Saints Beat #21 Triton in Arizona
Brock Kappelmann - December 27, 2019 8:40 pm
MESA, Ari.- Seward County Saints defeat No. 21 Triton College in double overtime to improve to 7-4 on the season. Saints will play in the second round of the Fiesta Bowl Junior College Shootout at 9 PM CT and will face the winner of South Plains and the College of Southern Idaho.
With less than 10 seconds left in the game, Samuel Henderson drove down the lane and kicked it back out to Ramiro Santiago who shot it for three but missed. The offensive rebound was tipped back to Henderson and he connected from the short corner with 1.9 seconds left in double overtime to give the Saints a 97-96 victory.
The first half would be all Triton basketball as the Saints turned the ball over 15 times in the half. At the 15-minute mark, Seward County trailed 13-12 but then the Trojans would go on a 17-5 run to command a 30-17 lead with 10 minutes left. The Trojans dominated the paint and scored 28 points in the lane and the Trojans big man Austin Richie led all scorers with 16 first-half points. At halftime, the Saints trailed 47-35.
Starting the second half the Saints would respond early with a quick 10-0 run but still trailed the Trojans 47-45. With the defensive intensity picked up by the Saints the Trojans were limited in mid-range opportunities and paint touches and were forced to shoot from the outside. Seward County’s Head Coach Jason Sautter made the halftime adjustments that would get the Saints back on track in the second half.
6:01 left in the second half the Saints trailed 71-63 but once again Seward County would respond with a 10-0 run to regain the lead 73-71 with a Henderson three. The score would be tied 3 different times in the final three minutes and the final time would be with 1.3 seconds left as Stephen Takyi connected on a pick and roll to tie it at 81. With an unsuccessful halfcourt heave by the Trojans, the game would head to the first overtime.
In the first overtime, Seward County’s Takyi would score all of the 10 points for the saints as he would shoot 8-9 from the free-throw line and 1-1 from the field. The Saints led 91-88 but Triton College would knock down a three with four seconds left to get the score tied once again at 91. Seward County had another opportunity but Henderson’s runner at the buzzer would rattle in and out. All tied at 91 the Saints and Trojans would head into the second overtime.
The second overtime would show the team’s fatigue with the pace of the game slowed down and missed lay-ups. Five lead changes in the second overtime and three lead changes occurred in the last minute. Henderson would make the last four points for the Saints including what would turn out to be the game-winner with 0.9 seconds on a putback.
Both Quinlan Bennett and Austin Richie led the Trojans in scoring with 21 points apiece. Also in double digits for Triton College was Trey Boston with 15, Jalen Shaw with 11 and Jamal Smith with 10 points.
Seward County was led by Kyle Cardaci with 26 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 assists. Also in double digits for the Saints were Henderson with 24 points, Takyi with 22, and Surakata Jawara with a double-double 10 points and 10 rebounds.
The Saints will move on to the winner’s bracket in Mesa Arizona and will face off against either South Plains or College of Southern Idaho tomorrow at 9 PM CT.