For The Tribune

Columbus East had possession of the ball in the closing seconds of Saturday night’s game at Seymour.

Jonathan Foster was fouled with 10.6 seconds left and converted the first free throw. His second attempt bounced off of the rim. After a battle for the loose ball, the Owls gained possession and called timeout.

Following the timeout, Seymour got the ball inbounds and they were able to run out the clock to send the Olympians home with a 41-40 Hoosier Hills Conference defeat.

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Seymour coach Tyler Phillips, who has known Foster from when he was a teacher Central Middle School, shared a few words with him following the game.

“I told him that I love you then, I love you now, and if you ever need anything, don’t hesitate to ask,” Phillips said. “I knew his family, and that is a family I have nothing but the highest regard for.”

East (4-7, 0-2) started out very slow, but its defense that kept it in the game. Matthew Frost hit a 3-pointer to send the Olympians to halftime trailing only 17-16.

“We did not play the first half,” East coach Brent Chitty said. “This is not the same team that I saw at Christmas time.”

In the third quarter, the Olympians captured the lead when Max Nolting hit a 3-pointer to make it 23-21. The Owls (4-8, 1-3) responded with a big shot of their own when Tyler Bloom hit a triple to retake the lead. Frost then responded with a 3, then Alan Perry knocked down a basket to tie it at 26-26.

Seymour managed a little separation toward the end of the third quarter to lead 33-29.

“It is not anything we call, it is just Tyler being a senior, and it is Alan Perry being Alan Perry out there,” Phillips said. “They have played for a very long time and now the experience of playing is starting to pay off.”

East was trailing 37-29 early in the fourth quarter before Foster got going. He knocked down two consecutive buckets to cut it to 37-34. After the Owls’ Tiller Cummings scored a basket, Foster hit two free throws to make it 39-36.

Tanner McFall hit a 3 for East to tie the game at 39-39. Perry then hit a layup late to put the Owls ahead for good.

Bloom paced Seymour with 14 points, and Perry added 9.

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James Pence is a sports correspondent for The Republic.