Dodge City, KS – The Lady Saints Basketball team was unable to overcome a slow start losing to Butler CC 70-65 in the semi-final of the Region VI Women’s Basketball Tournament.
The Lady Saints struggled in the opening quarter and watched Butler race out to an early 17-4 lead over the Lady Saints. Butler was fueled by 67% shooting and 18 points in the paint. Camille Downs and Tamara Nard each had 10 points in the opening quarter for the Grizzlies. Seward was able to get something going toward the end after a bucket by Alanis Hill
but trailed 24-12.
The start of the second quarter was almost a repeat as Butler took their largest lead of the game of 16 points with a 28-12 lead over Seward with 8:47 remaining in the half. After a big three by Destiny Alston
, the Lady Saints seemed to find their groove and settled in defensively, only giving up 6 points the rest of the quarter. A key emphasis was to match Butler’s physicality and Seward was able to do it as they earned multiple trips to the free-throw line. After a big steal, Karolina Szdlowska passed the ball up to Kamry Perez
for a fastbreak layup to bring the Lady Saints within 5 points at 34-29 Butler. Butler would miss their shot at the buzzer and the Lady Saints went into the half trailing by five.
Seward needing to keep the momentum going coming out of the break, struggled on the offensive end, mostly due to five turnovers in the first five minutes of the quarter. Butler capitalized on the turnovers to build the lead back up to 15 at 47-23 and forced Coach Mefford to call a timeout to settle his team down at the 5:07 mark in the third. The Lady Saints responded with a quick steal and on the next possession, Gina Ballesteros
promptly nailed a corner three to give Seward some life at 47-35. Both teams locked in defensively with neither team able to make a field goal for over four minutes. Alanis Hill
was able to break the cold spell as she hit a running layup right before the buzzer to make it 51-41 to Butler going into the fourth quarter.
Sydlowska hit a big three to open the fourth quarter and after a quick turnover, Augmon hit a pull-up jumper to quickly trim the deficit to 51-46. Over the next five minutes, the teams would trade baskets as each team scored 11 points to make it 62-57 Butler with four minutes to play. With the Saints running out of time, they turned up their defense, and forced three turnovers that led to back to back jumpers by Alanis Hill
to keep Seward within striking distance at 65-61. However, Seward could not get over the hump missing four free-throws in the final 90 seconds while Butler was able to maintain their two-possession advantage, eventually beating Seward 70-65.
led the way for the Lady Saints with 15 points. Leilani Augmon
provided a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds. After allowing the Grizzlies to shoot 67% in the first quarter, the Lady Saints played great defense the rest of the way, holding the Grizzlies to 34% from the field in the game. The slow start combined with Seward only shooting 33% was too much to overcome. The loss moves Seward to 25-7 on the season and they will hope to receive an at-large bid by the NJCAA selection committee to continue their season. For more information follow the Lady Saints at SewardSaints.com and on social media at @SewardSaints