Prep Boys Basketball

Payson Seymour fends off upset-minded Western to win Winchester title

Trevor Voss
By Herald-Whig
Posted: Jan. 13, 2018 9:55 pm

WINCHESTER, Ill. -- The Payson Seymour boys basketball team was well aware of the path Western took to reach Saturday night's championship game of the Winchester Tournament.

The Wildcats beat top-seeded, state-ranked and previously unbeaten Winchester West Central in the opening round, then adding upsets over Jacksonville Routt and Petersburg PORTA to become just the third No. 9 seed to reach the title game in the tournament's 96-year history.

"We knew they were coming in hot and had beaten some really good teams," Indians forward Trevor Voss said. "We knew we had to play them just like they were a top seed."

Payson Seymour, the No. 2 seed and ranked No. 8 in Class 1A, allowed the Wildcats to overcome a double-digit deficit in the second half to tie the game before rebounding to take a 59-51 victory.

"Competing leads to success," Western coach Curtis Stout said. "We were successful tonight, even though we came up short."

The Indians (16-1) led 31-24 at halftime before taking a 40-29 advantage, the biggest lead of the night, after Voss made a layup with less than five minutes left in the third quarter.

The Wildcats (9-7) responded by closing the quarter on a 9-1 run to trail 41-38 heading into the final eight minutes. Jacob Goertz's 3-pointer with 6:30 left in the game tied the score 43-43 and forced Payson Seymour coach Brian Rea to call a timeout.

"Someone said this week that we were the ‘Cardiac Cats'," Stout said. "We did it all week. It didn't matter who we were playing. We just fought back."

It was the last rally Western had. The Indians outscored the Wildcats 11-4 over the next five minutes. Western didn't closer than five points the last two minutes of the game.

"I told them to close their eyes and breathe and know that we're a good team," Rea said. "I just told them to go finish this one off."

The first quarter saw three lead changes as the teams traded baskets before the Wildcats closed the opening quarter on an 8-0 burst to lead 20-15 after eight minutes.

"We stayed patient. We didn't get sped up in the first quarter offensively," Stout said. "We were making smart decisions, and that led to success."

The Indians outscored the Wildcats 16-4 in the second quarter.

"I told the boys that Payson is known for some surges," Stout said. "Their defense picks up at times, and that's what happened. We started playing their game instead of doing what worked early."

The Indians made no changes to their defensive strategy between periods.

"We played harder and played with more confidence," Rea said.

Voss had 26 points to lead Payson Seymour. Goertz had 24 points for the Wildcats, 10 of them in the first quarter.

Payson Seymour 59, Western 51

PAYSON SEYMOUR (16-1)

Ward 0 0-0 0, Miller 0 0-0 0, Brown 0 0-0 0, La. Loos 2 3-4 7, Lu. Loos 3 0-0 6, Cannady 1 0-0 3, Voss 11 1-3 26, Schwartz 3 2-2 11, Johnson 3 0-0 6. Totals 23 6-9 59.

WESTERN (10-6)

Howell 0 0-0 0, Goertz 7 6-6 24, Shover 0 0-0 0, Malone 3 1-3 7, Billings 3 0-0 7, Wellman 3 0-0 7, Smith 0 0-0 0, Rueb 0 0-0 0, Colgrove 3 0-0 6. Totals 19 7-9 51.

Payson 15 16 10 18 -- 59

Western 20 4 14 13 -- 51

3-point field goals -- Payson 7 (Cannady, Voss 3, Schwartz 3), Western 6 (Goertz 4, Billings, Wellman). Fouls -- Payson 14, Western 15. Fouled out -- Goertz.

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