The Seymour boys basketball team scored 18 points during the first 11 minutes of Saturday’s game at Whiteland and enjoyed an early two-point lead. Then the scoring drought struck.
The Owls scored just 16 points over the game’s remaining 21 minutes, while Whiteland shot the ball like a home team, hitting 19 of 38 attempts, and pulled away to a comfortable 54-34 victory.
“Late in the game, we’re just not making shots,” Seymour head coach Tyler Phillips said. “That’s been our modus operandi all season. I don’t know if it’s conditioning or what, but we’ve got to find a way to make our shots at the end of the game.”
Seymour (1-4) opened the night by hitting seven of its first 14 field goal attempts. With 4:46 left in the second quarter, Ty McCory drained a 3-pointer from the left side, giving the Owls the lead, 18-16.
McCory’s shot was Seymour’s final basket of the half, however. Whiteland (4-1) scored eight unanswered points to take a 24-18 lead into halftime.
After their solid start, the Owls made just seven of their next 28 shots, hampering any hopes of pulling off a road victory.
Seymour played Saturday’s game without senior Tyler Bloom, the team’s leading scorer (13 points per game), who was forced to sit out after being ejected from Friday’s contest at Jeffersonville.
With Bloom watching from the bench, junior Alan Perry led Seymour with 11 points, while fellow junior Tiller Cummings had his strongest game of the season with nine points.
“If we’re going to be successful, we need Alan and Tiller to contribute offensively,” Phillips said. “Tiller’s got to be selfish in the lane. I felt like he played like a grown man tonight. Alan’s just got to be a playmaker and not worry so much about Xs and Os.”
After falling behind 12-5 to start the game, Cummings scored four straight points and Perry made a 3-pointer to pull the Owls to within two, 15-13. A turnaround jumper by Dylan Wilson and McCory’s 3-pointer then gave Seymour its too-brief lead at 18-16.
Whiteland’s Michael Valle made sure his team’s grip on the game remained firm by making six consecutive shots en route to a game-high 23 points, including 16 in the second half.
Cummings led Seymour with six rebounds, followed by Perry with four and Seth Ragon and Evens Cribs with three each.
Saturday’s loss was Seymour’s fourth straight after opening the season with a victory at Corydon. The defeat also was the Owls’ sixth straight to Whiteland.
Seymour’s four losses this season have come against teams that are a combined 13-1. Asked if the Owls’ schedule keeps him up at night, first-year coach Phillips chuckled.
“I’m a ‘Why not?’ person more than a ‘Why?’ person,” Phillips said. “It’s really about the tournament. To prepare for the tournament, why not play the best? We go all over the state playing great competition. True competitors wouldn’t have it any other way. Our kids are mentally tough. We look at it as one game a night. We’re trying to go 1-0 22 times.”