For The Tribune
One quarter can decide a lot of high school basketball games, and in the Seymour-Franklin boys game Saturday night, the third period made the difference.
Franklin held a 30-26 lead at the half then opened the third quarter on a 13-0 run and outscored the Owls 21-4 in the quarter and left the Lloyd E. Scott Gymnasium with a 66-42 win.
“Honestly, tonight I was looking for kids that were going to compete and play hard,” Owls coach Tyler Phillips said. “I wasn’t worried about the outcome. I was hired to turn this around, and it’s got to start with culture and it’s got to start with effort. We may take some on the chin, but I’m going to find kids that are going to play hard.”
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The Owls shot 0-for-4 and had two turnovers at the start of the third period that helped Franklin pull away with back-to-back 3-pointers by Tyler Craft, sparking the Cubs to a 51-26 lead at the 3:55-mark of the third period.
Seth Ragon finally scored for the Owls at the 3:40-mark to set the score 43-28 before the Cubs went on an 8-0 run. The last six of those points came on back-to-back 3-pointers by Reece Thompson to set the score 51-28.
Alex Hofer got a basket with 18 seconds left in the period to make it a 51-30 game going into the fourth period.
“(Franklin) made shots, and the shots they didn’t make they got the offensive rebound got a second chance,” Phillips said. “We’ve got to get better at that. We’ve got to find a way to limit teams to one-and-done.
“When we get them to take the shot that we want, get the personnel we want shooting the shot from where we want it, we’ve got to reward ourselves. We’ve got to block out.”
Franklin held a 28-27 advantage in rebounds with Tiller Cummings topping the Owls with 10.
Tyler Bloom’s first 3-pointer tied the game at 5-5, and Bloom added another shot from beyond the arc to bring the Owls to within 13-12 going into the second.
The score was tied five times in the second period, the final time at 23-23 on a free throw by Hofer with 2:02 left in the half.
Nine Seymour players saw playing time, and Phillips said he was pleased with the effort several of them turned in.
“I saw some kids that are going to play hard and that’s what I’m looking for,” he said. “Playing hard will cover up a lot of sins. We’re having a hard time scoring the basketball right now. If we’re not going to score I’m at least going to play hard and play the right way.
“If we can’t shoot the ball we can’t give up 66. We’ve got to find kids that can limit that.”
Phillips complimented Ragon, Hofer, Bloom and Perry for their play.
Ragon topped the Owls in scoring with 11 points, Hofer had 7 points and 6 rebounds, and Bloom scored 8 points in the first period.
“Seth Ragon was phenomenal,” Phillips said. “Seth personified what I’m talking about tonight. (Friday) night and tonight Seth got some minutes he made the most of. He showed me he’s willing to play hard and will do what I ask on the floor. He’s going to be rewarded for that.
“Alex Hofer had a good weekend. He made the most out of his minutes, and he’s going to be rewarded for that as well. I’m going to find kids that are going to do things the way I want them done and they’re going to see the floor.
“Alan is steady. Alan’s going to do what you ask him to do. He’s going to be that leader. I think Tyler Bloom played well tonight. Tyler’s not making shots he’s capable of. Tyler, in the locker room, took complete responsibility for that. That’s Tyler turning the page because six weeks ago he wouldn’t have taken that responsibility. He promised his teammates he’s going to work hard in practice.
Craft and Thompson had three 3-pointers each for the Cubs (2-0) and scored 17 and 15 points respectively.
“The bottom line: I’m trying to turn these guys into young men and that’s got nothing to do with basketball,” Phillips said. “We get that taken care of, we get the effort take care of, and the scoreboard will take care of itself.”
The Owls (1-2) will travel to Jeffersonville Friday night for their Hoosier Hills Conference opener.