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Bulldogs bite Owls in sectional opener

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SEYMOUR — A 14-0 run, including four 3-pointers to start the game along with offensive rebounding and pressing, put New Albany in charge of Tuesday night’s Class 4A Sectional 15 game at Seymour.

The host Owls fell behind 23-4 after one quarter and 43-9 at halftime on 2-of-20 shooting from the field, and their season ended at 2-19 after an 85-30 loss.

“They are really, really good,” Owls coach Scott Miller said of the Bulldogs. “New Albany is a very good team. We didn’t feel like we could hold it on them. Their defensive pressure is just too intense, and we didn’t handle the press well early, and they shot very well (17 of 38 in the first half), which they are certainly capable of doing.”

The Bulldogs’ Jeffery Byrne nailed three 3-pointers to open the game, and Jermaine Parrish made another one at 5:47 for a 12-0 score. Seymour’s only basket was a 3-pointer by Jacob Moore with seven seconds remaining in the quarter.

Leondre McBirth went on a 7-0 run in the second quarter for a 32-6 New Albany lead. Again, Seymour made only one field goal — Zach Schlatterer’s layup off a steal by Landon Booth at 4:55.

“We shot very poorly,” Miller said. “(The Bulldogs) change shots because of their athleticism. At the end of the day, athletically and skill-wise, they are better than us, and they showed that tonight. It wasn’t for a lack of effort, and it certainly wasn’t for lack of desire.”

The Owls proved that by scoring 15 points in the third quarter. Colton Potter, Toriek Miller and Adam Bowman each hit 3-pointers for the Owls while Schlatterer had a pair of baskets. But Seymour trailed 64-24 going into the final eight minutes.

Byrne finished with a game-high 14 points. All 12 Bulldogs scored in the game. They take a 14-7 record into Friday’s semifinal game against Jennings County. Jeffersonville defeated Floyd Central 87-60 on Tuesday in the other side of the sectional bracket.

Schlatterer led the Owls with six points. Chase Salmon had a game-high 10 rebounds to go along with two points.

The Owls say goodbye to five seniors.

“This group’s been above and beyond what we had hoped for,” Miller said. “We anticipated some struggles this year, but these kids, their attitudes have been superior, their effort has been very admirable and their collective toughness both emotionally and physically is something that you can’t put into somebody.

“That’s what these kids have naturally, and they are all going to be very successful kids.”

“It was a frustrating season no doubt, and there’s a lot of disappointment tucked in there. But I’m sure not disappointed in the quality of kids that we have. We’ve got great kids in that locker room.”

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