Liberal, Kansas –  Two of the top teams in the Jayhawk conference over the past decade faced off inside of the Green House between the Seward County Lady Saints and the #1 Ranked team in the NJCAA in the Hutchinson Blue Dragons where despite holding a small lead after the first quarter, it was all Hutchinson the rest of the game as Seward County fell 78-54 to the highest ranked team in the country.

Ari Gordon helped put the Lady Saints ahead early to start the game with back-to-back buckets that Alianna Colon followed up with a big corner three while another triple by Jamia Carter allowed SCCC to push in front 10-4 in the opening minutes. Carter continued to go to work by making her way to the rim for some easy layups to put Seward County ahead 18-13 after the first ten minutes of action.

It did not take long for the Blue Dragons to take the lead in the second quarter with an 8-2 run to open the quarter but a fast break score from Xoe Rosalez allowed the Lady Saints to keep the score in their favor for a moment 22-21. That moment was cut short as Hutchinson erupted in front of Seward County off a 13-0 run to move ahead by double figures while a long range two by Rosalez brought the score back to within ten but the Lady Saints had ground to make up with the Blue Dragons ahead 36-26 entering the halftime break.

Hutchinson opened the second half with another seven straight points to force Seward County into an early timeout two minutes into the third. SCCC responded back quickly after a quick regroup with Gordon lifting the lid on the rim with an offensive putback followed by mid-range jumper from Carter to put the score at 45-30 Blue Dragons. Allie Myers used her long arms on the defensive end to intercept a Hutchinson pass and take it back for a layup while Carter continued to make her presence known with an and-one opportunity for the old fashion three-point play before a Naomi Aragonez knocked down the better-known kind of three-pointer to put the score at 65-42 entering the final quarter of regulation.

The fourth quarter finally saw the Lady Saints match the number one team in the NJCAA point for point as Carter kept her scoring going with a fast break score off a Blue Dragon turnover before Kya Richardson entered in for her return to action and immediately cashed in a triple for SCCC. Another big three by Rosalez kept the offensive rhythm alive for Seward County before a pair at the stripe by Richardson finalized the score at 78-54 in favor of Hutchinson.

Carter led the way on the offensive front for the Lady Saints with a team high of 16 points on the afternoon followed by 11 points from Rosalez and 8 by Gordon.

Seward County now falls to a 14-13 overall record with the 2023-24 season wrapping up over the next two weeks and sit 10-11 in Jayhawk conference action. They will spend the next week on the road as they face Colby on Wednesday and Independence on Saturday before returning home for sophomore night against Pratt to wrap up the regular season.