If you ask any one of the members of the Seymour girls basketball team who led the team to their first outright Hoosier Hills Conference title this season, they won’t point to one teammate.
That’s the mindset the Owls thrived on this season, as they marched to an 18-5 season.
Individual accolades came after the achievements as a unit, which resonated from the top to the bottom of the program.
Going 7-0 in the conference, fourth-year Seymour coach Jason Longmeier recently was awarded a plaque as the HHC Coach of the Year.
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Longmeier attributed the recognition to his players.
“I think any coach is really a product of the players,” Longmeier said. “These players made me a better coach. They have been easy for me to coach. It has just as much to do with them as it does to with me. I think at the end of the day, to be successful in this conference says a lot about all of us.
“Player development is important. To me, it’s a big deal to be a team. Every one of our kids that stepped on the varsity floor was a player of the game. It’s a big aspect, as we haven’t built our program around one or two players. I think the kids enjoy playing that way.”
The run to the HHC title started with a key win against Bedford North Lawrence, which had a 30-game conference winning streak coming into the Lloyd E. Scott Gymnasium.
To finish the regular season, the Owls downed Jeffersonville and New Albany on the road in a pair of tight contests.
“I thought, for us, it was a big deal to go undefeated,” Longmeier said. “To go on the road and beat Jeffersonville and New Albany at the end was huge. Also, to beat Bedford here early and snap their conference win streak, I thought was also a big deal. I felt like, all year, we played with a lot of confidence, poise and purpose.”
Longmeier said the HHC is a product of the strength of basketball in this part of the state, and his team faced tough competition also out of conference this season.
This weekend, Class 3A North Harrison and Class 4A Columbus North will play for state titles. The Owls defeated the Panthers by a single point and fell to the Bull Dogs on a last-second buzzer-beater this season.
“It really tells you how strong basketball is in southern Indiana,” Longmeier said. “It doesn’t get the credit it deserves up north. You look at the voting all year, and the teams down here have to play our tails off to really start getting ranked. Hopefully, (Columbus) North and North Harrison take care of business and represent us all well.”
While the Owls received some votes, they never cracked the rankings for the 2015-16 season.
Longmeier said the coaches in the conference congratulated him on the accomplishment.
“We’re a tight-knit conference,” Longmeier said. “We all get along pretty well, and we all know each other well. We all have a lot of respect for each other not only for what we do as coaches, but the time we put in with our kids. I think every one of the coaches is in it for the right reasons. There’s no animosity in our conference.”
Longmeier is the first head coach to outright win the award. In 2007, former coach Beth DeVinney shared the award in a three-way tie for the HHC crown.
Seymour’s girls basketball team went 7-0 in Hoosier Hills Conference play en route to its first outright title.
Nov. 10 Bedford North Lawrence, 46-39
Nov. 24 Floyd Central, 62-14
Dec. 8 Jennings County, 64-42
Dec. 12 Madison, 62-41
Jan. 7 Columbus East, 59-50
Jan. 19 Jeffersonville, 46-36
Jan. 28 New Albany, 43-40