys basketball team clicked up a notch.

Now 9-3 on the season, the current Seymour team is the first to win nine of its first 12 games since Scott Miller’s 2005-06 squad, which ended that season with a 15-7 record.

Nearly as impressive, Saturday’s win is Seymour’s first over Bloomington North in 30 years. The Cougars (4-8) entered the game with a 12-game win streak over the Owls, who last beat North in February 1994.

“Our guys fought hard tonight,” Seymour head coach Kirk Manns said. “We grinded it out. It’s a double weekend. On Saturday night, the second half can get tough. You get physically fatigued and mentally fatigued. I’m proud of our guys for grinding. What they did tonight isn’t easy.”

Bloomington North’s starting lineup, all 6-foot-2 or taller with a front line consisting of two 6-5 forwards and a 6-7 center, towered over Seymour’s relatively diminutive side. Among the Owls’ starting five, only Brooks (6-2) and Jaylan Johnson (6-3) are over 6 feet.

Despite the disparity, the Owls won the rebounding battle (25-23), controlled the game’s first three quarters and generally enjoyed comfortable leads.

A late third-quarter jumper by Silcox gave Seymour a 29-17 lead. After a brief North flourish, a Michael Brooks layup gave the Owls a 33-22 advantage early in the fourth quarter.

Free throw issues, however, crept in for Seymour.

Instead of extending their 11-point lead, the Owls missed four consecutive foul shots early in the fourth period, aiding a remarkable one-man comeback effort by North’s Luke Lindeman.

A 6-foot-5 junior, Lindeman scored 21 second-half points, including 15 straight, to bring the Cougars to within a point of Seymour at 33-32 with 3:34 left in the game. He ended with game highs in both points (23) and rebounds (12).

The Owls entered the contest shooting 78% from the line but struggled on Saturday. They missed 12 of 18 foul shots in the second half and ended the game shooting just 42% overall from the line (11 for 26).

But missed free throws were a story line that cut both ways, and Bloomington North couldn’t avoid its own foul line trouble at a crucial moment.

The Cougars had a chance to win when sophomore Jalen Williams stepped to the line with 1.7 seconds left and the game tied at 36. Both of Williams’ attempts bounced off the rim, however, sending the game into extra time and giving Seymour a second chance.

A jumper by Brady Harpe bumped Seymour in front 39-38 with 2:30 left in overtime. The Owls then eked out 4-for-8 foul shooting by Johnson, Brooks and Harpe during the remaining time to withstand the Cougars.

“We had been shooting a high percentage and making foul shots to close out games all year long,” Manns said. “But tonight was one of those nights. The odds caught up to us a little bit. Sometimes, you have to overcome that, and we were able to do that.”

Johnson had the longest night on the foul line, making 6 of 18 free throw attempts. Despite his struggles, the junior finished with a team-high 12 points.

“I was in my own head, but I’ll get it figured out,” Johnson said of his foul shooting.

Harpe matched Johnson with 12 points. Brooks ended with 10 points and five rebounds. Silcox also grabbed five rebounds while scoring seven points.

Johnson and Harpe credited the Owls’ team chemistry for helping to lock down Saturday’s win.

“Togetherness is probably the thing that won us this game,” Johnson said. “This is the most chemistry that a team has had in a long time. We’ve all grown up playing together. I think all of those years are finally showing off.”

Harpe added, “We’re just really together. That’s what coach drives for every day. It’s one of our goals every game on the game plan. That togetherness helped us keep our composure.”

With 10 games remaining on the schedule, the Owls are looking to accomplish goals such as exceeding the 15 wins generated by the 2021-22 team, battling for the Hoosier Hills Conference title (Seymour is currently in second place) and, yes, winning a sectional for the first time since 1992.

“We’ll see what the ceiling is,” Manns said. “Let’s see how much better we can get in the next month and a half. Our guys understand that they’re a lot better together than they are individually. We have to keep that mindset going. ”

Johnson said the players are bought in, and winning seven of their last eight games is fueling a can-do attitude.

“Confidence and motivation,” Johnson said of the effect felt by the Owls’ recent wins. “Every day in practice motivates us to work hard and get better. Our end goal is to win the sectional, which I think we have a really good shot at.”

Seymour 43, Bloomington North 40, OT

Bl. North;8;6;8;14;4;—;40


Bloomington North (4-8): Luke Lindeman 7 9-10 23, Connor O’Guinn 2 0-0 4, J.R. Cross 2 0-0 4, Christopher Vaughns 2 0-0 4, Jalen Williams 1 1-4 3, Nehemiah Dangerfield 1 0-0 2, Evan Cheng 0 0-0 0, Caleb Fishel 0 0-0 0, Rex Speer 0 0-0 0, Totals 15 10-14 40.

Seymour (9-3): Brady Harpe 4 3-4 12, Jaylan Johnson 3 6-18 12, Michael Brooks 4 2-2 10, Ethan Silcox 3 0-0 7, Bret Perry 1 0-2 2, Parker Thompson 0 0-0 0, Evan Unterseher 0 0-0 0, Totals 15 11-26 43.

3-point goals: Seymour 2 (Harpe, Silcox).

Rebounds: North 22 (Lindeman 12), Seymour 25 (Brooks 5, Silcox 5, Johnson 3, Harpe 3, Thompson 3, Perry 2, Unterseher 1, Team 3).

Turnovers: North 16, Seymour 12.

Fouls: North 22, Seymour 15.

Junior varsity

Seymour 42, Bloomington North 24

Seymour (3-8): Jack Broughton 13, Nate Fritsch 11, Traysean Hawkins 7, Nolan Bartels 5, Jake Dowell 2, Charlie Rockey 2, Max Coates 2.


Bloomington North 37, Seymour 35, OT

Seymour (6-6): Carter Stein 21, Gage Hillian 10, Jackson Fox 3, Braylon Busby 1.

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