With phenom Romeo Langford and the Class 4A No. 4 New Albany boys basketball team coming to town, the fans showed up at the Lloyd E. Scott Gymnasium.
While the crowd got a show on Saturday, it didn’t go Seymour’s way.
The reigning state champion Bulldogs bested the Owls 86-40 in dominating fashion.
New Albany (9-2, 3-0 HHC) opened the game on an 8-0 run behind a pair of 3-pointers by Sean East.
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Tyler Bloom stopped the Owls’ bleeding with a 3-pointer, and added another trey, to cut the deficit to 12-8 with 3:11 on the clock.
Despite the scores from distance, the Bulldogs responded to Seymour (3-7, 0-3 HHC) in a big way by finishing the final 2:16 with eight unanswered points to lead 20-8.
Seymour’s Seth Ragon traded baskets with the Bulldogs’ Derrick Stevenson at the start of the second quarter before the Bulldogs went on a 6-0 scoring string to lead 31-12 at 4:02.
Dylan Wilson got a basket, and Ty McCory drained back-to-back 3-pointers for the Owls as they trailed 38-21 with 54 seconds left.
With just under two seconds before intermission, East converted an and-one opportunity to bolster the Bulldogs’ lead to 41-21.
Seymour turned the ball over 14 times in the first half. They would finish with 23 total giveaways.
Langford, guarded by Ragon in a man-to-man defense, tallied just four points in the first half: none of which came in the second quarter.
The Bulldogs outscored the Owls 14-5 through the first six minutes of the third quarter, led by eight points from East.
With one second left on the clock, Langford rose up for a dunk off an offensive rebound to push the Bulldogs ahead 63-30 after 24 minutes of play.
Langford added another eight points in the fourth quarter as the Bulldogs went in cruise control the rest of the way.
Of their 40 points, 27 came from 3-pointers for Seymour.
The Bulldogs dominated inside the paint, making 24 of 28 attempted field goals from two-point range.
East led the Bulldogs with 24 points and Langford added 20.
Phillips commended the team for holding Langford down most the game.
“You can’t ask any more than what they did,” Phillips said. “Seth (Ragon) did everything he could and left everything on the floor. Alan (Perry) also did a nice job and Evens (Cribs) is giving up a foot on him and battled. That’s all I ask of the kids, to battle and be warriors for us.”
McCory topped the Owls with 12 points off the bench while Bloom chipped-in nine.
“That’s a translation of practice,” Phillips said of McCory. “Every single night he goes game speed at practice. What we saw in the game is what we see every day.”
On the boards, the Bulldogs out-rebounded the Owls 23-19.
“They’re the state champions for a reason,” Phillips said. “That doesn’t happen by fluke, and they showed that tonight. We take nothing but positives. (New Albany) is where we want to be as a program, and we saw what it takes. That team has lost three games in two years, and I have nothing but praise for the kids tonight.”