For The Tribune
Seymour coach Jason Longmeier said the Hoosier Hills Conference girls basketball race is unpredictable.
After Longmeier’s team defeated Jeffersonville 36-34 Tuesday night in the Lloyd E. Scott Gymnasium he said, “Welcome to the HHC. That’s the deal. We all know each other so well. We have all their tapes, they have all our tapes, and we know what they want to do and they know what we want to do.”
Morgan Ritz hit a 3-point basket early in the fourth period to put the Owls on top 25-19 before the Red Devils used a 7-0 run to take a 26-25 lead with 4:46.
The Devils were leading 30-27 when the Owls’ offense warmed up and outscored the visitors 9-4 down the stretch to improve to 4-1 in the HHC.
A free throw by Mikayla Fee with 3:59 remaining tied the game at 30-all. The Devils regained the lead 32-30 when Maci Lubker hit a 3-pointer to put the Owls on top 33-32 with 2:15 remaining, but once again Jeffersonville rallied and took a 34-33 lead on a layup by Jacinta Gibson with 50 seconds remaining.
Lubker then drove for a layup to put the Owls on top for good with 20 seconds remaining, and Ritz hit a free throw with 7.4 seconds left to close out the scoring.
Longmeier felt Lubker’s baskets were key.
“I thought Lubker down the stretch was just dynamite, offensively and defensively,” Longmeier said. “She had the big steal on the other end that gave us an opportunity to get the lead back. Her 3 was huge, and then the bucket at the end was just nails. She went in there strong and confident with the attitude that she was either going to finish it or she was going to get fouled. That’s what you expect out of a junior captain.”
Jeffersonville’s Hailey Lacy tried a desperation shot at the buzzer that hit off the rim.
Longmeier said he didn’t feel like either team was able to set a tempo in the first half as the Owls shot 5-for-16 and the Devils 6-for-22, resulting in a 13-12 lead for Jeffersonville. Both teams played man-to-man defense most of the game.
“It was a grind, it was slow, it was what we wanted,” Longmeier said. “We knew we weren’t going to defend them in space. Their athletes are just too good. Our goal early on was to make sure we kept the game confined in tight spaces and I thought we did a good job of doing that. I thought if we got in a running game that they would get too many easy baskets.”
Kayla Griffin was high scorer for the Owls (14-4, 4-1) with 11 points, and had nine rebounds, while Pollmann finished with nine points.
Catera Stevenson topped the Devils (11-8, 2-4) with 10 points.
Seymour will travel to Scottsburg on Saturday night.