Seward Dominates Cloud Inside in Key Win

KSCB News - January 17, 2016 9:45 am

In a matchup of five win Jayhawk Conference teams Saturday night in the Greenhouse the Seward County Lady Saints dominated the Cloud County Lady Thunderbirds in the paint in front of their home crowd, getting 22 points and 16 rebounds from Joanna Grymek and 44 total points in the paint on the night to drub the T-Birds 73-60 and improve to 14-4 on the year.

In a key midseason Jayhawk Conference matchup, the Lady Saints came out ready to go Saturday, jumping in front of Cloud 10-2 to get things going with a heavy dose of Joanna Grymek and Axelle Bernard on the inside. Clitan de Sousa got into the act with a bucket and a pair of free throws and Daniela Galindo snuck behind the defense to put Seward up 18-8 with just under three minutes to go in the quarter. After Cloud cut the Seward lead back to five, Tiani White swished home a three pointer in the final minute of the quarter and after one it was Seward 21 and Cloud 13. Of Seward’s 21 first quarter points, 14 came inside the paint despite the Lady Saints front line going up against the league’s leading shot blocker in Erin Alexander.

Seward kept the inside open by continuing to knock down shots from the outside, getting a three early in the second from Galindo to make it a 12 point game before four more Grymek points and a Samm Ashida triple made it a 35-22 game with 4:21 to go in the half. The Lady Saints continued to push, getting a late drive and score from Bernard to take their biggest lead of the first half at 40-24 and after a late Cloud basket, Seward went to the break at half leading the T-Birds 40-26.

While Seward’s offense was solid in the first half, shooting 42% from the field and 57% from the three point line, their defense was even more impressive, holding Cloud to just 31% shooting and 14% from deep in the half. The Lady Saints dominated the inside, outrebounding Cloud 30-14 in the half including 12 offensive rebounds that turned into 15 second chance points. Grymek led Seward with a 12 point, 12 rebound first half double-double and also had 3 blocked shots on the defensive end.

Cloud got the first two points of the second half, but the Lady Saints went on an 7-0 run after that and the route was on from there as Seward went ahead 47-28 with under 5:00 left in the third. The Lady Saints kept adding and adding to their lead, getting five straight points late in the quarter from Bernard to open up their biggest cushion of the night at 61-35.

Just when it looked like things were well in hand, the T-Birds decided that they weren’t ready to roll over just yet. Cloud scored the final two points of the third quarter and the first 12 of the second quarter to all of a sudden make it a 12 point game at 61-49 with 5:51 still on the clock. A pair of Grymek field goals pushed it back to a 16 point game, but Cloud kept coming, once again making it a 12 point game with four straight points. With the clock on their side, the Lady Saints were able to take enough air out of the basketball late to hang on to win 73-60, but the T-Birds owned the fourth quarter, outscoring Seward 23-12 in a losing effort.

Grymek finished a monster night with 22 points and 16 rebounds in the win for Seward. All five Seward starters scored in double figures as de Sousa tied a career high with 14 points while Bernard had her second straight double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds and Galindo and White each pitched in 11. As a team the Lady Saints windexed the glass clean, outrebounding Cloud 53-34 in the game including 19 offensive rebounds and 19 points off those second chance opportunities. Seward outscored Cloud 44-16 on points in the paint in the victory.

The Lady Saints improve to 14-4 on the year with the win and have now beaten Cloud County in 18 of the T-Birds 19 all-time trips to Liberal. Seward ups their Jayhawk Conference record to 6-2 to put themselves just one game behind conference leading Hutchinson and Coffeyville. Cloud finally wraps up a three game road trip 13-7 overall and 5-4 with the defeat.

Seward will be back to work Sunday as they prepare for a huge game in their next outing. The Lady Saints travel to #8 Hutchinson on Wednesday for a 5:30 tip against the Lady Dragons.


Roy Allen


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