South-Doyle ends Seymour's season
Even after one of its worst offensive starts of the year, Seymour still was in it against South-Doyle.
The Eagles had maintained contact despite going 10 minutes, two seconds without a point in the first half. They chipped away at the Cherokee lead, cutting it to a possession as the third quarter wound down.
Then Malik Lundy’s 3-pointer just before the buzzer sapped that excitement.
“That was a big momentum changer,” said Seymour senior Austin Arrington. “I was like, ‘All right, we’ve got this.’ (Lundy) coming down and hitting that 3, that drained our momentum.”
The Eagles didn’t get any closer than three points over the final eight minutes, dropping a 41-32 decision to end their season in the first round of the District 2-AAA tournament at Jefferson County High School. Arrington had 17 points but only three other Seymour players scored and none had more than six points.
“Slow coming out of the gate,” said Gunner Gibson, who had six points. “We weren’t ready to play. We weren’t focused at all. Just came out the worst we’ve played all year.”
After taking a 2-0 lead on an Arrington bucket nearly three minutes into the game, Seymour (12-15) didn’t score again until there was 3:15 left in the second quarter. Some shots didn’t fall, others were blocked and when the Eagles had a chance to break for an easy layup, the first dribble was faulty or outlet passes weren’t on target.
Arrington said part of those struggles were a credit to Lundy and the Cherokees’ defense. The senior gave his opposite number plenty of credit for defending him off the dribble.
“Just very good ball pressure and frustrate them,” Lundy said of his team’s defensive plan. “Get them out of their rhythm of the game.”
Despite it all, the Eagles’ defense was equally stout, holding South-Doyle to 17 first-half points. An 8-0 Seymour run over the final 90 seconds of the half cut the lead to five.
The Eagles got themselves in position to take a lead in the second half, but South-Doyle (7-19) held on with big response after big response. An Arrington bucket cut the lead to three early in the third and Lundy just marched down and nailed a 3. Arrington cut it to 3 again, and South-Doyle scored the game’s next three points.
Finally Lundy, who had a team-high 11, made sure momentum stayed on the Cherokees’ side with that big 3 at the end of the third. A quick bucket by him 40 seconds into the fourth made it an eight-point game and any Seymour comeback was too tall a task from there on out.
“We got pretty good looks,” said Eagles coach Tony Buell. “We had two players (Arrington and Gibson) that essentially averaged 30 points per game, 17 and 13. We were always just looking for those other points.”