For The Tribune
The Seymour basketball teams were able to exact revenge Friday night for losses earlier in the season to Jennings County.
The girls had a 35-30 lead entering the fourth period, then saw that lead melt down to one point before securing a 44-41 win at home.
The Owl boys won their fourth contest in a row by outscoring the Panthers 11-4 in overtime to grab the 64-57 victory.
In the girls contest, Seymour had a 42-38 lead following a layup by Emilee Pollmann with 1:57 remaining. The Panthers then closed the gap to 42-41 on a 3-pointer by Halea Petro with 27 seconds remaining.
Seymour’s Morgan Ritz made two free throws for the final points of the contest 22.3 seconds on the clock.
Panther Brooklyn Gaines 3-point attempt at the buzzer bounced off the rim.
“I thought, from an execution standpoint, that’s as well as we played all year,” Owls coach Jason Longmeier said. “We got everything we wanted offensively. We turned the ball over six times, and that’s been an area where we’ve really struggled.
“We get every shot we wanted, and it has to come down to the wire. We just didn’t do a good job of finishing at the basket.”
The Seymour girls were 17 for 48 from the floor.
Mikayla Fee got off to a hot start, scoring seven of the Owls’ 10 points in the first period to keep her team close to the Panthers at 12-10.
A 3-pointer by Kayla Griffin put the Owls on top 17-14 at 6:10 mark of the second period, but Seymour didn’t score the remainder of the period and trailed 20-17 at the break.
Petro scored five points to help the Panthers take a 30-28 lead with 2:27 left in the third period before Seymour closed with a 5-0 run.
“I thought defensively, this was one of the better games we’ve played,” Longmeier said. “If you would have told me we would score 44 I would have thought that would not be enough to beat them.
“I thought a big key was getting (Baylee) Krueger in early foul trouble. She is an absolute nightmare match-up for everybody she plays against. We kind of kept her in check by keeping her on the bench.
Longmeier said the Owls’ focus early was to pound the ball inside and make Krueger play defense, and Fee did a good job of that.
“We did an excellent job of getting the ball in there when it needed to be in there,” he said. “We reversed it when it needed to be reversed. We had them defensively on their heels.”
Pollmann and Fee topped the Owls (12-4) in scoring with 11 points each while Petro was high for the Panthers (11-5) with 14.
Longmeier said this was a nice bounce-back win, after losing to North Harrison, for his team going into today’s game at Borden.
The Owls lost to the Panthers by three, 62-59, on Dec. 9 also at Lloyd “Barney” Scott gymnasium.
Free-throw shooting was the difference in the boys’ game as the Owls hit 21 for 23 from the line and the Panthers were 7 for 21. Both teams were called for 20 fouls.
Seymour was 9 for 10 at the line in the extra period.
Dan Leach scored a basket for the Panthers with 25 seconds remaining in the fourth period to tie the game at 53.
Seymour worked the ball until Anthony Rork got off a 3-point attempt from the top of the key that bounced off the rim as the buzzer sounded at the end of regulation play.
“I thought when the game got down the stretch there in the fourth quarter and overtime we were really able to separate ourselves at the free-throw line, and get kids to step up there and overlook the nerves and the big crowd (estimated at 2,100), and give our kids credit for getting to the line,” Owls coach Kyle Clough said.
“I thought that was a big key. We cut down on the offensive glass on them and didn’t give them any second chances, and we were able to get to the free throw line and were able to make them.”
Toriek Miller, who captured game scoring honors with 26 points, was 4 for 4 at the line in the fourth period, and also made all four of his charity shots in overtime. He was 13 for 13 overall.
The Owls held a 28-27 lead at the break before the Panthers pushed their lead to 38-30 on a lay up by Dan Leach with 3:50 left in the third period.
Isaiah Thomas converted a 3-point play that started the Owls on a 10-0 run to take a 40-38 lead into the fourth period.
“I really thought Isaiah Thomas was a stud down there,” Clough said as he had 11 points and 10 rebounds.
“I thought there was a stretch where he was really balanced. He is so strong and he is really efficient tonight.”
Wieneke finished with 13 points, while Ethan Jarvis topped the Panthers (6-5) with 13 points.
The Owls (5-7) will play host to Columbus East tonight for a Hoosier Hills Conference game. The Seymour boys fell to the Panthers 53-40 on Dec. 20 at North Vernon.