With a 14-day basketball hiatus, the Seymour boys basketball team itched to get back on the hardwood Friday.
The Owls put together one of their most dominant games on the glass, as well as on offense, to come away with a hard-fought 61-54 road win at Austin.
Following back-to-back baskets from the Owls’ Isaiah Thomas at the start of the first quarter, Ty Christensen drained a 3-pointer to give his team a 7-2 lead at the 5:27 mark.
The Eagles’ Dakota Staschke answered with a trey the next possession, but Owls guard Toriek Miller hit his own 3-pointer with 4:15 remaining.
Two baskets by Zach Schlatterer in the final two minutes gave the Owls a 16-13 lead after eight minutes of play.
With 3:58 left in the first half, Brady Patton gave the Eagles a 21-20 lead off a shot from behind the arc.
Then, Miller caught fire for the Owls.
In the final 2:13, Miller sunk three consecutive 3-pointers to put the Owls up 31-27 at the half.
Following halftime, Miller retained his heat by hitting a 3-pointer on the Owls’ opening possession.
While the Owls were able to hold 1,000-point scorer Markus Fleenor to just two points in the third quarter, Patton scored 11 Eagles points behind two 3-pointers.
“It was just a missed assignment, our kids knew coming in that he could shoot,” Owls coach Kyle Clough said. “We knew that we weren’t supposed to be doubling the post off of him. That’s probably my fault, I didn’t beat home hard enough that we needed to do a better job on him. Fleenor is such a good player you worry a lot about him, but that’s on me we need to do a better job of knowing who can shoot. Anytime we really hit that home, our kids have done a good job all year.”
Owls big-men Ryan Wieneke and Thomas went to work underneath the basket as they scored a combined eight points with a 46-40 lead headed into the final quarter.
A key 3-pointer from Christensen gave the Owls a 50-44 lead with 6:46 left in the game.
Wieneke converted an and-one opportunity at 4:57, and the Owls went on to hit their free throws down the stretch following a basket by Thomas at 1:28.
“I didn’t think it was pretty, I told the kids I didn’t know that we were great defensively — but we were tough,” Clough said. “I think coming off this 14-day stretch of not playing you wondered how we would respond. I thought our energy and toughness was really good. I thought we were really unselfish, getting the ball inside the zone early.”
Miller led the Owls with 25 points while Thomas finished with 12 points and nine rebounds and Wieneke had 13 points and five boards.
Patton finished with 17 points to lead the Eagles in scoring.
“Give Ryan and Isaiah a lot of credit,” Clough said. “I thought Ryan was very aggressive tonight, he’s starting to become more like that. He’s becoming more like a senior. Isaiah was tough and got us a couple of key baskets. We had a lot of guys contribute.”
The Owls outrebounded the Eagles 27-15.
“In our scouting report one of our big keys was to win the rebounding battle,” Clough said. “I thought our bigs did a good job of not giving up many second chance points. I thought Fleenor was very tough, a 1,000 point scorer, was going to get some. For the most part our guys did a good job checking and not giving them second chance points.”
The Owls (8-11) will return to action Tuesday when they host Columbus North.
The last time the Owls finished a season with at least eight wins was in 2010-11 at 8-13.
The next recent best record for the program came during 2009-10 when they went 10-10.
“I think that it’s a good step for our program — the kids have a lot to be proud of,” Clough said. “They’ve done some good things for our program. To be sitting here with eight wins, and a couple of wins left on the table, it says a lot about them.”