Despite loss against Bloomington North, coach sees Owls improving

For The Tribune

Seymour boys basketball coach Tyler Phillips says some nights you have to give credit to the other team for its performance.

“I don’t feel like we lost that game — I feel like Bloomington North won it. They executed, they did what they had to to win,” Phillips said after the Cougars left the Lloyd E. Scott Gymnasium with a 63-51 win Saturday night.

North held a 39-34 lead going into the fourth quarter.

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The teams traded points the first three minutes of the fourth quarter with Ty McCory’s 3-pointer cutting North’s lead to 46-41 with five minutes remaining.

The visitors scored six straight points to move on top 52-41 and the closest the Owls could get after that was 10 points.

Phillips said a key statistic was free throws as the Owls made 11 of 21 and the Cougars hit 19 of 22.

Seymour was 7-for-12 in the fourth period while North was 13 of 16 during that time.

He said he was much more pleased with Seymour’s shot selection in the second half when the Owls made 10 of 30 shots from the floor, compared to 7-for-18 in the first half.

“In the second half we got good shots,” Phillips said. “Their athleticism and their length bothered us. They just kept pushing us out away from the rim. We’ve got to be disciplined enough to do what we’re supposed to under that kind of pressure. The first half we didn’t, the second half we did.”

McCory opened the game with a 3-pointer to give the Owls an early lead before the Cougars lit it up from the outside with Liam Wilkerson’s second 3 of the game giving his team a 9-4 lead, and the Cougars added free throws and layups to lead 17-8 at the end of the quarter.

Alan Perry had six points and Eddie Louden had four in the second quarter, but Jack Townsend made two 3s to help the Cougars to a 28-18 lead at the half.

Seymour (5-5) came out hot at the start of the third period with McCory hitting another 3, Perry converted a 3-point play and Zach Moore added a free throw to close the difference to 28-25 with 6:30 on the clock.

Jack Roberts’ basket brought the Owls to within 32-30 later in the period, and a rebound basket by Moore and a basket by Perry in the lane made it a 3-point difference at 37-34 before North scored the final bucket of the quarter.

McCory and Perry topped the Owls with 17 points apiece, while Moore was high rebounder with 7.

“I love Ty McCory, but he’s a one-dimensional scorer,” Phillips said. “If he can’t get his shot off, or it’s not falling, he’s going to struggle to score. If they clog the lane Alan’s going to try to get in there. We’re starting to have other guys step up and score when we need them to.”

North (4-6) had a balanced attack with Townsend scoring 16, Isaac Vancil had 14, Wilkerson 12 and Ethan Vancil 11.

Phillips said he likes the way Louden has improved his offense, and he praised sophomore Aiden Goen for his contribution.

“Eddie Louden stepped up tonight and he scored, and he usually doesn’t score, and Aiden Goen makes things happen just how hard he plays,” he said.

Phillips said the Owls are definitely headed in the right direction.

“I think every time we’re on the floor we get better,” he said. “I thought we got better again tonight. It’s a loss and we don’t want that, but we’re getting closer to where we want to be.”

The Owls will travel to Jennings County Friday night and to Columbus East Saturday night.

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Arv Koontz is a sports correspondent for The (Seymour) Tribune.