Seward Shuts Down #9 Hutchinson
Brock Kappelmann - November 13, 2016 6:34 am
The #9 Hutchinson Blue Dragons came into the Greenhouse on Saturday night for a matchup with the #20 Seward County Lady Saints shooting 54% overall and 55% from the three point line on the season. However, after 45 minutes of action in the two teams Jayhawk Conference openers, those numbers will be going down just a little bit as Seward held Hutch to just 29% shooting on the night, the Blue Dragons worst single game shooting percentage in over five years in a 77-70 Lady Saints victory to propel Seward to a win in their conference opener for the sixth straight season.
As expected early on, Seward and Hutch both struggled for points as the Dragons took a 5-2 lead five minutes into the contest. Fortunately for Seward, the Lady Saints struggles would subside while the Dragons struggles would persist. Clitan de Sousa had the hot hand for the Lady Saints early on, closing the first half with a big three to put the gals in green in front 14-12 after one.
Hutch couldn’t buy a bucket in the second quarter and Seward took advantage, stretching their lead to 20-13 after a pair of free throws from Brennyn Seagler with just under six minutes to go in the first half. The Lady Saints eventually stretched their lead to eight by the end of the period, holding Hutchinson to just eight second quarter points to take a 28-20 lead into the break at half.
The Lady Saints shot 40% in the first half while holding Hutchinson to just 17% and six first half field goals. The usually sharpshooting Dragons also went just 3 for 16 from the three point line, good for only 19%. De Sousa almost outscored Hutch by herself in the first 20 minutes, putting up a game high 17 while Lakin Preisner was the Dragons top scorer with just six.
Following some tweaks by Head Coach John Ontjes in the locker room at half, the Dragons came out swinging to begin the third quarter, quickly erasing the Lady Saints eight point lead to tie the game up at 32 four minutes in. The teams went back and forth until Hutch beat the third quarter buzzer with a bucket in the lane to take a three point, 41-38 lead at the end of three.
Mollie Mounsey took things into her own hands to begin the final quarter, dialing up a pair of long bombs to put Seward back in front 44-43. After Hutch jockeyed their way back to a three point lead, de Sousa used an old fashioned three point play to tie the score up at 48 with six minutes remaining. Still tied with just over a minute to go, Mounsey canned another three from the wing to give Seward a 58-55 lead and the Lady Saints stretched their advantage to five at 60-55 with just 30 seconds to go. A well diagramed play by Hutch got a Dragon shooter loose and they cashed in with a three of their own and after a stop on defense, the Blue Dragons were gifted a foul with time winding down on the clock and hit both free throws to tie the score at 60 just before the end of regulation. Seward had one last chance but turned the ball over on the ensuing inbounds and the teams went to overtime deadlocked at 60.
Seward came out ready to go in overtime, getting a stop on their first defensive possession and pouring in five quick points on their first two tries on offense to take a 65-60 lead. A step back three from Neidy Ocuane extended the Seward lead to eight and it wasn’t until 3:19 into the overtime until Hutch got on the board to make it an 68-62 game with 1:41 to go in the first overtime. The Dragons hit another key three to cut it to a one possession game, but Ocuane answered with a triple of her own to push the Seward lead back to 73-67 with under a minute remaining. Hutch never threatened again as the Lady Saints finished the game off at the free throw line and held off the Dragons late to claim a 77-70 victory to send the Greenhouse into a fury.
The Lady Saints shot 52% in the second half against the stiff Dragon defense to finish the night at 46% overall while Hutchinson shot 40% in the second, but still finished the night at just 29% from the field. De Sousa led Seward with 20 points and seven rebounds in the win while Mounsey dropped in 19 including four big threes and Ocuane scored in double figures for the third straight game with 14.
Seward wins for the third straight time over Hutchinson to improve to 3-0 on the early season and wins their Jayhawk Conference opener for the sixth straight season. The Dragons fall to 2-1 on the year and 0-1 in league action.
Next up for the Lady Saints is a trip to the Power Plant in El Dorado where they will take on Butler Wednesday at 5:30 in Jayhawk Conference action.
#20 SEWARD COUNTY/#9 HUTCHINSON BOX SCORE<http://www.sewardsaints.com/sports/wbkb/2016-17/boxscores/20161112_r3iz.xml>