By KEVIN HARRIS
SEYMOUR – The old basketball adage is defense wins championships.
Floyd Central’s defense got it one step closer to collecting a title Friday night at Scott Gym.
The Highlanders held Seymour to 17.9 percent field-goal shooting (5-of-28) in a 44-26 victory in the Class 4A Seymour Sectional semifinals. Floyd Central (19-4) will face Floyd County rival New Albany (23-3) in the championship game at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.
The Highlanders have not captured a sectional championship since 1989 when they last reached the Final Four. Floyd Central will be playing in its first sectional final in 13 years.
“They’re Indiana boys. They’ve been dreaming about this their entire life,” Highlanders’ head coach Todd Sturgeon said. “I’d like to think we’re going to come out pistols blazing. We’ll see.”
Simply put, the Owls (9-15) could not hit the broad side of a barn.
In the first three quarters, Seymour made just three field goals – one in each of those periods – out of 20 attempts. The Owls failed to score in double figures in any of the four quarters and had no player reach double digits. It was the sixth time this season that Floyd has limited an opponent to a score in the 20s.
“I’m happy to hold them to three field goals in three quarters,” Sturgeon said. “I was really happy with our half-court defense.”
In addition, Seymour made eight more free throws (13) than field goals. The Owls ended up 13-of-20 from the line (65 percent).
PLAYER OF THE GAME: Cobie Barnes, Floyd Central – The sophomore forward was the lone player in the contest with a double-figure point total with 10 points.
Plus, Barnes’ athleticism and length played a huge role in the Highlanders’ splendid defensive effort versus Seymour, especially when Floyd was in its 1-3-1 trap.
KEY SEQUENCE: The Highlanders took full control in the third quarter, outscoring the Owls 15-6 in the period to go up 36-18. Junior Brendon Hobson provided Floyd Central a boost off the bench in the stanza with six points.
The Highlanders’ 1-3-1 trap was put to great use as Seymour misfired on nine of 10 field-goal attempts in the third. Plus, the Owls committed four turnovers in the quarter.
UNSUNG HERO: Tyler Kimm, Floyd Central – Sturgeon lauded Kimm’s defense on Seymour guard Alan Perry. Kimm helped hold Perry to a team-high six points after the Owl junior poured in a game-high 18 points in Seymour’s 54-53 overtime win over Jeffersonville in the first round Tuesday.
“I thought Tyler Kimm was outstanding,” Sturgeon said. “Perry is a handful. He took over the Jeff game. Tyler is strong enough against him that (Perry) couldn’t quite get by him. That might’ve been his defensive game of the year, especially in a big moment for a senior to step up like that.”
Kimm, who ended up with five points, put an exclamation point on the huge third quarter by hitting a 3-pointer right before the buzzer.
WHAT FLOYD CENTRAL DID WELL: Along with their defense, the Highlanders dominated the boards by outrebounding Seymour 38-17.
Barnes grabbed a game-high eight rebounds. Hobson, Kimm and teammates Matthew Weimer and Luke Gohmann each snagged five.
AREA OF CONCERN FOR FLOYD CENTRAL: Despite the victory, the Highlanders were pretty cold with their shooting. Floyd Central shot 16-of-42 from the floor (38.1 percent).
The Highlanders must get some shots to go down Saturday if they are to beat New Albany and claim that coveted sectional title.
NEXT GAME: vs. New Albany, Saturday, 7:30 p.m., Class 4A Seymour Sectional championship game.
CLASS 4A SEYMOUR SECTIONAL
FLOYD CENTRAL 44, SEYMOUR 26
Floyd Central 11 10 15 8-44
Seymour 4 8 6 8-26
Floyd Central (19-4): Cobie Barnes 10, Trevor Apple 9, Luke Gohmann 8, Brendon Hobson 6, Tyler Kimm 5, Matthew Weimer 4, Evan Nichols 2, Thomas Hibbard 0, Gabe Shireman 0, Levi Siewert 0, Cam Sturgeon 0, Nick Winchell 0.
Seymour (9-15): Tiller Cummings 6, Alan Perry 6, Tyler Bloom 5, Ty McCory 3, Jordan Miller 3, Dylan Wilson 2, Alex Hofer 1, Evens Cribs 0, Max Otte 0.
3-point field goals: Floyd Central 2 (Gohmann 1, Kimm 1); Seymour 3 (Bloom 1, McCory 1, Perry 1).
Rebounds: Floyd Central 38 (Barnes 8); Seymour 17 (Bloom 7).
Turnovers: Floyd Central 9, Seymour 12.
Total fouls: Floyd Central 17, Seymour 14.
Fouled out: none.
Technical fouls: Nichols.