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Floyd stumbles late against Seymour

February 01, 2012
The Floyd Central Highlanders had to watch a second-half double-digit lead evaporate in their Hoosier Hills Conference matchup against visiting Seymour during Friday night's homecoming. The Owls bounced back from being down 11 to earn a 48-44 win.

Floyd Central center Jordan Thompson pounds home two points, but it wasn’t enough to lift the Highlanders in their 48-44 loss to visiting Seymour. Photo by Wade Bell
"When we get up 11, we've got to close the deal," Floyd Central coach Randy Gianfagna said. "We missed too many free throws and then gambled and gave them too much stuff."

Seymour used some long-range artillery to begin the game, canning three triples to establish a 13-4 lead in the first quarter. Connor Kirtley and Quinton Miller traded baskets before the end of the period, and Seymour had a 15-6 advantage.

Floyd Central tightened up its defense and, at the same time, Nick Bomersbach lit up the nets in the second quarter. Bomersbach scored inside, but Matthew Lucas countered with a three for Seymour.

Connor Schellenberg sank two free throws for the Highlanders and Bomersbach then buried three triples to pull Floyd Central back to within one, 20-19. Quinton Miller made two free throws to finish a 12-2 run, and the Highlanders took a 21-20 lead at halftime.

"They played zone the first half, and Nick came in and hit a couple of three's for us," Gianfagna said. "We've been able to grind it out the first half in games in a bunch of them. We got them to come out of the zone, and they went to man and we didn't handle it very well."

The Highlanders continued their offensive run in the third quarter with a 12-2 burst to lead 33-22 following a Miller deuce. At that point, however, Seymour began to gain a foothold.

The Owls countered with a 14-2 run into the fourth quarter to go back on top, 38-35.

Tanner Wortham sank a Floyd Central three-ball, but Lucas countered with two followed by three Owl free throws for a 43-38 Owl edge.

Miller got two Floyd Central freebies, but Tanner Stuckwisch canceled one of those with one of his own from the stripe.

Jordan Thompson hammered home a dunk with less than 30 seconds to go in hopes of sparking the Highlanders. That didn't happen, however, as Lucas canned two of the Owls' 12 free throws in the quarter to hold off the Highlanders.

"We got up 11 then just kept chasing when we were ahead," Gianfagna said. "We let Lucas get a couple and then they got a couple of bunnies. They made 12 free throws in the fourth quarter. One of the big things is to get to the free-throw line, and we didn't get to the free-throw line tonight."

Miller led the Highlanders with 16 points, and Bomersbach finished with 11. The Highlanders hit 15 of 40 field-goal attempts (38 percent) and 9 of 14 free throws. Floyd Central did a good job of handling the ball with just four turnovers for the night.

"I think we missed two free throws in a row then two front ends of a one-and-one," the Floyd Central coach said. "We were up about four or five."

"We've been working on situations, and they out-executed us," Gianfagna said. "When we go to the free-throw line, we have to make them like they did, and we didn't hit ours. That's just the way it is."

Lucas led Seymour with 24 points, and Kirtley finished with 10. The Owls connected on 14 of 38 shots from the field (37 percent) but were 16 of 21 from the free-throw line. Seymour had nine turnovers.

Gianfagna said his team was aware of Seymour's long-range shooting skills.

"Especially (Lucas) and (Mills)," he said. "(Lucas) wasn't supposed to be able to catch some, and he caught one right off the break the first possession. I thought we did a decent job on him until late, and we got caught chasing and he turned the corner a couple of times. We tied it with a three and then he ended up wide-open for a floater, just little things."

"We turned it over and took some contested two's where we felt like we could work through it a little bit longer," Gianfagna said. "When you've got an 11-point lead, you have to close it and get things done."

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