By HANSON CRAFTON
> SOUTHERN INDIANA —
You can’t bank your season on one regular season game, but the young and inexperienced Charlestown Pirates took some big strides on Friday with a fourth-quarter comeback that resulted in a 49-44 victory over visiting Seymour at the Charlestown Sports Arena.
Charlestown trailed 35-33 entering the fourth quarter after leading by seven early in the game in what became a back-and-forth battle.
The Pirates took the lead for good at the 3:50 mark on a rebound basket by Jacob Pollock. That was the start of six consecutive points for Pollock who hit two free throws before putting back another miss.
After Dewey Cardwell missed two free throws, Darren Taylor was there to put back the second miss to give the Pirates their largest lead of the game at 45-37.
Seymour closed to within three at 45-42 with under a minute left, but the Pirates refused to fold. Cardwell, who moments earlier missed two at the line, calmly sank 2 of 2, as did Tanner Wesp, who had missed his previous three attempts from the stripe.
Charlestown did turn the ball over 23 times, compared to 16 for the Owls. Only eight of those 23 came after halftime and that was offset by a total dominance on the boards by the Pirates, who held a 45-21 advantage.
Pollock led the Pirates with nine boards, but Taylor (8), Hunter Crace and Jamal Long (7 each) and Wesp (6) were right there.
“This was a definite positive tonight, the way we stepped up at crunch time,” Charlestown coach Sean Smith said. “We’ve got very little varsity experience and I’m pleased the way we responded down the stretch. It wasn’t pretty. We still struggle with turnovers and missed shots around the rim, but we could have hung our heads also instead of hanging in there to win.
“And with our rebounding, we said early in the season that has to be our DNA. We have to be a strong rebounding team. We struggled early in the year out of our 2-3 [zone], but we’ve made some adjustments and that’s helped.”
Despite the 15 first-half turnovers and the 3 of 15 from the floor second quarter, Charlestown trailed only 21-19 at the break.
“We played poor the whole evening and that falls on me,” Seymour coach Kyle Clough said. “We have a crosstown rival game [Brownstown Central tonight] and we may have been looking ahead to that. But give Charlestown credit, they did a lot of things to take us out of our comfort zone. They were tougher than us down the stretch. They came up with a lot of loose balls and I bet a good bit of their fourth quarter points we’re second chance points. They we’re tougher than us and that really disappoints me.”
Along with his rebounding high, Pollock also led Charlestown with 12 points. Wesp added 10.
Smith refused to single out a single player for his effort.
“Togetherness,” he said. “We kept it together and found a way to win.”
Ryan Wienke led Seymour with 12 points. Chase Salmon added 10.
Charlestown will return to action on Tuesday when it hosts Rock Creek.
CHARLESTOWN 49, SEYMOUR 44
Seymour 8 13 14 9—44
Charlestown 12 7 14 16—49
Seymour (1-8): Richie Hill 8, Toriek Miller 9, Ryan Wieneke 12, Chase Salmon 10, Isaiah Thomas 2, Anthony Rork 0, Mitchell Moore 3, Quenton Stoner 0, Paeten Brennan 0.
Charlestown (2-6): Darius Brown 2, Dewey Cardwell 4, Tanner Wesp 10, Darren Taylor 9, Hunter Crace 5, Jamal Long 4, Derek Walters 3, Jordan Knoebel 0, Jacob Pollock 12.
3-point field goals: Seymour 6 (Wieneke 2, Hill, Miller, Moore, Salmon); Charlestown 1 (Walters).
Rebounds: Seymour 21 (Salmon, Thomas 6); Charlestown 45 (Pollock 9)
Turnovers: Seymour 16; Charlestown 23
Free throws: Seymour 8-14; Charlestown 12-21
Fouled out: Seymour — Miller; Charlestown — Taylor.
Junior varsity: Charlestown 32, Seymour 17.