There’s a reason why North Harrison was bumped up to Class 4A this winter.
The Cougars, who finished as state runners-up in both 2016 and 2017 in Class 3A, have tore through their schedule again this season after moving up due to the IHSAA success factor.
On Saturday, at the Lloyd E. Scott Gymnasium, Class 4A No. 7 North Harrison (16-1) won its 10th straight game by topping Seymour 60-42. The Cougars’ lone loss on the season is to Pike.
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The Owls (8-10) kept it close in the opening quarter.
Three-pointers from the Owls’ Megan Ritz and Makenna Fee tied the game at six with 6:13 on the clock.
Following a pair of free throws from Maddie Roark, the Cougars went on a 9-0 run in the final 3:22 of the first quarter.
At the end of eight minutes of play, the Owls trailed 19-10.
The teams traded baskets in the first six minutes of the second quarter.
Fee, Roark and Aidan Hiester got buckets to go to bring the score to 21-14 with 5:01 left in the half.
Both teams scored eight points in the second quarter, as the Cougars held a 27-18 advantage at the break.
The Cougars went on an 11-1 run to start the third quarter to lead 48-19 by the 3:31-mark.
North Harrison outscored Seymour19-7 in the third quarter, and led 46-25 going into the final eight minutes.
While they were down by 21 points, the Owls didn’t back down.
In the final eight minutes, the Owls put up 17 points to the Cougars’ 14.
A 7-2 run, sparked by a 3-pointer from Ritz, cut the Owls’ deficit to 55-37 with 5:19 left.
Holding on to the lead, the Cougars cruised to the win.
Lilly Hatton, of North Harrison, led all scorers with 27 points and Taylor Rennirt had 12 points.
Roark topped the Owls with 12 points and Ritz added nine.
The Cougars won the rebounding (32-27) and turnover (12-16) margins.
“I didn’t feel like it was a 20-point game today,” Longmeier said. “I thought they made a couple stretches on us, which made it hard for us to get back into it.”
While the Cougars put up 60 points, Longmeier was impressed with the team’s defense.
“They’re giving up 38 points per game for a reason,” Longmeier said. “That defense is hard to figure out. They kind of dictate where the shots are coming from. I thought there were some early opportunities to get buckets at the rim, but we didn’t finish them or pass the right way. I think they’re really good.”
The Cougars and Owls could meet again down the stretch in sectional play.
“(North Harrison) has beaten us, Jeffersonville and New Albany,” Longmeier said. “You look at them, Bedford and Jeff as the three front runners. We need to figure out what we need to do to be in that mix.”