By KEVIN HARRIS
SEYMOUR – Jeffersonville clinched a share of the Hoosier Hills Conference championship Tuesday night by defeating host Seymour at Scott Gym in overtime, 65-61.
It was the Red Devils’ first conference title since they won it outright in 2011, which was the year they won their only state championship. Jeff (13-7, 6-0 HHC) can secure the outright HHC crown Friday night if it defeats archrival New Albany (13-5, 3-1) at Johnson Arena. The game will tip off at approximately 7:30 p.m.
Trailing 12-9 at the end of the first quarter, the Red Devils outscored the Owls (14-6, 3-2) in the second 24-8 to take a 33-20 lead at halftime. But Seymour came back by claiming the third quarter 21-10 to pull within 43-41. The Owls outscored Jeff 14-12 in the fourth to tie the contest at 55 and force overtime.
The Red Devils outscored Seymour 10-6 in overtime to pull out the four-point win. Jeff assistant coach Craig Harris lauded Red Devil sophomores Chelsea Gibson and Tori Handley for their efforts in overtime. Gibson scored six of her eight points in the extra session, while Handley made some key defensive plays and hit a big free throw with a handful of seconds left to put Jeff up 65-61.
“Tori Handley stepped up big for us in overtime. She had a couple steals and blocked a 3-point attempt that would've tied the game,” Harris said. “This was a very nice road win and a good test overcoming adversity as we head toward sectionals.”
Freshman forward Nan Garcia and senior guard Jhala Henry each led the Red Devils with 15 points. Both players hit three 3-pointers apiece. Two other Jeff players scored in double figures as Jacinta Gibson tallied 12 points and Jaylynn Brown came off the bench with 11.
Seymour’s Ashton Chase and Lauren James shared team-high scoring honors with 14 points apiece.
JEFFERSONVILLE 65, SEYMOUR 61, OT
Jeff 9 24 10 12 10-65
Seymour 12 8 21 14 6-61
Jeff (13-7, 6-0 Hoosier Hills Conference): Nan Garcia 15, Jhala Henry 15, Jacinta Gibson 12, Jaylynn Brown 11, Chelsea Gibson 8, Tori Handley 3, Britney Epperson 1, Kelsie James 0, Jaelyn Lee 0.
Seymour (14-6, 3-2): Ashton Chase 14, Lauren James 14, Sarah Benefiel 12, Makenna Fee 12, Kayla Griffin 9, Megan Ritz 0.3-point field goals: Jeff 7 (Garcia 3, Henry 3, Brown 1); Seymour 10 (Benefiel 3, Chase 2, Fee 2, James 2, Griffin 1).