Secean Johnson Has Career Night For The Saints
KSCB News - January 22, 2015 8:16 am
In a matchup between two teams desperate for a Jayhawk West Conference win, it was another classic contest between longtime conference rivals Seward County and Garden City Wednesday night in the Greenhouse and in the end, it was the Saints defending their home court with an 89-84 victory behind a career night from sophomore captain Secean Johnson.
It was a do or die for both the Seward County Saints and the Garden City Broncbusters on Wednesday night in the Greenhouse as the Saints limped in with a 2-3 Jayhawk West mark and just 7 active players for the game while Garden City entered the contest with a 1-5 conference record that included four close losses. Garden came out hungry early, jumping out to a quick lead, but the Saints answered right back and the two were separated by just one, 15-14 in favor of Seward seven minutes into things. The Busters controlled the next four minutes of play, going on a 15-3 run to take their largest lead of the game at 29-18 with 9:44 to go in the first half. Slowly the Saints crawled back into it as they jumped on the back of sophomore Secean Johnson who scored 10 straight Seward County points to draw the guys in green back to even at 33-33 with under 5:00 left in the period. After trading baskets, the Busters stepped on the gas again, finishing the final 4:35 of the first half on a 15-7 run to take a 50-42 lead into the locker rooms at half.
One year after holding the Busters to a school record 9 points and just 2 first half field goals, the Saints allowed Garden to shoot 51% in the first half and the Busters dominated the boards by a 24-17 count including 10 offensive rebounds. The only thing keeping the Saints in it in the first half was Johnson who scored 21 first half points in the first 20 minutes, just four off of his career high with a full half yet to play.
The Saints wasted no time in getting their scoring touch going as the second half began, using a 9-0 early run to take the lead back at 53-52 after a step back jumper by an under the weather Nick Singleton. The next four minutes were a grind as the teams took turns holding minimal leads and it was Seward on top 61-58 until the Busters JT Bennett finished a rare four point play to put Garden City back on top 62-61 with 11:14 to go. Garden extended their lead to five at 71-66 with 8:00 to go and it looked like the undermanned Saints were running out of gas as they did in a loss at Dodge City on Saturday. That’s when Johnson and fellow sophomore Evan Allen, playing on a roughed up knee, led Seward back into the game and tied the game back up at 74 with 4:03 left. On the Saints next possession down the floor Tyreke Sharp stepped up and buried a three to give Seward the lead back and it spurred a 10-0 Seward County run, capped off by another Sharp triple with just over a minute to go to give the Saints their biggest lead of the game at 84-74. Garden City closed to within four late, but the Saints took care of business at the free throw line enough to hang on for an 89-84 win to send the home folks home happy and send the Busters packing back to Garden a disappointed 1-6 in Jayhawk West play.
After allowing Garden to shoot 51% and score 50 points in the first half, the Saints locked down defensively in the final 20 minutes, allowing Garden to shoot just 26% from the floor to finish at 38% for the game. Seward on the other hand amped up their production, shooting 57% from the field in the second half to finish at an even 50% in the game.
Johnson finished a career night with an incredible stat line, scoring a career high 33 points, grabbing a career high 11 rebounds, and blocking a career high 4 shots in the win. Johnson cashed in on 18 of 21 free throw attempts, tying a school record set by Reggie Chamberlain in the 2007-2008 season. Johnson wasn’t the only one to have a big night for the Saints as Allen finished with 9 points on 3 of 6 shooting, but also corralled a career high 14 rebounds and had a career high 4 blocks for Seward. Sharp finished just two points off of his career high with 16 for Seward and Mitchell Packard tied his career high in scoring with 7.
The Saints win their 20th straight Jayhawk West Conference home game, improving to 10-9 overall and 3-3 in conference action with the victory while Garden City continues a trend of close losses, falling to 12-9 overall and 1-6 in Jayhawk West play.
Seward will have to wrap up their celebrating quick as they have just two days to prepare for the 4th ranked team in the country in Butler who they take on in El Dorado Saturday in an early 4:00 tip.
In other news, the Seward County/Garden City women’s game scheduled for Wednesday night was not played after Garden City’s bus was struck by a tractor trailer about 15 miles North of Liberal en route to the game. Thankfully, no serious injuries were reported after the crash. The Lady Saints and Lady Busters will make up the game, Monday, February 2nd at 6:00 in the Greenhouse.