For The Tribune

Coach Kyle Clough said he did not have his Seymour team mentally ready to battle Columbus East in a Hoosier Hills Conference game Saturday night.

“They kicked our butts from the start,” he said following the 66-38 loss in the Lloyd E. Scott Gymnasium that snapped the Owls’ 4-game win string.

“There’s not much more to say than that. Our guys just weren’t ready to go tonight, and that’s all on me. I don’t know what we did wrong today. Probably a lot of credit goes to (the Olympians). They moved the ball well on offense and they were getting lay ups on us. We haven’t given up layups like that all year long.”

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East was hot from the start as Matt Sublette’s second basket of the night made it a 4-0 game at the 5:50-mark. It was 6-0 before Owls junior Toriek Miller hit a 3-pointer at 4:06, and the score was 12-3 when Miller added another 3 at 1:26.

The Olympians shot 8-for-10 from the floor in the opening period to build an 18-8 lead.

East scored the first two baskets of the second to lead 22-8 before Ty Christensen hit his first trio of the night at 4:40.

The Olympians shot six-for-eight in the second quarter and held a 32-16 lead at the break.

Zach Sanders, who scored six points in the opening period, shot 4-for-5 from the floor in the third, for nine points, to spark the Olympians to a 45-27 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

East finished 27-for-37 from the field, while the Owls were 12-for-36.

East coach Brent Chitty said he was pleased with the Olympians’ zone defense.

“Traditionally, we’re not a zone team,” he said. “We respected the way they could drive. The Miller kid is a nice driver, and on the road we wanted to see if we could slow him down a little bit, and see if our size could help us out inside.

“Their coach has them going. Tonight was our night. You beat Jennings County. Jennings County is a good outfit.”

Seymour (5-8, 0-4 HHC) had 11 turnovers to nine for the visitors.

Miller topped the Owls with 13 points and Christensen finished with 9.

The Olympians (7-6, 2-1) had balance with Sanders scoring 15, Umphress 10, and Sublette, Parker Chitty and Alex Galle 8 apiece.

“This is a good opportunity for us to reflect on this and try to learn from it and get better,”Clough said. “We talked a lot to our team about ‘you’re never as good as you think you are’ and ‘you’re never as bad you think you are’ and ‘you’re never far away from either side.’”

The four-game winning streak, the longest in Clough’s two years at SHS, showed his team what it takes to win.

“We’ve got to start to learn that if we want to win, we’ve got to play our best,” Clough said. “The last four games we played really well. Tonight we played very poorly and they played very well, and give them a lot of credit. I don’t want to take anything away from what they did to us. They took us out to the woodshed.”

The SHS basketball program hadn’t won four-straight since 2009. In the past two seasons, the Owls had a combined win record of five games.

“Our guys have got to do a better job of getting back to our basics on defense, and that falls on me again,” Clough said. “I just didn’t feel like we were ready to play and I feel like that’s only the second time that has happened this year.”

The Owls will be home Friday to battle Bedford North Lawrence in another HHC game.