Seymour’s third quarter shutout leads to region title

By Steve Williams

The Halls vs. Seymour Region 2-3A girls title game was rocking along nip and tuck like most fans expected last week.

Then the third quarter happened.

Halls was shut out and the host Lady Eagles pulled away for a 51-32 victory and their second straight region championship.

“I think the third quarter we got in our heads,” said Halls Coach Savannah Harrison after the game.

“Having some key players that got in foul trouble and had to sit the bench for most of that second half really hurt us. And not just because we didn’t have them in the game; it got in the other girls’ heads as well. I think the difference in the game was that third quarter to be honest.”

Trailing only 21-19 at halftime, the Lady Red Devils had six turnovers in the third quarter, including a charging foul and three traveling violations, and that combined with missed field goal attempts led to Seymour taking the quarter by an 11-0 margin.

Seymour Coach Greg Hernandez said: “We used that energy of executing offensively on the defensive end. That allowed us to lock in and then just contain the dribble. I was proud of the way we did that. We just forced them to take tough shots.”

Halls’ Raegan Corvette hit a 3-pointer from the left wing at the start of the final period to finally end the scoring drought and cut Seymour’s lead to 10 (32-22) but had to take a seat on the bench due to being in foul trouble.

A 17-foot jump shot by Bailey Roberts again pulled the Lady Red Devils within 10 points (38-28) midway into the quarter, but Halls would never get any closer.

Bailey McCoy, a Milligan University commit, led Seymour’s balanced attack with 13 points. Jaden Cummings also was in double figures with 11. Caiden Russell added eight, Brielle Turner seven and Kaylen Schultz six.

Senior Sophie Tharpe and junior Megan Biliter led Halls with nine and eight points, respectively.

Total errors by the two teams in the game were about even as Halls had 12 turnovers and Seymour 13.

The Lady Eagles’ offensive play and execution contributed significantly to the outcome.

Seymour held the ball for the last shot of the first quarter and got a layup right before the buzzer by Schultz to take a 9-8 lead.

In the second quarter, a pretty bounce pass from McCoy to Russell gave the Lady Eagles’ a five-point lead.

Tharpe answered with a 3-pointer from the top of the circle, but a hustle play by Seymour got the lead back to five. After McCoy made her first free throw, she missed her second. Turner quickly chased down the rebound and passed to McCoy, who scored inside.

A 3-pointer by Keira Everette pulled Halls within two just before the half ended.

An in-bounds play produced a basket by McCoy in the third quarter for Seymour and a fast-break layup by Kelsey Cruze extended the Lady Eagles’ advantage to 11 points (30-19).

Seymour again ran off time late in the quarter before McCoy’s 17-footer gave the Lady Eagles a 32-19 advantage heading into the final period.

Seymour was scheduled to host Greeneville in Saturday’s Sectionals, while Halls traveled to Elizabethton.