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Saints Take Down Devils in Iola

KSCB News - December 4, 2015 6:13 am

The freshly ranked #23 Seward County Saints were put to the test right off the bat in Jayhawk Conference play Wednesday night in Iola as they took on last year’s Jayhawk East Champion Allen Red Devils. In a contest that was high with emotion, featuring five technical fouls and multiple fan ejections, the Saints outlasted the Devils 86-76 to earn their 11th win of the season.

As expected early on between two of the top offenses in the Jayhawk Conference, the Saints and Red Devils went toe to toe early on in Allen Gymnasium. Five minutes into the action, Seward held a two point, 11-9 lead and moments later a tip in from All-American Niem Stevenson gave the Saints a four point advantage 24-20. Just before the half, Stevenson called the bank after hours for a three and at the break it was Seward 39 and Allen 32.

Seward shot 43% in the first half while holding Allen to 40% from the field. Stevenson led all scorers with 17 points on 6 of 10 shooting.

As has been the norm for the Saints in the second half, Seward came out ready to go out of the locker rooms. The Saints quickly pressed their seven point lead to 13 as point guard Marcus Mathieu slashed to the basket and scored. But, just when it looked like the Saints were in control, they hit a wall, watching the Red Devils slowly climb back into the game, cutting the Seward lead to just six at 47-41 with 13:30 remaining. It was a seven point Saints advantage six minutes later when Mitchell Packard stepped up big for Seward, drilling a wing three to push the Saints lead to double digits at 64-54. In front of a spirited home crowd, the Red Devils just wouldn’t go away though. Allen cut the Saints lead back to five, with 5:30 remaining, but that is as close as they would get as Seward jumped on the back of Stevenson down the stretch and the thoroughbred carried the Saints across the finish line for an 86-76 victory.

Stevenson led all scorers with a season high 34 points while also ripping down a game high 12 rebounds in the Seward win. Mathieu continued to be his rock solid self, scoring 17 for the Saints while Delano Jones pitched in 10 despite battling foul trouble all night.

The Saints improve to 11-1 on the year while winning their conference opener. Allen loses their first game in regulation this season, dropping to 8-3 overall and 0-1 in Jayhawk play.

Seward won’t have much time to recuperate from the physical battle as they take the court once again on Saturday on the road in Arkansas City as they take on the Cowley Tigers in a 7:30 start.



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