Saints Can’t Slow Down Beavers

KSCB News - February 8, 2015 8:30 am

Simply put, right now the Pratt Beavers have the Seward County Saints number. First it was a half court buzzer beater in the Region VI Semifinals last season, their last meeting it was an on fire Pratt team downing the Saints in Pratt, and Saturday it was once again the sharpshooting Beavers getting the best of Seward 86-76 to drop the Saints back to 12-12 on the year.

After a high scoring, tight battle in their first meeting of the season in the Beaverdome, it looked like Greenhouse fans would have the same sort of battle on their hands Saturday night in the friendly confines as Seward came out hot, grabbing a 10-5 lead to get things going before Pratt fought back to make it a one point, 12-11 game seven minutes into the contest. Seward’s Kevin Sims scored the next four for the guys in green, but Pratt quickly answered, going on a 7-0 run to take a 28-20 lead with 3:30 to go in the half. The Beavers remained scorching hot, raining in three pointers from all over the court until finally one from their 6’11 Vladimir Brodziansky found its mark at the first half horn to give Pratt a 39-28 lead at the break.

Pratt was absolutely on fire shooting the ball in the first half, finishing the first 20 minutes shooting 64% from the three point land and 50% overall. Seward on the other hand was ice cold from the outside at just 3 for 13, while managing 44% overall. Pratt’s Taylor Schieber, a kryptonite to the Saints in each of their five meetings with the Beavers over the past two seasons, had 19 first half points for Pratt while Evan Allen led Seward with 7 points and 5 rebounds.

The second half didn’t start well for the Saints either as Pratt quickly extended their lead to 14 just two minutes in and went up 50-34 before a Seward timeout with 16:40 to go. The Saints offense picked up, but they had no answer for the Beavers hot hand as Seward continued to trail by double digits through the second half media timeout and found themselves down a dozen with 9:12 to play. Back to back threes from Tyreke Sharp gave the Saints life and got them to within single digits for the first time in the second half and a step back three by Darius Polley made it an eight point game with 7:24 remaining. Unfortunately for the Saints, that was as close as they would get as what sounded like a whistling contest ensued for the final seven minutes of the game as the teams took turns parading to the free throw line before Pratt finally finished the Saints off 86-76.

After a moderately clean first half, the second half seemed to have drug on forever as the teams combined for 48 free throw attempts on 37 foul calls. Pratt took advantage, sinking 21 of 26 tries while the Saints were good too at 16 of 22. The story of the night though, was the Beavers offense who finished the game shooting 55% overall and an almost unbelievable 61% from three point land. Seward shot 42% and 24% from three on the night. Sims led the Saints with 17 off the bench while Allen notched his first double-double of the year with 16 points and 10 rebounds.

The loss is a key one for the Saints who drop to 12-12 overall on the season and more importantly 5-6 in Jayhawk West play where they are now in 6th place, a game and a half out of 4th place where they need to be to host a first round playoff game. Pratt wins its third straight over Seward, improving to 15-9 overall and 6-4 in conference action where they jump into 4th place by themselves.

The Saints will make their longest road trip of the conference season on Monday when they go to Concordia to take on a struggling Cloud County team. The Saints return home next Saturday for Homecoming weekend against Dodge City.


Roy Allen


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