McCONNELLSBURG - For Southern Fulton's Alex Seburn, it was almost like shooting baskets at somebody's backyard hoop by himself.
McConnellsburg's defense paid a heavy price for ignoring the Indians' 6-foot-3 center when he drifted outside the arc Friday night. Seburn was 8-for-11 from the field, including 6-for-8 on 3-pointers, and scored 22 points to lead SF to a 71-30 thrashing of the Spartans in a Sideling Hill/Inter-County boys game Friday night.
In the second period, when Southern Fulton moved a 12-5 lead to a 30-9 advantage, Seburn knocked down four treys.
"When they went to a 3-2 (zone) I was surprised how open I was," Seburn said. "They kept backing off, and I thought if they don't come out, I'll just keep shooting them."
McConnellsburg coach Dennis Swope said, "My boys weren't getting out on him and he kept draining the threes."
For good measure, Seburn added another couple of bombs in the third period when SF (12-7, 8-5 SHL, 9-4 ICC) increased its lead to 53-22.
"Alex just kept hitting the open shots," Indian coach Kent Hendershot said. "If they were willing to take away our high scorer (Nick Smartt), then somebody else has to step up and make shots, and tonight, Alex did. They weren't going to guard him, so I told him to keep stroking it since he had the hot hand."
Seburn's career high before Friday was 16 and his high for the season was 13.
"I'm not a starter anymore," Seburn said, "so I'm trying to come off the bench and help the team any way I can."
Putting Seburn on the bench to start games is one of a few changes Hendershot made in the middle of the season that have paid off for the Indians. They have won seven of their last eight games and have transformed themselves into a playoff threat.
Hendershot said, "I was telling everybody from the start I liked this team. We adjusted the lineup and since then we've come into our own. It started with defense - teams playing us the second time are scoring less than they did before."
In the last eight games, SF has held teams under 40 points six times.
Swope said, "I'd say they are getting tuned up for the playoffs. Their defense is tough."
SF took away the top scoring threat for McConnellsburg (6-14, 2-11 SHL, 3-9 ICC), Tyler Green, and held him to just six points.
"You have to stop him," Hendershot said. "We made him work hard for his shots. That's something we work a lot on, containing the other team's top scorers."
It's something the Spartans have seen frequently lately.
Swope said, "Tyler has had to work hard just to get any shots.
Tony White led McConnellsburg with 11 points. The Spartans did not hit a three and took only six free throws.
The Indians, on the other hand, gave Seburn plenty of help. Connor Litton scored 15 points and used his 5-11 frame to grab eight rebounds, Jordan Clingerman worked inside for 15 points and Nick Smartt was 8-for-8 at the free throw line and had 13 points.
Notes: The Spartans turned the ball over 23 times, 12 of which were SF steals The Indians scored 13 consecutive points to end the first half Clingerman had a semi four-point play in which he made a short jumper, was fouled, missed the free throw, had the rebound tipped to him by Jake Ashkettle and made a jumper from the same spot as before.
Ed Gotwals can be reached at 262-4755 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Southern Fulton 71
Nick Smartt 2 8-8-13, Connor Litton 6 2-2 15, Brady Golden 0 0-0 0, Jake Ashkettle 1 0-0 2, Jordan Clingerman 7 1-5 15, Alex Seburn 8 0-0 22, Noah Smartt 2 0-0 4, Austin Mellott 0 0-0 0, Dristin Mellott 0 0-0 0, Casey Elbin 0 0-0 0. Totals 26 11-15 71.
Jesse Swope 2 0-0 4, Tyler Green 3 0-0 6, Tony White 4 3-4 11, Hunter Miller 1 0-0 2, Tyrel White 2 0-0 4, Nick Daniels 1 0-0 2, Matt Snyder 0 1-2 1, Jake Boehme 0 0-0 0, Landon Richards 0 0-0 0. Totals 13 4-6 30.
Southern Fulton 12 18 23 18 - 71
McConnellsburg 5 4 13 8 - 30
3-point shots - SF 8-16 (Seburn 4, Ni.Smartt, Litton). Shooting - SF 26-51 (51%); McC 13-51 (25.5%). Rebounds - SF 31 (Litton 8); McC 20 (To.White 5). Assists - SF 12 (Ashkettle 4); McC 6 (Swope 2). Steals - SF 12 (Ni.Smartt, Litton 4); McC 6 (Green 2). Turnovers - SF 10; McC 23.
Next game: SF: Tuesday, at home vs. Fannett-Metal, 7:30 McConn: Monday, at home vs. Hyndman, 7:30.