BY GREG FLINT
WILLIAMSPORT, Ind. —
The Seeger boys’ basketball team was at full strength for the first time all season and North Vermillion found this out the hard way as they dropped a 63-38 decision to the Patriots.
Yet it was the Falcons who looked strongest in the opening moments of the contest as they took an 4-2 lead thanks to good passing and attacking the basket.
Seeger countered with a trey from Jordan Stover who was returning from a hand injury, but still it was North Vermillion that seemed in control.
Then two things happened that turned the game from a battle into a one-side contest.
First, the Falcons started missing shots — all their shots whether they were jumpers from beyond the arc or fast break lay-ups. The ball simply would not go through the hoop for the visitors.
Secondly, North Vermillion made a few bad passes and Seeger capitalized on them to go on an 8-2 run to close out the quarter up 13-6.
Those two trends continued throughout the entire second quarter, but this time it was Borden Kennedy who hit a pair of treys for the Patriots. Joining him in scoring were Stover and Nathan DeVillez, the latter on his way to a game-high 14 points.
When the game reached the halfway mark, Seeger had a 34-11 lead.
“We came out ready to play and moved well,” said Seeger head coach John Collins. “We had a flat spell at the start of the second half, but we got it going again which was good to see.”
Whether it was a flat Seeger or pumped up North Vermillion that made the difference as the third quarter began, the net result was a Falcon run.
Cody Wright caught a pass beyond the arc from Brayden Woodard and drilled the ensuing shot for three. Jacob Earl followed with a jumper.
Seeger injected a couple of baskets during the North Vermillion run, but it continued with Kody Zumwalt hitting a trey and Woodard going coast-to-coast for a dunk.
Devon Sams then hit a short jumper, but DeVillez stopped the run momentarily with a lay-up. Wright hit another trey off a pass from Earl and the margin was down to 16.
The teams traded baskets for the remainder of the quarter and it ended with that same margin at 48-32.
Seeger finally got it going as Collins put it as the fourth quarter began. Once again, their defense forced cold shooting from the Falcons and their offense began to click.
Within three minutes, they had the margin back up to 21 points. The Falcons had chances to close the gap some from the line, but they one for six in the quarter and could draw no closer.
With three minutes left, both coaches started substituting and the game ended 63-38.
Collins said the return of Stover was a significant help to his team as the senior is not only a great penetrator on offense, but is “a really good athlete who helps our defense out a lot.”
While he was out, freshman Borden Kennedy moved up from the JV squad and started playing significant minutes at the point.
“Borden is playing really well as a freshman,” said Collins. “He’s played so much he sees the floor well. He really understands the game well.”
He continued, “When we get both of them [Kennedy and Stover] on the floor together, it really ups our offensive power and we’re a stronger team.”
With the Patriots scheduled to face the Mustangs of Fountain Central in the sectional opener on Tuesday, Collins said that the win was a big one for his team.
“After last week [a loss to Turkey Run], we got back to doing what we do well,” he explained. “We got back to making the extra pass and not caring who scores. That’s what we need to keep doing.”
Greg Flint is a freelance writer/photographer for the Commercial-News. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org