For The Tribune.
The Brownstown Central boys built an 18-point lead on Seymour midway through the second quarter, then had to withstand a furious rally by the Owls early in the third period to leave the Lloyd E. Scott Gymnasium with a 64-47 win Friday night.
The Braves scored the final 14 points of the first period to take a 21-8 lead and increased their lead to 31-13 on a 3-point basket by Jacoby Shade at the 4:50 mark of the second period.
Braves coach Dave Benter said he was pleased with the way his team started.
“The first 12 minutes of the game we moved the basketball really well,” he said. “We used Cam (Shoemaker) inside, we attacked the basket, had vision and kicked the ball out for open shots. That was the big area we wanted to work on, and our ball containment from Tuesday, and I thought we played really well the first 12 minutes.”
Shoemaker made two field goals and all four of his free throws, and Cody Waskom came off the bench to score three baskets to spark the Braves to the early lead.
The Owls, however, were not going to go down without a fight against their Jackson County rivals, as they cut the difference to 35-24 at the half. The Owls outscored the Braves 16-14 in the second as Tyler Bloom hit a 3-pointer to jump-start Seymour’s rally.
Benter said his team committed too many fouls late in the half that sent the Owls to the free-throw line, where they were 5 for 5.
“We had to back off our press, and I didn’t think we executed in our half-court offense the last four minutes,” Benter said.
Seymour coach Kyle Clough said, “First of all, give Brownstown a lot of credit. They are a really good, experienced team, very well coached. Dave does such of a great job of taking advantage of a mismatch, and he feels like he had one there.
“It was a similar story like Martinsville. We dug a little hole because we had careless turnovers (eight in the first period). We didn’t take care of the rebounding game in the first half.”
Toriek Miller came out at the start of the third period and drilled two 3-point shots to close the gap to 35-30 with 5:35 on the clock.
After Shoemaker made a pair of free throws to put the Braves up 37-30, Miller stroked another 3-pointer from the right wing to make it a 37-33 game.
“The second half was a dogfight for a while,” Benter said. “Toriek is hard to guard. He made two or three shots that were not easy to guard in high school basketball. They cut it to four but I thought we made some really big plays.
“I told our guys during a timeout we needed to impose our will on the backboards, and get some stops where we could get our transition game going, and I thought we did that.”
Seymour committed 18 turnovers on the night, and three came in a span of two minutes in the middle of the third period, and that enabled the Braves to go on an 8-0 run to take a 45-33 lead.
Brownstown Central held a 46-36 lead going into the fourth quarter and was on top 49-40 when it went on a 10-0 run to open a 19-point lead to improve to 2-0 for the season.
Shoemaker topped all scorers with 21 points, including 7 for 7 in free throws. Carson Lambring added 13, Waskom 11 and Zach McCory 10 for the Braves.
“Waskom has shown us in practice that he can score the basketball,” Benter said. “He came in and did exactly that, and he can rebound (4), too. Those are the things that we need to get form him. We’ve got a lot of guys that can score.”
Miller topped the Owls with 19 points, while Tiller Cummings and Bloom added eight points each.
Clough said he liked the way his team battled back in the second half.
“Give our kids a lot of credit,” Clough said. “I thought the fight, and the fury in their eyes there in the third quarter was inspiring, and that’s a big moment for us because Brownstown is a really good team.
“This loss stings for whoever loses it. I get that. But more than anything we know how good they are, and we were very close there in some spurts. We’ve just got to clean up some of the mistakes and we’ll be in good shape.”
The Owls shot 17 for 44 from the floor to 22 for 50 for the Braves.
Seymour (0-2) will travel to Franklin tonight.