Saints Conquered by Dodge
KSCB News - January 31, 2016 9:01 am
Going up against a team in Dodge City that was similarly sized, the Seward County Saints figured to have a fighting chance on the inside as they took on the Conquistadors Saturday night in the Greenhouse. That couldn’t have been more true as Seward was bullied down low all night, watching Dodge outrebound them 61-31 and put up 48 points in the paint in an 82-74 Conquistador victory in front of the Saints largest home crowd of the season.
The Saints got off to a good start Saturday night, taking an early 7-6 lead three minutes in on visiting Dodge City, but that success wouldn’t last for long. Seward went ice cold for the next four minutes as Dodge kept them completely off the scoreboard while the Conqs built a 14-7 lead. The Saints cut it back to four as the midway point of the half came, but another dry spell, coupled by Dodge City having their way on their end of the floor watched Seward’s deficit balloon to 14 by the 8:00 mark of the first half. An unsuspected subject blew breathe of fresh air into the lifeless Saints as Matthew Lewis hit his first three pointer of the season from the corner to cut the Conq lead to single digits. But that is all that Seward would get for the next 4:09 as once again, a big Dodge run, this time an 8-0 jaunt opened up a 37-20 lead for the Conquistadors with 4:06 left in the half. Delano Jones connected on a three and Charles Beauregard drove and scored to make it a 12 point game, but Seward didn’t score for the final 2:54 of the half and Dodge added four to their lead to go to the break in front 41-25.
Seward’s offense picked up as the second half got underway, but they could do nothing to slow down Dodge City on their end of the floor as the Conqs got to the paint and finished with consistency, or were able to get second and third chances to score and five minutes in, the Saints deficit was 20 at 51-31. Through the middle portion of the second half, Dodge City’s Josh Boutte took over the game. The 6’6 freshman scored six straight for the Conqs, all six coming on offensive rebounds and putbacks to keep Dodge well out in front of the scrambling Saints. Missed free throws by Dodge allowed the Saints to remain in the game and after three pointers from Niem Stevenson and Marcus Mathieu, Seward found themselves down just 10 with 6:22 to go. A steal and score later on by Mitchell Packard got Seward to within seven and a pair of free throws from Stevenson made it a 68-61 game with 2:55 left. The next defensive possession for Seward was the backbreaker, as Dodge drove right down the lane, got to the basket for two, and were fouled for a three point play to quickly push their lead back to double digits. The Saints got back to within seven twice more, but both times, Dodge answered with scores and a last second steal and score for Seward was too little too late as the Conqs wrapped up an 82-74 victory for their first win in Liberal in nine seasons.
The Saints were crushed on the glass in the loss as Dodge City outrebounded them 61-31 on the night including 19 offensive rebounds for the Conqs. The normally high flying Saints were grounded to just 38% shooting on the night while hoisting up a season high 36 three’s and connecting on just 10 of them. Dodge City shot 45% in the win and was paced by a monster night from Boutte who finished with 41 points and 23 rebounds, both career highs. Mathieu led the Saints with 18 off the bench while Stevenson ended the night with 16 after a slow start and Packard added 14.
Seward falls to 17-6 overall on the year and 7-5 in Jayhawk Conference play with the defeat while Dodge City leapfrogs the Saints in the standings as they improve to 16-6 overall and 7-4 in conference action.
The Saints won’t have long to lick their wounds as they hit the road in just two days to Colby where they take on a much improved Trojans team at 8:00 Monday night in the Community Building.
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