CONFERENCE CHALLENGES

In the Hoosier Hills Conference, no game comes easy on the hardwood.

The Seymour Owls girls basketball team looks to rebound after losing its first game of the season to Jennings County on Tuesday.

On Saturday, the Owls will head to conference foe Madison.

Since losing their first game of the season to East Central 57-45, the Cubs have won seven straight games — two of those games coming against the HHC’s Floyd Central (3-4) and Jeffersonville (4-4).

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This season, the Cubs are averaging 63 points per game while allowing 41 points per contest.

One player the Owls plan to keep an eye on is the Cubs’ 6-foot-1 stretch-forward Olivia Crozier. Crozier recently signed with NCAA Division I Southeast Missouri State.

“They lost some people from last year, but from what I’ve seen on film, I think they look better this year,” Owls coach Jason Longmeier said. “Olivia Crozier does some really good things.

“They’re very similar to Jennings County. They have a solid post player and good shooters around them. We just need to be a step or two quicker on our rotations, otherwise (Crozier) has an opportunity to have a big night.”

The Owls plan to control the pace of the game to come out with a victory.

Longmeier said that he thought his girls didn’t get a strong start for the first time against Jennings County, and that hurt their chances to win the game.

Against the Panthers (6-2), the Owls allowed a season-high 62 points.

“They’re going to try and play a game that speeds it up; we need to be smart with how we’re doing that,” Longmeier said. “If we’re in the zone and need a plus-one body on (Crozier) we will. We need to do work early and not allow her in the low block.”

As of Wednesday, junior Maci Lubker led the Owls, averaging 13 points per game. Emilee Pollman is the Owls’ second-highest scorer with 11 points, while Morgan Ritz and Kayla Griffin also are averaging 10 points for the Owls.

The Owls have continued to distribute the ball amongst their starting lineup.

The “X” factor for this game could be the battle for the boards. The Owls will heavily rely on starting center Mikayla Fee and their guards to limit the Cubs from dominating the rebounding category.

While it’s early in the season, every HHC game adds up in the race for the title.

“It’s not just this season. If you go back and look at the track record, we have had a state finalist or champion in five of the past 10 years,” Longmeier said. “We know that each game that’s what we have to prepare for.”

Before the Christmas break, the Owls will host Columbus North on Dec. 16 and Whiteland on Dec. 20.

“I like to split the basketball season up into two seasons: before and after Christmas,” Longmeier said. “There’s no doubt that when we get done with the Bedford North Lawrence tournament (starting Jan. 2) we will know where we stand. After the Bloomington South, we played teams with records that added up to something like 24-4. Our girls need that, it does us no good to play teams we can roll over. We need to play the best to see where we’re at.”

Upcoming girls basketball games

Today

Trinity Lutheran (2-3) at Rising Sun (3-4)

Game time: 6 p.m. JV, 7:30 p.m. varsity

Previous outing: Trinity Lutheran def. Medora 74-28. Rising Sun def. Oldenburg Academy 55-47.

Series past 10 years: Tied 5-5

Most recent meeting: Trinity Lutheran won 50-38 on Dec. 12, 2013.

Salem (4-3) at Brownstown Central (4-2)

Game time: 6 p.m. JV, 7:30 p.m. varsity

Previous outing: Providence def. Salem 54-45. Brownstown Central def. Eastern (Pekin) 42-34.

Series past 10 years: Brownstown Central 9-1

Most recent meeting: Brownstown Central won 56-35 on Dec. 12, 2013

Medora (2-7) at Rock Creek Academy (2-7)

Game time: 7:30 p.m.

Previous outing: Crothersville def. Medora 54-17. Rock Creek Academy def. Dugger Union 58-36.

Series past 10 years: Medora 8-5

Most recent meeting: Medora won 44-39 on Dec. 12, 2013

Saturday

Seymour (6-1) at Madison (7-1)

Game time: Noon JV, 1:30 p.m.

Previous outing: Jennings County def. Seymour 62-59. Madison def. New Washington, 63-37

Series past 10 years: Seymour 6-4

Most recent meeting: Madison won 59-54 on Dec. 14, 2013

Orleans (3-3) at Trinity Lutheran (2-3)

Game time: 11 a.m. JV, 12:30 p.m. varsity

Previous outing: Salem def. Orleans 53-51 (overtime). Trinity Lutheran def. Medora, 74-28.

Series past 10 years: Orleans 8-3

Most recent meeting:Trinity Lutheran won 51-42 on Feb. 15, 2014 (sectional)

Austin (3-2) at Brownstown Central (4-2)

Game time: 6 p.m. JV, 7:30 p.m. varsity

Previous outing: Charlestown def. Austin 53-48. Brownstown Central def. Eastern (Pekin) 42-34.

Series past 10 years: Brownstown Central 8-7

Most recent meeting:Brownstown Central won 67-50 on Dec. 14, 2013

Medora (2-7) at Lanesville (2-6)

Game time: 4:30 p.m.

Previous outing: Crothersville def. Medora 54-17. Eastern (Paoli) def. Lanesville 57-22.

Series past 10 years: Lanesville 2-1

Most recent meeting: Lanesville won 60-33 on Jan. 11, 2014

Monday

Cannelton (1-6) at Crothersville (5-4)

Game time: 6:30 p.m. JV, 7:30 p.m. varsity

Previous outing: Crothersville def. Medora 54-17. Cannelton def. Cloverport (Ky.) 56-26

Most recent meeting: None

Tuesday

Columbus North (5-1) at Seymour (6-1)

Game time: 6 p.m. JV, 7:30 p.m. varsity

Previous outing: Columbus North def. Greenwood 88-34. Jennings County def. Seymour 62-59.

Series past 10 years: Seymour 6-4

Most recent meeting: Columbus North won 71-32 on Dec. 17, 2013

Trinity Lutheran (2-3) at Austin (3-2)

Game time: 6 p.m. JV, 7:30 p.m. varsity

Previous outing: Trinity Lutheran def. Medora 74-28. Charlestown def. Austin 53-48

Most recent meeting: None

Brownstown Central (4-2) at Clarksville (4-5)

Game time: 6 p.m. JV, 7:30 p.m. varsity

Previous outing: Brownstown Central def. Eastern (Pekin) 42-34. Clarksville def. Shoals 57-37.

Series past 10 years: Brownstown Central 14-0

Most recent meeting: Brownstown Central won 74-18 on Dec. 17, 2013

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Jordan Morey is sports editor at The (Seymour) Tribune. He can be reached at jmorey@tribtown.com or 812-523-7069.