That’s the one-word description head coach Chris Hastings gave for his Seymour Middle School “A” boys’ basketball team at the conclusion of the fall campaign, which saw his Tigers finish with a 10-6 record and third-place finish in the Summit Conference Tournament.
“This was a better season than expected,” Hastings noted.
“I told the boys after our last game that we had constant improvements throughout the season. This was one of my most coachable middle-school teams and a group of boys that plays very hard.”
Seymour ended its season in the league tourney.
Last Monday, Oct. 21, the Tigers, seeded third, dropped a close contest to No. 2 Hartville by a 39-30 count.
The next night, Tuesday, Oct. 22, Seymour won 46-43 over Norwood in the tourney’s third-place game.
It was the Tigers’ 10th win.
“Entering the season, I felt a .500 record was a realistic expectation,” Hastings said.
“This group overachieved.”
After a 1-3 start, the Tigers won nine of their final 12.
In the third-place win over Norwood, Seymour led early, holding an 11-9 edge after one quarter. That lead had grown to 25-15 by halftime.
The Tigers led 35-28 after three frames.
“We played excellent basketball through three quarters,” Hastings explained. “But in the fourth quarter, (Norwood) forced a few turnovers and got back into the game.”
With 1:30 left, the rival Pirates tied the contest.
“We responded with a basket on our next possession and led from then on,” Hastings said. “I was proud of how we responded. A 10-6 record is much better than 9-7.”
Conner Young paced Seymour’s offense with a game-high 18 points, including 12 in the first half.
Derek Helms added 11 points, while guards Brayden Baker and Luke Rasmussen each scored 7.
Trevor Young netted 2, while Caleb Schreffler rounded out the scoring with 1 point.
Against Hartville in the event’s semifinals, Hastings said his ballclub “played a great game.”
Seymour led 6-5 after one quarter and 16-15 at the half.
Entering the fourth quarter, the Tigers only trailed by three points at 24-21.
“Honestly, I thought we played one of our best games of the season against Hartville,” Hastings said. “Hartville just made more plays at the end of the game.”
He noted that Conner Young, the team’s leading scorer, battled foul trouble all night.
“When that happened, the team stepped up,” Hastings said.
“We hit some shots, made some big defensive stops. In this one, Hartville had to earn its win.”
Conner Young’s 14 points paced the Tigers.
Baker and Rasmussen each scored 5.
Helms added 4 points, while Trevor Young had 2.