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A few 3-pointers, including one at the halftime buzzer, from unlikely sources helped Jennings County build a 30-17 lead Saturday at Seymour.
The Panthers then turned to the post in the second half, and those players came through, allowing Jennings County to win its Hoosier Hills Conference opener 68-57.
Jennings senior starter Johnny Scruggs hit two 3s in the first quarter, and senior starter Adrian Kirchner hit one early in the second quarter. Then in the final two minutes of the first half, junior Ethan Jarvis hit a pair.
The Panthers outscored the Owls 21-7 in the second quarter after trailing 10-9 through one quarter.
“It was big because they didn’t guard a couple of our guys because they haven’t made any 3s all year,” Panthers coach Joe Hartwell said. “(Scruggs and Jarvis) made two in the first half, so it could have easily went against us and we missed those shots, and it could have been where (the Owls) were going to keep with that plan. But once we started making them, they had to go out and guard everybody, and that helped us.”
Midway through the third quarter, Seymour outscored Jennings 12-7 and was within 37-29. The Owls got nine points from Chase Salmon, and five each from Landon Booth and Toriek Miller to help them outscore the Panthers 23-19 and make it a 49-40 game going into the fourth quarter.
Jennings post players Richard McNamee and Brad Hunt came up big in the second half, scoring 13 and eight points, respectively. McNamee led his team with 19 points, and Hunt finished with 15.
“That’s where we had an advantage all night, if we would go into the post, and (the Owls) were trying to put two or three guys in,” Hartwell said. “Thankfully, we hit some shots early in the first half to make them want to guard on the perimeter so we could get more touches in the post. I thought Richard McNamee and Brad Hunt did a great job about getting the ball inside and going strong to the rim.”
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