SEYMOUR - When the postseason arrives it's a new beginning and there's a saying that "anything can happen."
Friday night, Seymour hosted Notre Dame in a boys Division 2 basketball regional semifinal and the Thunder didn't want to see "anything happen."
The No. 2 seed wanted to take care of business against No. 7 Notre Dame and after a tight first half that's exactly what happened. Behind Sandy Cohen, who did everything, Seymour defeated the Tritons, 67-46, to move to Saturday's regional final against No. 6 Plymouth.
"It feels so good to advance," Cohen said. "Last year, we lost in the first round and my freshman year we went to state, and I thought it would always be like that every year. It just feels really good to make it to the next level."
"It's back-against-the-wall time," Seymour coach Jon Murphy said. "We're trying to end their season and they're trying to end ours. You cannot have a letup. Look at this year's regional, there are six teams, seven teams with Notre Dame, that could legitimately win this thing, so it's anybody's ball game. We're just happy to play one more night."
Cohen played at a level Friday nobody on Notre Dame (14-10) could contend with. The 6-foot-5 point guard scored 30 points and put on a show with a dunk, fancy passing, blocked shots and 3-point baskets.
"I really want him to get more aggressive offensively, because he does a lot of things people can't stop," Murphy said. "He's just gotten better every year and he's kind of still a baby in his development.
"We tell him he can take over. Outside, inside, he can do different things, but you have to grow into that. He played really well."
Cohen starred in the second half when the other half of Seymour's "Dynamic Duo," Dakota Oskey (16 points), fell into foul trouble. Seymour (19-4) led 30-27 at halftime, but outscored Notre Dame 20-7 in the third to open a 50-34 lead.
Besides Cohen, a key to Seymour was switching from its 1-3-1 zone to a man defense, which Murphy hoped would contain the Tritons' all-time leading scorer, Ben Bobinski.
"Second half, we started Ryan Krahn and he did an excellent job on Bobinski," Murphy said. "We kind of got that 10-point cushion and it's easier to play when you have that.'
"Second half we went straight man and were going to lock up Bobinski and take away the three. I thought we did a pretty nice job."
Seymour hosts Plymouth, which shocked No. 3 West De Pere on Friday. Seymour planned on hosting its Bay Conference rival, hoping to exact revenge from losing the conference title to the Phantoms this season, ending a four-year run.
Now, it turns its attention to an unfamiliar opponent.
"I'm not going to lie, I was hoping for Round 3 to get our revenge," Cohen said. "We just have to prepare for Plymouth."
Seymour's playoff win was its first since winning a sectional title in 2011. Last year, it fell in a regional semifinal to Ashwaubenon.
The Thunder is excited for the postseason and isn't worried about not winning a fifth straight conference title.
"It's a new beginning," Cohen said. "This is what really matters. The regular season is 22 games to get ready for the playoffs."
Added Murphy: "It'd be nice to win the conference. You have 22 games to get ready for this moment. I'd rather be playing now than win a conference. This is what it's all about. We're close and we've been really close all year to being really good. We're excited about our opportunity."
Follow Doug Ritchay on Twitter @dougritchay
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