While on paper, the records of the 5-6 McLennan Highlassies and the 9-0 Seward County Lady Saints didn't match up to evenly, Seward Head Coach had no question that Friday night's Pizza Hut Classic tilt with the visitors from Texas would be a tough draw for his Lady Saints. He was absolutely correct and in a game that was a nailbiter throughout, the Lady Saints pulled out a last second 87-86 win thanks in part to a Fabiana Monte runner with 3.8 seconds left to ignite the Greenhouse and keep Seward perfect on their 2013-2014 campaign.
It was an offensive shootout early on as the Lady Saints took a 21-19 lead midway through the first half. A 10-2 McLennan run gave the Highlassies their first lead since the opening minutes, but Seward fought back and took a 49-46 lead into the break at half. It was McLennan winning the battle to start the second half and a Seward squad playing with just seven players looked like they might be out of gas against a Highlassie team who went 13 deep with ease. But the Lady Saints once again showed their grit, fighting back to take the lead once again and it was a one point game 71-70 with under 7:00 to go. The game went back and forth for the next seven minutes and with time winding down, McLennan had a one point lead 72-71. A Seward timeout with under 10 seconds to go gave them a chance to design a play and with the ball in her hands, Fabiana Monte drove through the Highlassie defense and put up a runner with time winding down, rimming in a shot with 3.8 seconds left on the clock to give Seward an 87-86 lead. McLennan lost the ball on the inbounds and the Greenhouse crowd went crazy as the Lady Saints won it 87-86.
Seward shot 40% to McLennan's 41% in the win, but the game was won at the line where the Lady Saints outscored the Highlassies 30-11 on the night. Seward outrebounded the Highlassies 58-42 and had 18 second chance opportunities. Kyndal Davis led the Lady Saints with 20 points off the Seward bench while Shanise Brooks and Fabiana Monte each had 15 points. Brooks posted a double-double with 12 rebounds while Monte tied a career high with 8 rebounds of her own. Korina Chapman also reached double figures in points and rebounds with 14 and 11 respectively.
After jumping to #7 in the latest NJCAA rankings, the Lady Saints improve to 10-0 with the win and remain one of just 8 unbeatens left in Division I. McLennan loses their seventh straight and second straight one point contest as they fall to 5-7 on the year. The Lady Saints will take on Labette tomorrow night at 6 while McLennan battles high flying Dodge City. Dodge City defeated Labette 99-63 in the early game Friday.
#7 SEWARD COUNTY/MCLENNAN BOX SCORE<http://www.scccsaints.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=7332:12613-vs-mclennan&catid=59:W%20Basketball&Itemid=211>