Early lead allows Owls starters to rest

For the Tribune

With his team in the midst of a four-games-in-eight-days stretch, coach Jason Longmeier hoped his Seymour girls basketball team could build an early lead against Salem on Tuesday night so he could rest his starters.

The Owls executed his game plan the way he had hoped by building a 21-6 lead after 6½ minutes and rolled to a 76-51 win in the Lloyd E. Scott Gymnasium.

“We knew coming into this stretch that teams were going to play some zone on us, and it would give us an opportunity to get our shooters on, and I think that is what happened,” Longmeier said. “I’m excited about that moving on into the sectionals.”

For the second game in a row, Maci Lubker opened Seymour’s scoring with a 3-point basket, and all five Owls starters scored in the first quarter.

The Owls went on a 6-0 run in the middle of the period with Mikayla Fee’s rebound basket giving her team a 13-4 lead.

After Alex Davidson scored her third basket for the Lions for a 13-6 score, the Owls went on an 8-0 run to take a 21-6 lead on a layup by Morgan Ritz with 1:35 on the clock.

Ritz and Lauren James also had 3-pointers in the first period.

Seymour’s transition game was effective, especially early in the game.

“That (running game) kind of got us going,” Longmeier said. “We had 26 points in the first period, and eight of those were off transition, so that kick-started us there.”

The starters rested in the second period when the Owls outscored the Lions 11-10, to hold a 37-23 lead at the break. Mazie Caudill and Lindsey Hume hit 3-pointers in the second period.

“That was our goal (rest people), because we’ve got a stretch coming up here where we’ve got to get kids rest,” Longmeier said. “We did not want to ride our ‘horses’ tonight for 25 or 30 minutes. We needed to make sure they got in the game, got in the flow and then get our subs in there so they’re fresh for Thursday night against New Albany.”

The Owls stayed hot in the third period as Emilee Pollmann made two 3-pointers and had eight points, and Griffin had a 3 and a 2 to spark Seymour to a 24-point period and a 61-29 lead going into the final period.

Seymour shot 19-for-55 for the game. Longmeier said he was pleased with the shot selection, although he thought the Owls could have shot a better percentage.

“I think we could have had some more inside opportunities,” Longmeier said. “I would liked to have seen us go in there a little bit more. We were knocking down the outside shots (12 3-pointers), and even when we weren’t making them, we were getting second chance with offensive-rebound opportunities, so I thought the kids crashed the boards hard. I thought offensively it was a good night for us.”

The 76 points is a season-high for the Owls.

The rebounds were even at 23 for each team, with Griffin high for the Owls at five.

Lubker topped Seymour with 15 points, Pollmann scored 13, and Griffin and Hume had 11 each. Hume and Pollmann both had three 3-pointers.

Davidson topped the Lions (9-12) with 17 points.

“We gave up more points than we would have liked to today,” Longmeier said. “Our number was 45, but when you play as many (14) as we did tonight, that was bound to happen. This takes us to 16-4. We’ve had one heck of a season up to this point.”

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Arv Koontz is a sports correspondent for The (Seymour) Tribune.