A year ago, the Seymour High School varsity girls’ basketball team won four games.
Last Friday, the Tigers doubled that win total with their eighth victory of the 2019-20 campaign.
For the third consecutive time, Seymour posted a two=win week, securing wins over Pleasant Hope and School of the Ozarks (S of O), both in road contests.
After a 2-9 start to the season, the Tiger record now stands at 8-12 after six wins in the squad’s past nine games.
“We’re playing better, playing as a team more,” Seymour coach Trent Copling said.
“A lot of it is doing the little things like running offense, passing the ball better, playing tougher defense. And it also helps to win games and build confidence.”
Last week opened on Tuesday, Feb. 4, when the Tigers traveled to Pleasant Hope and won 53-42.
Mansfield visited Seymour last Thursday and won 71-35, which dropped Seymour’s Summit Conference mark to 1-4.
But the Tigers bounced back Friday with a 36-29 victory at S of O, the team’s eighth win of the season.
Seymour has four games remaining in the regular season.
“The goal is to get to 10 regular-season wins, and I think we can do that,” Copling said.
“If we do that, then I feel we’ve got a good chance of earning the No. 6 seed in our (Class 2) district tournament at the end of the month.”
In action Friday at S of O, the Tigers jumped out to an early lead as it appeared Seymour would cruise to a win.
Seymour led 18-2 after the first quarter and by a 27-5 count at the half.
“We started well,” Copling said. “We were rebounding the ball, playing solid defense and scoring some points.”
The second half was a different story.
By the end of the third quarter, the Tiger lead was down to 17 points at 33-16.
And in the fourth quarter, the lead nearly disappeared as Seymour won by only seven points.
“S of O got within five (points),” Copling said.
“After playing excellent basketball in the fi rst half, I feel we were playing content in the second half. It was the opposite of how we played in the first half.”
Leading the Tiger scoring charge were junior Crystal Misemer and freshman Lillie Rasmussen as each scored 11.
Misemer added 5 assists and 2 steals, while Rasmussen had 5 rebounds and 2 steals.
Senior Libby Buchanan had 6 points, 7 rebounds and 2 steals.
Sophomore Hailey Felton had 5 points and 6 rebounds.
With 3 points and 4 rebounds was junior post player Karli Henry.
Sophomore Madelyn Kyle grabbed 4 rebounds.
The Tigers hit only 6 of 14 free throws in the game.
“I was glad to get the win,” Copling noted.
To open last week, Seymour used a big fourth quarter to win by 11 points at Pleasant Hope.
The game was tied at 35-35 entering the fourth quarter.
“In the fourth, we fi nally started running our (offensive) sets after trying to do a lot of individual things,” Copling said. “Pleasant Hope pressured us defensively, which at times made us make quick decisions on the offensive end.”
Henry was Seymour’s offensive leader by posting a rare double-double with 17 points and 12 rebounds.
Buchanan added 12 points, 5 rebounds and 4 steals.
Rasmussen had 9 points, 7 steals, 5 rebounds and 3 assists.
“Lillie really played well,” Copling said. “She often was a catalyst for us, evident by her seven steals.”
Misemer scored 7, Felton had 6 points, while Kyle had 2 points to round out the scoring.
Seymour hit 13 of 17 free throws in the contest.
In home action last Thursday against a very strong Mansfield squad, Seymour battled early but ultimately fell to the powerful Lions by 36 points.
“We were only down by nine (points) midway through the second quarter, then Mansfi eld called a time out and came back very strong,” Copling explained.
By halftime, the Lions’ lead was 23 points at 45-22.
Seymour trailed 60-30 entering the final frame.
Rasmussen paced Seymour offensively with 12 points, 4 rebounds and 2 steals.
Felton added 11 points and 5 rebounds.
Henry had 5 points, Kyle scored 3, and with 2 points each were Buchanan and Misemer.
Misemer also had 6 assists, 5 rebounds and 2 steals, while Buchanan grabbed 4 rebounds.
“Mansfield is one of the best teams we’ve seen this season,” Copling said.
This Thursday, the Tigers travel to Gainesville to face the host Bulldogs in Summit Conference action.
Game time is 6 p.m.