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Seward makes sure the Butler doesn’t do it

KSCB News - January 29, 2012 10:50 am

As you will always hear in the Jayhawk West Conference, anytime that you can go on the road and win, it is a good thing. That is what both the Seward County Lady Saints and Saints will hang their hat on as they hit the pillows tonight after a long road trip back from El Dorado as the 8th ranked Lady Saints made a late push to win 76-59 and the #9 Saints avoided a scare with a 78-74 overtime win over the last place Butler Grizzlies on their home court.

The Seward women had to stay focused one game at a time Saturday night, which was hard with their imminent date Wednesday looming with conference rival and #2 Hutchinson. Butler, a team that came into the game just 2-4 in conference, proved that they were much more dangerous than that. It was rough going offensively for both teams early with neither being able to hold onto the ball. A late surge to finish the first half gave the Lady Saints a 34-21 halftime lead as the two teams combined for 28 turnovers and just 17 field goals . The teams played even through the first portion of the second half and Seward remained up 13 but couldn’t quite put the finishing blow to the Lady Grizzlies. Just when it looked like they had put it out of reach up by 17, Butler made a run to get back into things late. Seward regrouped and finished strong to come away with a 76-59 win and keep their conference record perfect with just one game to go in the first half. Payton Fleming and Anete Kirsteine led the way with 18 each for Seward while Ricquia Jones filled up the stat sheet with 12 points, 7 assists, and 8 steals in the win.

On paper the Men’s game was one that the 9th ranked and 1st place Seward County Saints were to have no problem with the 7-13 last place Butler Grizzlies but Coach Mike Bargan and crew had different ideas for the Jayhawk West’s top dogs. The Saints opened the game in the same funk that they had encountered Wednesday night at home in their loss to Garden City. Butler took it to Seward right off the bat and lead from the get go, building up as much as a 13 point first half lead before the Saints took advantage of a number of Grizzly turnovers to get back into the game before half with the score 30-28 Butler. The Saints took their first lead of the game at the 13:50 mark of the second half and built momentum to take a 52-43 lead into the media timeout midway through the half. The Seward lead grew to 59-45 with just over 7 minutes to go and the Saints were up 66-56 with under 5 minutes left. That’s when things went South for the guys in green. A complacent offense and lackluster defensive effort saw Butler slowly creep back into the game and Seward went without a point for the final 5:35 of regulation while the Grizzlies got within striking distance and struck, tying the game late to send the battle into overtime . In overtime the Saints regained their aggressiveness, driving to the basket and earning 14 trips to the free throw line, sinking 10 to sneak out a 78-74 victory. The two teams combined for 57 turnovers in the game including 32 from Butler that led to 32 Seward points. Deverell Biggs shouldered the load for the Saints tying a season high with 26 points. Brice Jenkins chipped in 14 points for Seward and big man Edson Avila had 9 points and 9 rebounds in the win.

The Lady Saints improve to 18-2 overall and 7-0 in Jayhawk West Conference play and keep themselves in line for a battle with 20-0, 7-0 Hutchinson Wednesday night in the Greenhouse. The Saints move to 18-3, 6-1 and remain in 1st place in the league, where they will be when they welcome the rival Blue Dragons to Liberal for the back end of the Wednesday double header.


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