Balance key for Owls in season-opener at Salem

For The Tribune


Balance, consistency and minimizing mistakes.

That theme carried the Seymour girls basketball team Saturday as it rolled to a 62-33 victory against Salem in the season-opener for both.

Owls coach Jason Longmeier said it was a good team effort.

“I liked the way we competed,” he said. “I liked that our bench had energy. Outside of a stretch in the second quarter, I thought everybody really stayed involved in the game, and we created a good atmosphere with that.

“I liked the fact that we had multiple scoring opportunities and multiple options. That is something we talked about on the radio before the game. I don’t know how you scout us, I don’t know what you take away.”

The Owls showed that balance from the start, as Seymour’s first basket was a 3-pointer from Lauren James that put her team on top for good at 5-2 with 4:22 left in the first period.

Following a score by Kayla Griffin inside, Maci Lubker hit a 3-pointer from the top of the key and.

On the next possession, Lubker drove for a layup before Morgan Ritz hit another 3-pointer with 47 seconds left in the quarter as the Owls led 15-4 at the end of the first quarter.

“If you take away our inside game, we’re going to hurt you from the outside, if you take away our outside that will open up the inside. I think offensively we’re just going to get better and better,” Longmeier said.

The Owls continued to mix things up in the second period as Griffin scored two baskets from close range.

James and Katie Suits also added buckets with moves to the basket, while Ritz and Lubker hit from the outside to help the visitors to a 32-15 lead at the half.

Seymour made 22 of 41 field goals, and had only nine turnovers.

Griffin had 17 points and eight rebounds to lead the Owls.

James and Lubker both finished with 12 points each.

The Owls made seven 3-pointers with James, Ritz and Lubker making two each and Lindsey Hume added one.

“We spent a lot on time on (shooting threes),” Longmeier said. “Our girls create a lot of shots, (especially) the ‘step back’ shot that a lot of girls don’t have in their game. Our girls have worked really hard in the off season making that part of their game, and that’s hard to defend.

“I thought we could have done a better job in the ball-screen action, I would liked to have seen us run a few more ball screens because the way they were defending it we were creating some mis-matches off of it and we didn’t take enough advantage of that, but all of those are things we can look at on film and fix.”

Salem managed to make only 10 field goals, and had 12 turnovers.

Alaina Davidson was high scorer for the Lions with 11 points.

“I was pleased defensively, at times,” Longmeier said. “We really put an emphasis on that. We had some stretches where we had three fouls in a possession. We’ve got to get rid of those things, but they’re fixable.

“I think part of that is at times being tired, and other times just not moving your feet.”

Seymour outrebounded Salem 27-17.

“I thought there were some stretches where we didn’t rebound very well, but for the most part I thought we rebounded the way you’re supposed to,” Longmeier said.

“We just want to challenge this group as hard as we can because we think we have an opportunity to have something really special.”

The Owls (1-0) will open their Hoosier Hills Conference schedule at home Tuesday against Bedford North Lawrence.

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