The opening game of the Class 4A Sectional 15 lasted two seconds too long for the Seymour boys basketball team.
Floyd Central had the ball out of bounds in front of its bench with 4.4 seconds remaining in Tuesday’s game. The Highlanders passed the ball in to Luke Gohmann, who turned and shot from just inside the 3-point line.
It was nothing but net and a 39-38 win, and the Highlander fans rushed the court in celebration, while the Seymour players were in disbelief after another stunning loss.
The Owls had taken a 38-36 lead on a free throw by Toriek Miller with 3:06 remaining.
Both teams missed scoring opportunities until Floyd Central’s Matthew Weimer made a free throw with 17.5 seconds remaining.
The Owls, in an attempt to take time off the clock, turned over the ball with nine seconds remaining to set the stage for Gohmann’s game-winner.
A bright spot for the Owls was Miller topping 1,000 points for his career. The senior entered the game with 992. He made two free throws in the first quarter and then a 3-pointer and a layup in the second quarter to reach 999.
He made two free throws with 2:47 on the clock to reach 1,001, and he finished with 16 points for 1,008 for his career.
He is the 16th Seymour male player to score more than 1,000 points.
Miller said he is proud to have scored 1,000 but wishes it would have come in a win.
“It’s awesome. I had great teammates to help me get there. I couldn’t have done it without them,” he said.
Owls coach Kyle Clough also was proud of the accomplishment.
“He’s in a pretty special fraternity here with a lot of history of our basketball program,” Clough said.
“In a couple weeks, I think we’ll be excited for him about that. He would tell you he wouldn’t care, we just wanted to win, and that’s what you love about him. He’s someone that is going to go on and have a great career later this year at Madonna (University in Michigan).”
Seymour lost 33-31 at Floyd Central in a Hoosier Hills Conference game Jan. 29. On the season, the Owls were 0-8 in games decided by five points or less.
“I feel it was a game that we outplayed them for a high majority of the game,” Clough said.“We even played through some mistakes. They gathered the lead there in the fourth quarter. A couple of weeks ago, we probably would have went away, but we came right back, grabbed control of it. We had the ball with nine seconds and unfortunately turned it over.”
The Owls got off to a good start, leading 10-5 at the end of the first quarter, 17-9 on Miller’s free throws and 22-15 at the half.
Seymour continued to play well at the start of the third quarter, as Tyler Bloom’s 3-point basket put Seymour on top 29-17 at the 6-minute mark.
The Highlanders closed the quarter on a 9-0 run for a 29-26 score, and the Owls final broke their dry spell with a free throw by Miller at 6:58.
“I’m just proud of my kids. I love them,” Clough said. “I wish I could take this pain away from them. Give Floyd a lot of credit and that kid (Gohmann) a lot of credit for making that shot.”
The Owls (6-17) shot 9 for 26 from the floor, and the Highlanders made 15 of 32.
“We’ve been that good all year,” Clough said of the Owls’ defense. “I haven’t said that much in public, but I think we’re one of the best defensive teams in southern Indiana. Every game, we give ourselves a great chance to win, and tonight was no different.
“Our kids did everything they needed to do to win. Like I told them in the locker room, they’re going to have experiences in their life where they’re going to want to take pain away from people they love, and that’s how I feel about them right now.”
Clough said the two seniors, Miller and Ryan Wieneke, will be missed.
“They’ve been a big impact on our program and me,” Clough said. “They are two special guys that we are certainly going to miss. We took a big step forward this year.”
Floyd Central (15-8) advances to Friday’s game against top-ranked New Albany.