For the last month, Seward County fans have had December 29th circled on their calendar as a marquee date with #4 Shelton State working their way onto the Lady Saints schedule. The game lived up to its billing as the 6th ranked Lady Saints took on the 4th ranked Buccaneers with Shelton controlling the first half and Seward returning the favor in the second for a 71-65 come from behind win to give Lady Saints Head Coach Toby Wynn his 300th career win at Seward County, just the seventh coach in KJCCC history to reach the milestone.
It was a rare slow start for the Lady Saints who found themselves behind 9-4 early and 20-11 after one quarter of action, a day after putting up 34 points in the first 10 minutes of play against Patrick Henry.
Shelton State extended their lead to 11 early in the second quarter before Seward went on a 12-5 run to get back to within four at 29-25 with 5:30 to go in the half. Later in the quarter, Mollie Mounsey nailed a three to get Seward to within three, but the Bucs scored the final eight points of the period to extend their lead back to double digits at 41-30 at the break in Pensacola.
Seward scored 8 of the first 10 in the third quarter to quickly draw back to within striking distance at 43-38 and Neidy Ocuane scored at the tin to make it a one possession game with 7:08 to go in the quarter. The Lady Saints tied the score at 47 moments later on another bucket from Ocuane, but Shelton regained the lead before the end of the period, taking a two point, 55-53 lead into the fourth quarter of play.
The Lady Saints remained down by two with 6:00 to go before a clutch three from Erin Richardson put the gals in green back in front by one 63-62. A bucket from Joanna Grymek made it 65-62 Seward, but the Bucs hit a three of their own to knot the score back up at 65 with two minutes remaining. The Lady Saints locked in on the defensive end from there, taking a 69-65 lead with 1:24 to go and Manuela Fungate took a huge charge to give Seward the ball back, up four with under a minute left. Mounsey knocked down a pair of free throws in the final minute and the Seward defense refused to allow Shelton to score again as the Lady Saints finished off a 71-65 victory to improve to 13-0 on the year.
Mounsey led Seward with 19 in the win, with 17 coming in the first half, while Ocuane added 17, with 14 of those coming in the second half. Richardson sparked Seward in the second half as well, hitting four second half threes to finish with 14 in the Lady Saints victory.
Seward improves to 13-0 on the year and should easily work their way into the top five in the country in the next NJCAA poll while Shelton returns to Alabama licking their wounds as they drop two straight in the Pensacola Christmas Classic to fall to 13-2 on the year.
The win marks number 300 in the career of Lady Saints Head Coach Toby Wynn, making him just the seventh coach in Jayhawk Conference history and second at Seward County (Jim Littell) to accumulate 300 victories at one school.
The Lady Saints will return to the Sunflower State and return to Jayhawk Conference action on January 4th where they will travel to Independence to take on the Pirates in a 6:00 start. The game and the 8 p.m. women’s game air on 107.5 and kscbnews.net.