Owls defense ‘stellar’ in 23-point win over South Ripley


Seymour’s boys basketball team mauled visiting South Ripley defensively and walked away with a commanding 47-24 victory on Saturday night.

Though somewhat rusty on the offensive end after a nine-day respite since their last game, the Owls’ defense looked like it was in midseason form. Seymour (15-4) had eight steals, forced 16 turnovers, allowed just eight field goals and limited South Ripley to five or fewer points in each of the first three quarters.

The Raiders’ 24 points were less than half of their offensive average this season (56.6) and the fewest they scored in a game since January 2019.

“We were able to force a lot of turnovers and get a lot of layups out of those turnovers,” Seymour head coach Kirk Mans said. “We needed them because offensively tonight, I thought we were showing signs of the layoff in that first half. Our movement wasn’t very good, and the shots we were getting weren’t very good. Hopefully, we got the rust out. We play again Tuesday (at Greensburg), and hopefully, we’ll get our rhythm going again.”

A 13-0 run in the first quarter handed the Owls an early double-digit lead. Junior Brady Harpe stimulated that outburst with a personal seven-point run consisting of a 3-pointer and consecutive fast-break layups enabled by steals by Parker Thompson and Jaylan Johnson.

Thompson then added another steal and a layup to give Seymour a 13-2 advantage with 1:18 left in the first quarter.

After South Ripley (11-8) whittled the difference down to nine late in the second quarter, an 8-0 Seymour run to start the second half swelled the difference to 17 and sealed the win.

The fast third-quarter start was initiated by back-to-back 3s by Thompson and Bret Perry. A nifty Michael Brooks pass to Johnson under the basket resulted in a layup that bumped Seymour’s lead to 26-9 with 4:29 to go in the third period.

South Ripley never got closer than 15 points thereafter. Seymour built its largest lead, 47-19, late in the fourth quarter.

Johnson led the Owls with 13 points. Harpe (10 points) and Perry (10) joined Johnson in double digits. Thompson finished with seven points.

Playing without a key starter, junior guard Blaine Ward, South Ripley leaned heavily on talented 6-foot-7 forward Cole Henry, who by the middle of the fourth quarter had scored 16 of his team’s 17 points.

Seymour’s Brooks was primarily responsible for guarding Henry and acquitted himself well.

“Michael is 6-foot-2 and has great quickness and length,” Manns said. “He can guard a point guard or, like he proved tonight, he can guard a 6-7 guy. He’s got a ton of versatility. He did a great job tonight.”

Brooks was also the driving force behind the Owls’ second-half surge. In the third quarter alone, the junior had two blocked shots, three assists, a steal and two rebounds.

Saturday’s win is Seymour’s 15th of the season, equaling the total reached by the 2021-22 team. With three regular-season games remaining, this year’s team has the potential to match or surpass the program’s highest single-season win totals in the last 50 years.

The last 16-win season was achieved by Scott Miller’s 2004-05 team. Randy Fife’s 1991-92 squad was the last to win 17 games. Mickey Beck’s 1974-75 club, which finished 21-6, was the last to reach 18 victories in a season.

Can this year’s team attain or even exceed those numbers?

“I hope so,” Manns said. “It all depends on how we prepare and play and whether we can stay healthy and those types of things. Hopefully, we can keep making progress.”

Because Seymour’s remaining three games are on the road, the team celebrated Senior Night on Saturday, honoring Perry, Ethan Silcox and Dametreous Collins.

All three seniors saw action against South Ripley with Perry scoring 10 points, Silcox ending with four points and three rebounds and Collins, backed by a boisterous student section, knocking down one of two free throws late in the fourth quarter.

“Dametreous is a story of perseverance,” Manns said, as he talked about his senior class. “He was a manager a year ago. He’s got a great attitude. He helps the team in other ways, in the locker room, with his enthusiasm. His enthusiasm is contagious.

“Ethan came to us during his freshman year as a transfer. He’s continued to get better and continued to grow. He’s a better young man today than he was three years ago, which is key.

“And Bret is Bret. He takes care of his responsibilities on and off the field. We’ve been fortunate here to have some guys who are like that. Bret’s just a steady guy who you can count on.”

Perry, who has celebrated Hoosier Hills Conference titles in football, baseball and basketball, talked warmly about his hoop experiences but with the expectation that more memories will be created in the coming weeks.

“We’re a family, basically,” Perry said. “We enjoy being around each other. We’ve put in a lot of hard work. We take pride in doing things right, which coach Manns harps on us about every day. It’s been a fun ride, but now, we have to kick it into gear. We need to sharpen our focus. We’ve been talking about the sectional. We’re ready for it. I hope we can make something special happen.”

In the night’s JV game, eight different Owls scored in a breezy 50-18 win over South Ripley’s junior team.

Nolan Bartels led Seymour with nine points. He was followed by a trio of eight-point efforts from Jack Broughton, Nate Fritsch and Charlie Rockey. Traysean Hawkins and Mack Longmeier each added five points.

The win moves the Owls (10-9) above the .500 mark for the first time since early in the season.


Seymour 47, South Ripley 24

South Ripley;4;5;4;11;—;24

Seymour;13;5; 15;14;—;47

South Ripley (11-8): Cole Henry 7 2-2 16, Bryson Sipples 0 3-4 3, Dylan Jessee 1 0-0 3, Brogan Buchanan 0 2-2 2, Gavin Binion 0 0-0 0, Ethan Johnson 0 0-0 0, Mason McNew 0 0-0 0, Riley Lannan 0 0-0 0, Trevor Castner 0 0-0 0, Totals 8 7-8 24.

Seymour (15-4): Jaylan Johnson 5 3-4 13, Brady Harpe 4 0-0 10, Bret Perry 4 0-0 10, Parker Thompson 3 0-0 7, Ethan Silcox 1 1-2 4, Michael Brooks 1 0-0 2, Dametreous Collins 0 1-2 1, Evan Unterseher 0 0-0 0, Ross Pumphrey 0 0-0 0, Max Coates 0 0-0 0, Charlie Rockey 0 0-0 0, Totals 18 5-8 47.

3-point goals: South Ripley 1 (Jessee), Seymour 6 (Harpe 2, Perry 2, Thompson, Silcox)

Rebounds: South Ripley 20 (Henry 6), Seymour 24 (Johnson 7, Brooks 5, Unterseher 4, Silcox 3, Harpe 2, Thompson 2, Pumphrey)

Turnovers: South Ripley 16, Seymour 4

Fouls: South Ripley 7, Seymour 13

Junior varsity

Seymour 50, South Ripley 18

Seymour (10-9): Nolan Bartels 9, Charlie Rockey 8, Nate Fritsch 8, Jack Broughton 8, Traysean Hawkins 5, Mack Longmeier 5, Jake Dowell 4, Max Coates 3

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