Jay Daubenberger

Liberal, Kansas – Sunday afternoon continued the Seward County Christmas Classic where the Lady Saints took on the Kilgore Rangers on day two of the tournament where it was a back-and-forth exchange that saw Seward County eventually pull away late to take the 69-65 win and end the 2023 calendar year on a high note.

SCCC was able to start off strong in the opening minutes with a quick scoring offense as Alianna Colon knocked down a corner three to pull in front 7-2 over Kilgore and grew their advantage into double digits when Allie Myers found a wide open Jamia Carter on a fast break for the easy and-one opportunity that followed by a second three-pointer by Colon to put the Lady Saints ahead 18-8. After starting the first quarter with an offensive onslaught, Seward County was only able to score one more point in the final three minutes as the Rangers went on an 11-1 run to tie the score back up and enter the second locked at 19-19.

Kilgore pushed ahead to start the second, but momentum eventually turned back into the favor of the green and white as Xoe Rosalez connected with Sanaa Dennis off a no look back door pass for the easy layup to bring SCCC within two at 27-25 and moments later Rosalez tied the game back up thanks to a fast break score to put the score at 34-34 with two minutes remaining in the half. Carter helped regain the lead for the Lady Saints with back-to-back buckets in the final minutes before the buzzer to allow Seward County to go into the break ahead by three at 38-35.

The second half began the exact opposite as the first half started with the Rangers shooting back in front off a 10-0 run to put the Lady Saints behind 45-38 before Rosalez was able to find her stroke form long range to sink in a corner three to bring the score within two as SCCC continued to fight back against Kilgore’s 45-43 lead. A shifty drive down the lane by Rosalez put Seward County to within four at 51-47 as the Lady Saints continued to close in on the Rangers.

Ari Gordon helped continue the climb back for Seward County when she backed her defender down into the painted area and hit her signature turnaround jumper to cut it to one with Kilgore’s lead down to just 56-55 before the Lady Saints surpassed the Rangers while a driving layup by Carter put SCCC ahead by three 59-56 and the Lady Saints never looked back. Colon connected on her third three of the afternoon to put her team out of reach and clutch shooting at the free throw line helped end the 2023 calendar year with a 69-65 win over Kilgore.

Carter led the Lady Saints in scoring with 17 points with Rosalez breaking out for an additional 15 while Gordon and Colon contributed 10 points apiece. Seward County now ends 2023 with a .500 record of 6-6 and goes into Christmas break with a win. They will return to action on January 3rd when they resume conference action on the road against KJCCC rival Garden City.