By: Lee Ramsey
The Seymour Eagles basketball team is off and running.
After losing the pre-season County Jamboree held at Sevier County High School, the Eagles defeated Grainger at home then lost to Claiborne County away.
In the Jamboree, Coach Brian Jessie’s blue and gold roundballers started slow but finished strong although they weren’t able to close the gap losing 14-9. The teams only play for one quarter.
The Tigers scored first with a two and Seymour followed with a three by Nathan Casler which game them their only lead of the game. After more scoring the Tigers had a 7-3 lead.
Seymour’s Logan Jenkins hit a 3 with 5:01 left making the score 7-6 Pigeon Forge; and Eagles’ sophomore Peyton Lee struck a trey with 3:01 to go.
The Tigers, not to be outdone then answered with their own three making the score 12-9.
Pigeon Forge put a buzzer beater rebound back through to make the final 14-9 Tigers.
Seymour took the first game of the season against Grainger 85-76 in the Eagles home opener.
It was a high scoring affair with a lack of outstanding defense on both sides.
Seymour head basketball coach Brian Jessie said, “We played well overall but we need to play better defense. We also need to stop missing free throws.”
The score stood 46-42 at the half with the margin increasing about the same the second half.
Skylar Brown led Seymour in scoring with 25, followed by Logan Jenkins with 17, Robert Chesser with11, Nathan Casler with 9 and DJ Griffin with 7.
Seymour’s game plan was to establish themselves inside and it worked. The score should not have been as close as it was, however, as the Eagles only hit 22 of 35 free throws. That’s only 62 percent; a percent Coach Jessie is not pleased with.
The Claiborne County game didn’t go quite as well as the Eagles lost 64-53.
It was very different than the Grainger game with less offense, more defense and fewer shots made.
“We got a lot of good looks inside and didn’t score,” Jessie said. “We missed a lot of easy shots.”
The free throw shooting actually got worse as the Eagles only hit 16 of 30, barely above 50 percent.
Seymour was down by 11 at the half 32-21. The Eagles never gave up and fought back to tie the score 32-32 midway through the second half.
They were down 6 with 4 minutes to go when Claiborne County made a 6-0 run which pretty much iced the game as they hit most of their free throws at the end.
Jessie summed the season up so far by saying, “It’s early; we are trying to develop consistency.”
The Eagles are facing a tough schedule coming up in the next few days. They play Heritage at home then travel to Grainger for a Thanksgiving Tournament.
“We’re going to have to be mentally tough,” Jessie said. “It will be a good experience for the players to have that many games close together.”
He agreed that it will help prepare the tam for tournament play later on.
Seymour Roundballers Begin Season
By: Lee Ramsey