Despite only one win and a pair of losses last week in tournament action at Spokane, Seymour High School head boys’ basketball coach Chris Hastings said tourney play has been pretty positive for his young ballclub this season.
In 10 tournament games, the Tigers’ record is 6-4.
After last week’s Spokane Invitational, Seymour’s season record stood at 8-9, a fairly strong mark for a squad that started the season with a 1-6 mark.
Seymour, seeded seventh, opened tournament play last Tuesday, Jan. 19, with a 67-42 defeat to the second-seeded host Spokane Owls, then bounced back last Friday with a 56-33 victory over Southwest of Washburn to advance to the event’s fifth-place game.
In the consolation championship Saturday, the Tigers fell 37-26 to Blue Eye.
“We struggled a lot offensively against Blue Eye,” Hastings said. “Our start wasn’t bad, and we actually led this game after the first quarter.
“But in a slow-paced game, we didn’t shoot the ball well at all. Defensively, we did a good job, holding (Blue Eye) to only 37 points. But you can’t beat a varsity team when you only score 26 points.”
The Tigers led 11-7 after one quarter, then trailed 18-15 at halftime.
After three quarters, Seymour was down 24-18.
“It was a pretty exciting offensive show,” Hastings said with a smile.
Blue Eye outscored the Tigers 13-8 in the final frame for the 11-point margin.
“Shots just didn’t fall,” Hastings said. “It’s as simple as that. We ended up shooting 29 percent from the field.”
Seymour also committed 15 turnovers.
Leading the Tiger offense was 6’0” sophomore guard Eli Nunnally with 9 points.
Senior Evan Crump added 8.
Junior post player Bryson Benson had 4 points, sophomore guard Bill Daily scored 3, while senior forward Brock Pearce rounded out the team’s scoring with 2 points. He also grabbed a team-high 7 rebounds.
Leading scorer Payton Bryant was held scoreless; however, the 5’8” junior guard did have 4 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals.
Was fatigue a factor?
“Maybe,” Hastings said. “It might have had an impact in terms of our shooting. But Blue Eye also played the previous night like we did.”
Tigers thump Southwest
In the consolation semifinals on Friday, Seymour got off to a quick start and cruised to a 23-point victory over Southwest of Washburn.
The Tigers led 19-5 after one quarter.
“We started off great,” Hastings said. “Eli (Nunnally) was hot early, hit three shots from three-point range, and early in the second quarter, we were up 25-5.”
Seymour led 36-17 at halftime.
In the third quarter, Southwest rallied as the Tigers ran into foul trouble.
“We did have our momentum stalled in the second half due to foul issues,” Hastings said.
The Tiger edge was 45-32 after three quarters.
“Fortunately, we really played well in the fourth quarter and outscored them 11-1,” Hastings added.
Seymour shot 47 percent (24 for 51) from the field, hit all three of its free throws and forced 17 turnovers.
The Tigers dominated in the post, scoring 32 points in the paint while holding Southwest to 10 interior points.
Three Tigers had double-figure point totals.
Bryant led the way with 15 points. He also grabbed 6 rebounds and handed out 3 assists.
Nunnally scored 14 points, hitting 4 of 5 three-pointers.
He added 4 rebounds.
Crump had 13 points and 5 rebounds.
Senior Nathaniel Hosiner had a season-best 8 points and 4 rebounds, while Benson and Pearce scored 3 each.
Daily added 2 points, 5 rebounds and 5 assists.
In the tourney’s opener on Jan. 19, Seymour trailed by a 16-5 count after one quarter, 27-13 at halftime and 44-29 entering the final stanza.
“We just came out flat,” Hastings said.
“You can’t spot a good team an early 15-point lead. I’ll give credit to Spokane. They have a really good team.”
Bryant was the Tigers’ offensive leader with 15 points, 3 rebounds and 2 steals.
Nunnally scored 7, while Benson, Daily and Pearce each
had 6 points.
Hosiner rounded out the scoring with 2.
Benson, Daily and Pearce led the Tigers in rebounding with 5 each.
Daily had a team-high 4 assists.
Late Tuesday, the Tigers played host to Class 5 Reeds Spring.
On Friday, Seymour plays host to Summit Conference foe Norwood. Annual homecoming ceremonies also are set that evening between the junior-varsity and varsity games.
Action starts at 6 p.m.