SEYMOUR — Columbus East had possession of the ball in the closing seconds of Saturday night’s game at Seymour.
Jonathan Foster was fouled with 10.6 seconds left and converted the first free throw. His second attempt bounced off of the rim. After a battle for the loose ball, the Owls gained possession and called timeout.
Following the timeout, Seymour got the ball inbounds and they were able to run out the clock to send the Olympians home with a 41-40 Hoosier Hills Conference defeat.
“It is a tough loss for us,” said Foster, who finished with 12 points. “The first half, we did not play well. We did not play like us. We did not attack like we usually do.”
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Seymour coach Tyler Phillips, who has known Foster from when he was a teacher Central Middle School, shared a few words with him following the game.
“I told him that I love you then, I love you now, and if you ever need anything, don’t hesitate to ask,” Phillips said. “I knew his family, and that is a family I have nothing but the highest regard for.”
East (4-7, 0-2) started out very slow, but its defense that kept it in the game. Matthew Frost hit a 3-pointer to send the Olympians to halftime trailing only 17-16.
“We did not play the first half,” East coach Brent Chitty said. “This is not the same team that I saw at Christmas time.”
In the third quarter, the Olympians captured the lead when Max Nolting hit a 3-pointer to make it 23-21. The Owls (4-8, 1-3) responded with a big shot of their own when Tyler Bloom hit a triple to retake the lead. Frost then responded with a 3, then Alan Perry knocked down a basket to tie it at 26-26.
Seymour managed a little separation toward the end of the third quarter to lead 33-29.
“It is not anything we call, it is just Tyler being a senior and it is Alan Perry being Alan Perry out there,” Phillips said. “They have played for a very long time and now the experience of playing is starting to pay off.”
East was trailing 37-29 early in the fourth quarter before Foster got going. He knocked down two consecutive buckets to cut it to 37-34. After the Owls’ Tiller Cummings scored a basket, Foster hit two free throws to make it 39-36.
Tanner McFall hit a 3 for East to tie the game at 39-39. Perry hit a layup late to put the Owls ahead for good.
It will be a quick turnaround for the Olympians, who travel to Bloomington South on Monday for a game that was postponed on Friday.
“It is going to be tough, but hopefully we can find the answers come Monday,” Chitty said.