By: Lee Ramsey
Some losses in sports hurt worse than others. Last week was one of those times as the boys lost in overtime 54-53 while the girls lost in regulation 42-41 to Morristown West, in District 2-AAA competition.
For the boys, several front court turnovers in overtime ended the Eagles chances of an upset over the Trojans.
The Lady Eagles had the game in their grasp but sent a deadly free throw shooter for the Lady Trojans to the line too many times toward the end of the game. There were also too many missed scoring opportunities on the offensive end of the court for the Lady Eagles.
The boys down 8 in the fourth quarter made a comeback to tie the score 51-51. After a 3 pointer by Peyton Lee and two big time pressure free throws by senior Skylar Brown forced the OT.
After a lot of ball control offense 1:30 remained on the clock and Seymour led 53 -51 after a put back shot by the Eagle’s Nathan Casler.
The Trojan’s Dean Epps was fouled after a steal. He hit both free throws tying the score 53-53.
Seymour turned the ball over again 5 seconds later on a steal by Bo Crane of Morristown West. Crane hit 1 of 2 giving the Trojans a 54-53 lead. Seymour had the ball but couldn’t convert and the game ended.
Scoring for the Eagles went as follows: Skylar Brown with 19, D. J. Griffin 14, Logan Jenkins 9, Peyton Lee 6, Nathan Casler 4, and Alex Lambert 1.
Seymour Head Coach Brian Jesse had this to say, “We knew our styles were contradictive. We like to get up and down the floor and they like to slow it down. They were leading the league in defense and we were second in offense. For the most part, they are really quick and that compliments their motion offense. I thought we did a good job of containing them.”
“Offensively we just had too many turnovers. That seems to be the thing right now and it came back to bite us. The last 11 seconds (of the game) we went with a bigger lineup in the zone and it worked.”
The coach then went on to discuss the overtime, “Our guards just didn’t play well in overtime. I thought we beat them inside all night long. They have to learn from it and they will. We’re still inexperienced (in the front court). We’ve got to fight our way through this and show some maturity. I was still really proud of them. We got down 2 or 3 times and we still fought back from 8 or 9 points. We could have easily folded but we didn’t.”
“I told the kids we’re going to come back. We need to stop hurting ourselves. This is the second stage. We’ve learned to be competitive and not give up. Now we’ve got to learn to finish. That will come.”
The Lady Eagles lost by the same margin but the game didn’t go into overtime. They led the entire game only to let it slip away at the end against the defending district champions.
Down by 6 mid way through the fourth quarter, the battle tested Lady Trojans came back to tie the game 35-35.
Seymour’s Shaelyn Brown drove and scored with 0:57 to go making the score 38-36 Lady Eagles. That’s when the fouls started. Whitney Donaldson couldn’t miss from the charity stripe tying the score and then hitting 2 more FTs to put her team up by two 40-38 with 16 seconds to go in the game.
Seymour couldn’t score and Donaldson hit two more FTs. Lady Eagle Brittany Seagle hit a late 3 pointer but it was one point short. The clock ran out and the game was over.
Seagle and McCarter led Seymour in scoring with 8 apiece followed by Brown and Kasie Norman with 7, Mariah Flynn had 4, Jordan Ballard 3, and Hannah Moore and Erin Fine had 2 each.
Head Lady Eagle Coach Brandi Stallings had this to say after the game, “I’ve got to remind myself that I have some inexperienced players out there. We have four seniors but we are young. In that regard I guess we’re fortunate to only have a 2 point loss and 1 point loss.”
She went on to say, ”They let one slip away so at this point we’ve got to go back to practice and go back to work. They play hard in that regard and I’m proud of them. We’ve had two tough games; two tough district games right off the bat but we’ve battled to the end. Should we be in the games? I don’t know but we’re giving ourselves a chance to win. It’s disappointing that we let this one slip away. I take the blame for this one for not having them better prepared down the stretch.
“They’ve grown up a bit lately. Hopefully there is improvement that everybody sees that we see in practice day to day. If there wasn’t improvement we couldn’t be this close to some of the top powers in the IMAC.”
The next home game for Seymour is December 17 against South-Doyle after facing Cocke County away.
Double Heartbreak for Seymour Basketball
By: Lee Ramsey