Sunday, March 5, 2017

FINAL HORN: Bulldogs down Floyd to earn fourth straight sectional title 54-38

SEYMOUR – The New Albany Bulldogs are sectional champions once again.
The defending Class 4A state champions won the Class 4A Seymour Sectional championship game over archrival Floyd Central on Saturday night in front of 8,000-plus spectators at Scott Gym 54-38. It was the Bulldogs’ fourth consecutive sectional title and their 52nd overall.
No. 1 New Albany (24-3) will play Center Grove (17-7) in the first semifinal of the Seymour Regional at 10 a.m. next Saturday. The Trojans defeated Franklin Central in the Franklin Central Sectional final Saturday 57-54.
The second regional semifinal at noon next Saturday will pit Bloomington South (22-4) against No. 8 Castle (22-3). The regional final will be at 8 p.m.
The Bulldogs appeared on their way to a blowout at the game’s outset. They reeled off the first 11 points in the first four minutes of the contest. Nine of the 11 were on 3-pointers – two by junior guard Sean East and one by junior swingman Romeo Langford.
But the Highlanders (19-5) extended their trapping zone defense and for a while, it stifled New Albany’s offense.
Floyd went on its own 11-0 run to tie the game at 11 at the 7:50 mark of the second quarter. After the Bulldogs took a 19-13 lead, the Highlanders scored eight straight points to take their first advantage of the contest at 21-19 with 1:46 remaining in the first half.
Langford got the lead back for New Albany at 22-21 with a 3-pointer under the 50-second mark. However, Floyd responded with a Brendon Hobson layup off a Luke Gohmann assist to give it a 23-22 halftime advantage.
Langford started the third quarter with a three-point play to put the Bulldogs back on top 25-23. But that was the only points he scored in the quarter thanks to Floyd’s trap. Langford had just nine points after three periods.
Sophomore forward Cobie Barnes nailed a 3 with 45 seconds left in the third to give the Highlanders a 35-32 advantage. But that was the last time Floyd had the lead.
Hibbard knocked down both ends of a 1-and-1 with 27.2 ticks remaining that deadlocked the game at 35.
At the start of the fourth, New Albany went on a 10-0 run to go up 45-35 at the 4:22 mark. East knocked down two 3-pointers during the spurt.
A pair of free throws by Floyd’s Trevor Apple cut the Bulldogs’ lead to 46-38 with 3:24 left in regulation. New Albany responded by scoring the game’s final eight points. In the fourth, the Highlanders scored just three points and missed all six of their shots.
East ended up with a game-high 18 points, shooting 6-of-8 from 3-point range.
“He was special tonight,” said New Albany head coach Jim Shannon, who won his 11th sectional championship at the Bulldog helm. “He played the way a point guard is supposed to play.”
Langford had 16 points and six rebounds. He reached the 2,000-point plateau in his high school career with his 3 in the opening quarter. Langford, who is New Albany’s all-time leading scorer, now has 2,014 career points.
Hibbard scored 11 points as he was a perfect 8-of-8 at the free-throw line. The Bulldogs were 10-of-17 from behind the 3-point arc (58.8 percent).
The Highlanders had no one score in double figures. Apple tallied a team-high nine points, while Gohmann and senior guard Tyler Kimm each chipped in eight points. Gohmann led Floyd Central in rebounding with five.
Floyd Central ended up shooting 13-of-34 from the floor (38.2 percent), as it posted its season-low in scoring. The Highlanders have not captured a sectional title since 1989. They lose two seniors in Apple and Kimm.
Check Southern Indiana Preps later this weekend for a breakdown of Saturday’s Class 4A Seymour Sectional championship game between Floyd County rivals New Albany and Floyd Central.

Floyd Central      8 15 12   3-38
New Albany       11 11 13 19-54
Floyd Central (19-5): Trevor Apple 9, Luke Gohmann 8, Tyler Kimm 8, Matthew Weimer 6, Cobie Barnes 5, Brendon Hobson 2, Evan Nichols 0, Gabe Shireman 0.
New Albany (24-3): Sean East 18, Romeo Langford 16, Isaac Hibbard 11, Derrick Stevenson 6, Blake Murphy 3, Julien Hunter 0, Savion Southers 0.
3-point field goals: Floyd Central 4 (Kimm 2, Barnes 1, Gohmann 1); New Albany 10 (East 6, Langford 2, Hibbard 1, Murphy 1).
Rebounds: Floyd Central 19 (Gohmann 5); New Albany 20 (Langford 6).
Turnovers: Floyd Central 8, New Albany 7.
Free throws: Floyd Central 8-10, New Albany 14-15.
Total fouls: Floyd Central 17, New Albany 14.
Fouled out: none.

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