The Seward County Women’s Basketball program had made it to the NJCAA National Tournament 5 times before the sport was even a twinkle in the eyes of Trinidad State Junior College fans. The history rich Lady Saints took on the Lady Trojans of Trinidad State in just their second year of existence Saturday night in the Greenhouse and Seward made sure that the visitors would not head back to Colorado with their first NJCAA win in school history as they blew out Trinidad 78-32 to finish up their first half of play in 2011-2012.
It was not all Lady Saints all night long in this one as expected as the Lady Trojans of Trinidad came out of the gates firing and were able to hit on a pair of early 3’s to take a 6-5 lead three minutes into the contest. Toby Wynn wasted no time in going to his bench and it sparked a 12-0 run led by freshman Kelsey Blair to give them the lead 17-6. Trinidad continued to lock in from downtown to stay within striking distance until later in the half when Seward went on another jaunt to open the game up to 35-17. At halftime it was 44-25 Seward with Trinidad hanging in simply because of 5 for 8 makes from beyond the 3 point arc.
The script changed in the second half and it wasn’t a good thing for the Lady Trojans. Seward swarmed all over Trinidad defensively out of the break and their offense got the ball inside for good look after good look to build on their lead. Before long the game was out of hand and saw Seward leading the way 72-28 with 9:29 to go. Working on some things going forward, the Lady Saints let off the accelerator as the game’s final minutes ticked down but their cushion was thick enough for them to fall comfortably back on as they went on to win 78-32. The Lady Saints outscored Trinidad 34-7 in the final 20 minutes and allowed just 2 second half field goals to the Lady Trojans in 22 attempts.
Hanna Bognar tied her career high with 16 points as she led Seward in scoring while the sophomore from Hungary also ripped down a team high 9 rebounds. Mariah Lee bounced back with a nice 14 point game while Charmaine Burns and Kelsey Blair carried the Lady Saints off the bench with 13 and 12 points respectively.
Seward wins their third straight going into the break and now sits at 11-2 overall on the season. They will have 3 ½ weeks off before they hit the floor next in Great Bend to open up conference play against Barton on January 4th.
In a matchup between complete opposites as the smaller and quicker Seward County Saints took on a big and rugged Northern Oklahoma-Tonkawa team in the Greenhouse to wrap up the Pizza Hut Classic, it was Seward that got the best of a 72-45 affair to give the Saints their 10th win before the Holiday Break.
Seward got off to a 4-0 start and didn’t allow Tonkawa to score their first points until nearly 4 minutes into the game. The first half was a grind with neither team being able to get into a flow on offense and after taking a pair of 6 point leads, the Saints saw the Mavericks come back to make it a 3 point game at the break at 25-22. The Saints who were averaging over 90 points per game coming into the contest, shot just 32% from the field in the first half while Tonkawa shot 35% but turned the ball over 13 times. Deverell Biggs was the only bright spot for the Saints offensively in the first 20 minutes as he had 13 of Seward’s 25 points.
The second half was a completely different story again for Seward. The Saints pounded the basketball inside early and often and saw Daveon Boardingham get going as well as their second leading scorer Irvin Hollinger. Seward gave themselves some space, scoring on their first 5 possessions of the half to go up 10 and they held Northern Oklahoma to just one field goal in the first 8:30 on the final period to build their lead up to 16 at the halfway point of the half. Seward really got things rolling down the stretch and stifled the Mavs offensive plan which made the Saints lead balloon in the game’s final minutes to over 30 before wrapping things up by 27 in the end 72-45. Seward hit on 19 of 29 shots in the second half, good for 66% and finished the game at 50% from the floor. Tonkawa shot just 32% in the second half and finished at 33%.
Individually it was Deverell Biggs pacing the Saints with 13 points while the sophomore guard also led Seward on the glass with 8 rebounds. Daveon Boardingham and Irvin Hollinger both had 11 in the win and Brice Jenkins had his second straight double digit effort with 10.
The Saints hit the break 10-2 with the win and will enjoy a well-deserved 2 ½ weeks off before heading to Chanute and the Neosho New Year’s Classic on December 30th and 31st where they will take on Johnson County and Neosho County on back to back nights