Owls fall to No. 4 Trojans 53-38


Despite a relentless 27-point effort by center Journee Brown, Seymour’s girls basketball team battled but couldn’t upend No. 4-ranked Center Grove on Friday night.

The Trojans countered Brown’s work around the basket with splendid outside shooting, making 11 of 20 3-point shots and leaving town with a 53-38 win over the Owls.

“We two’d them to death and they three’d us to death,” Seymour head coach Jason Longmeier said. “It was 33-3 from the 3-point line. I kind of feel like the Indiana Hoosiers, getting outscored by 30 points from that spot.”

Center Grove’s Ava Grant hit a 3-pointer just seven seconds after the opening tip, giving her team a lead it never lost. The victory is the Trojans’ 12th straight and improved the team’s season record to 19-1.

“When you look at who they played, it’s not like they’re 19-1 by playing bad opponents,” Longmeier said. “They’ve played some of the best the state has to offer. Their only loss is to another team (Franklin) that also has a shot at winning the state. And they beat Franklin the first time they played them.”

Despite the loss, Seymour could take positives from the game. For instance, the 53 points the Owls gave up matched the lowest total scored by Center Grove all season.

The biggest positive, however, was Brown’s offensive production around the basket.

The 6-foot-1 senior scored 17 second-half points and made 10 of her 16 shots. Though she had her share of clean points around the basket, her consistent success on turnaround jumpers and 7-for-7 shooting from the foul line kept the Owls competitive on the scoreboard throughout the night.

“She missed her first two shots, but from then on, she battled,” Longmeier said. “Journee’s played well all year. She’s averaging 15 or so a game. When she plays with power and purpose, she’s really good. Those are two words I use with Journee a lot, ‘power’ and ‘energy.’ If she does that down the stretch, we’ll be a tough out.”

Brown’s output helped offset a relatively quiet offensive night for the Owls. Only four Seymour players scored, and top scorer Kendall Sterling was limited to seven points thanks to the extra attention showed her by Center Grove’s defenders.

“They did a good job of taking Kendall away from us,” Longmeier said. “When we don’t have that one-two punch, it makes it hard for us to get out of the 30s.”

Center Grove, meanwhile, had four double-digit scorers with Audrey Annee, Lilly Bischoff and Grant each ending with 12 points. Aubrie Booker added 10.

Four different Trojans made 3-pointers, led by Annee and Grant, who each had four 3s. Seymour’s lone long shot was made by Sterling.

The Owls fell behind 14-4 in the first quarter before three buckets by Brown and a layup by Sterling closed the score to 19-12. Sterling and Sophie Skidmore each added baskets as the first half ended to keep Center Grove’s lead under 10.

When Seymour again narrowed the gap to seven midway through the third quarter, the Trojans responded with five consecutive 3-pointers that swelled their lead to 16 early in the fourth quarter and put the game out of reach.

“The two major differences in the game were the 3-ball and offensive rebounds,” Longmeier said. “They hurt us on the glass and got too many second-chance opportunities. But all in all, our girls played hard and battled. (Center Grove is) a really tough team to deal with. They’re good. We’ve played them well the last couple of years. Those are the types of games that as a coach and a player you enjoy being in.”

With just two weeks left in the regular season, Seymour (9-9) faces another challenge next week with games against Jeffersonville (10-8) and Franklin (17-2).

“This gets you ready for the sectional,” Longmeier said. “We had tonight’s game, then we turn around and face an energetic, physical Jeffersonville team. They’re really going to get after us. Then turn around on Thursday and play Franklin. I set our schedule up this way a few years ago because it gives you a really good idea of where you are heading into the sectional.”

Center Grove 53, Seymour 38

Center Grove;19;6;15;13;—;53


Center Grove (19-1): Audrey Annee 4 0-0 12, Ava Grant 4 0-0 12, Lilly Bischoff 4 3-5 12, Audrie Booker 4 0-0 10, Rachel Wirts 2 1-2 5, Emerson Vlcan 1 0-0 2, Hannah Gin 0 0-0 0, MacKenzie Pierce 0 0-0 0, Totals 19 4-7 53

Seymour (9-9): Journee Brown 10 7-7 27, Kendall Sterling 3 0-0 7, Sophie Skidmore 1 0-0 2, Claire Marshall 1 0-0 2, Emmy Munson 0 0-0 0, Jaidyn Nichols 0 0-0 0, Kenzie Gagner 0 0-0 0, Totals 15 7-7 38

3-point goals: Center Grove 11 (Annee 4, Grant 4, Booker 2, Bischoff), Seymour 1 (Sterling)

Rebounds: Center Grove 21 (Booker 4, Bischoff 4), Seymour 19 (Sterling 5, Skidmore 5, Marshall 3, Munson 2, Brown 2, Nichols 2)

Turnovers: Center Grove 4, Seymour 9

Fouls: Center Grove 4, Seymour 7

Junior varsity

Center Grove 38, Seymour 21

Seymour (11-7): Kelsea Hunsley 14, Claire Skaggs 2, Emmy Followell 2, Kennedy Burnette 2, Addi Reece 1

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