Wednesday night’s Jayhawk West Conference game could have two different lines depending on how you looked at it. If you looked at the two teams conference records, Seward 6-0 and Garden 5-1, with just an overtime loss to #15 to keep them from being unbeaten, you would think it was going to be a pretty good game. But, if you looked at the teams overall records, Seward 19-1 and Garden 9-11, you would think another Lady Saints blowout was coming. In the end, the offensive shootout that ensued would favor a high octane Lady Saints squad who nearly put triple digits on the scoreboard in getting their 20th win in 21 chances this season.
Garden City came in fearless against the country’s 10th ranked Lady Saints and took a 4-0 and then 10-5 lead early in the game. Seward would take its first lead of the game with 12:17 remaining in the half when Kendra Spresser would rebound her own miss and score to put the Lady Saints up 11-10. Garden’s Marisela Rodriguez and Seward’s Nadia Rosario would trade buckets inside to keep the margin the same but LaMesia Abbott would slash through the lane and score moments later to put Garden up by one 14-13. The next three minutes were all Lady Saints as Seward went on an 11-2 run to take an 8 point, 24-16 lead, while holding Garden City without a made shot from the field. After a nice hustle play by Cheree Freeman to run down Morgan Skomal on a fast break and prevent an easy layup, Spresser would find an open Rachel Barnes who buried a three from the wing to give the Lady Saints their largest lead of the half at 35-22. The Lady ‘Busters would chip away at the lead and get it to 6 with two minutes remaining in the half but Barnes scored 4 points in the final minute, including a pair of free throws as time expired to put Seward up 10 as the teams headed to locker room at half, 45-35. The Lady Saints outshot the Lady ‘Busters 57-46% in the first half but 9 offensive rebounds for the visitors led to 10 second chance points to keep them in the game.
Vaneza Junior would score twice for Seward in the opening minute of the second half and push the lead to 14 and then Rachel Barnes and Nadia Rosario would score on dishes from Junior and Sheila Washington to give the Lady Saints the first 8 points of the half and open up an 18 point advantage. The Seward lead would remain in that area for much of the half until a 5-0 run with just under 7 minutes left to go up 25 at 82-57. Another pair of back to back layups from Junior would give Seward their largest lead of the night at 27 and they would hold the 20+ point lead until the last moments of the game when Garden would cut it to 19 with a thee pointer to make it 96-77 where it would stand when the final buzzer sounded and Seward picked up its 20th win for the 18th straight season.
The Lady Saints shot 57% as a team on the night including burying 43% of their three point shots but for the second straight game struggled from the free throw line shooting just 55%. Garden knocked down 49% of their shots and 3 of 5 three point attempts and left 7 points at the charity stripe going 10 for 17. Seward was led by a very strong performance from Rachel Barnes who finished just one point short of her career high with 29 to go along with 6 rebounds and 5 assists while Nadia Rosario put up one of her better efforts as a Lady Saint with 17 points and 7 rebounds while working against 6’4 Marisela Rodriguez. Vaneza Junior scored 11 of her 15 points in the second half and Megan Lassley continued to be one of the best distributers in the conference as she finished with 13 points and 7 assists. For the third straight game Toby Wynn got good production off of his bench as Liz Ginther led the way with 8 and Kendra Spresser chipped in 7. Rodriguez paced Garden with 18 points and 10 rebounds while Cheree Freeman continued her strong play against the Lady Saints scoring 15 points and grabbing 6 rebounds.
The win pushes the Lady Saints to 20-1 on the season and more importantly a perfect 7-0 in Jayhawk West Conference play. The 20-1 mark is the best since the 2006-2007 Lady Saints started 24-1 en route to finishing the season 36-2 and a 3rd place finish at the NJCAA National Tournament. The Lady Saints will go on the road this weekend for a Saturday/Monday schedule with Butler and #23 Hutchinson before returning home Wednesday against Barton County to start a three game home stand.

GAME NIGHT PHOTO GALLERY (click on thumbnail to scroll through pictures)
In a game that more resembled a black and blue division football game, the #22 Seward County Saints outlasted a late charging Garden City team to move to 11-0 at home in the Greenhouse this season. In the game there were a combined 39 turnovers, 36 offensive rebounds, 48 fouls, and 61 free throws, a style of game that favored Garden City more than Seward but in the end, the Saints were able to come out on top with a 5 point 78-73 victory.
The two teams would show right away that they had different agendas on the offensive side of the floor as Seward County’s first four buckets of the game would come on the inside and three of Garden’s first four would come from the three point line as the Busters led 11-8 6 and a half minutes in. Seward would go more than 6 and a half minutes after that without a made field goal and Garden would build up their biggest lead of the game during that span as they led 17-11 with 9:22 left in the half. A slashing Marky Nolen was able to find Latiq Agard for an easy lay in down low and Jon Tassin followed that with the first of two triples for him on the night to cut the Buster lead to 17-16. The two teams would stay arm in arm for the remainder of the half and traded baskets on their last possessions of the half to remain deadlocked at the break 30-30.
Jon Tassin knocked down a pair of free throws for Seward to open the second half to break the tie and give the Saints the lead but as it seemed to happen all night, Garden City connected on a three pointer on their next possession to retake a one point lead. The Saints would take control of the game after that as they scored the game’s next nine points to take a 41-33 lead, holding Garden scoreless for nearly five minutes. They would lead by 9 as a timeout was called with 8:34 to go in the game and would dominated the next two minutes of the game to open the lead up to 14 with just over 6 minutes to go, a lead that many Saints fans thought would be more than safe. The Busters would trim the Saints lead to single digits again as McHenry kissed one off the glass with 3:11 left but Seward would push the lead back to 12 with under a minute to go. Just when it looked like this one was finally over, McHenry launched a three and connected to cut the lead to 9 and then Vince Banks would hit a free throw to shrink the lead to 8. Banks would miss his second free throw attempt but the 5’9 McHenry grabbed the offensive rebound and was fouled shooting another three to put him on the line. He made two of the three but Latiq Agard would sink both of his after a quick Garden foul to put Seward back up 8. The Busters rolled the ball up the court to keep the clock from starting and McHenry got off another three point attempt in which he was fouled on to give Garden a chance to cut the lead to 5 without any time running off the clock. He did just that by finding nothing but the bottom of the net on all three chances and it was a game again with under 30 seconds to go. Garden would get as close as four but the Saints were able to finish off enough free throws down the stretch to give them a five point win as the final horn sounded.
The Saints shot exactly 50% in both half’s and held one of the conference’s worst offenses to just 38% shooting but were hampered by 22 turnovers and 18 offensive rebounds by the Busters. Garden City hoisted up 38 three pointers on the night, the most shot by any team in the conference this season. Marky Nolen came up big when the Saints needed him as the 6’2 combo man did most of his 25 point 12 rebound work down low against a much bigger front line of Garden City, which included 6’9 260 lb Martell Jackson, but helped Seward just as much in breaking Garden City’s press which sandwiched point guard Tony Smith all night. Latiq Agard also played big inside for Seward in the win, going 7 for 12 shooting to score 19 points as well as doing an admirable job in stopping the Garden post players who scored just 8 points on the night. Jon Tassin followed up his Jayhawk West Conference Player of the Week nomination with a 14 point 5 rebound effort and Marcus James scored 9 points and had 6 rebounds. Tony Smith finished with 7 points, 4 rebounds, and 5 assists and Robert Sigala played 22 solid minutes racking up 6 rebounds to go along with his 4 points. Garden was paced by the outside attack of Chris McHenry and Avery Jirmnson who launched a combined 27 3’s, connecting on just 7 of them as the two finished with 17 and 18 points respectively.
The 78-73 win is Seward’s 11th in their last 12 games as they move to 17-4 on the season and 6-1 in Jayhawk West Conference play. Their plates will be full coming up as they will head eastward Saturday to take on Butler in the Power Plant before tangling with their rivals #9 Hutchinson in the Sports Arena on Monday. They will return home next Wednesday with a date with Barton County to kick off a three game home stand.

GAME NIGHT PHOTO GALLERY (Click on thumbnail to scroll through pictures)
While he may not be putting up the huge individual numbers of some of his teammates, Jon Tassin continues to be the model of consistency for the 22nd ranked Seward County Saints this season and for his efforts, the Saints sophomore has been named KJCCC Player of the Week after helping Seward to its 9th and 10th straight wins last week.
On Monday the Pontiac, Michigan native scored 8 points and had 5 rebounds in a win against Colby before turning it up a notch Wednesday against Raleigh’s Finest, scoring 14 points and grabbing 5 boards. In the Saints first loss in nearly two months Sunday, Tassin tried to keep Seward afloat against Dodge City, scoring 19 points and picking up 3 rebounds in the defeat. The 6’8 wingman is averaging just over 10 points and 4 rebounds per game this season for the Saints and is 2nd on the team with his 56% shooting percentage as well as his 39 steals on the year.
Tassin and his Saints return home tonight to take on defending Region VI Champions Garden City where it will be Jon Tassin poster night in the Greenhouse with tip set for 8:00.
After a stretch in which they played 13 of 14 games against teams with a winning record, 5 of those teams being ranked in the NJCAA top 25, the Seward County Lady Saints got somewhat of a break this week as they took on 2-17 Colby on Monday and then 3-18 Dodge City on Sunday. Needless to say, the Lady Conqs weren’t much of a match for the 19-1 Lady Saints as they took care of them easily in the Civic Center 70-43.
Seward outmuscled Dodge right off the bat and took advantage of some easy inside buckets and smooth outside shooting from Liz Ginther and Morgan Skomal to double-up the Lady Conqs at half 36-18. The Lady Saints shot 52% in the first half compared to just 23% shooting for the Lady Conqs who managed just 5 field goals in the half. The lead continued to increase in the second half as both teams seemed to go through the motions. Seward shot 43% to Dodge’s 35% as they opened the final margin of victory to 27 at game’s end.
The 10th ranked Lady Saints held the advantage in every major category besides free throw shooting as they outrebounded Dodge 42-32, had 20 assists to Dodge’s 6, 19 steals to Dodge’s 12, 6 blocks to Dodge’s 3, 17 turnovers to Dodge’s 27, and outshot Dodge 47-29% from the field and 33-0% from the three point line. Interesting that the Lady Saints lost the battle at the free throw line as that had been one of their strong points this season, outscoring their opponent by 38 at the line this season. Seward was just 2 for 10 in the game from the charity stripe while Dodge lessened their margin of defeat by going 15 of 20.
Rachel Barnes finished with a workman like 18 points and 6 rebounds for the Lady Saints who got their second straight 10 point effort from Morgan Skomal off the bench. Vaneza Junior found her way into double figures with 11 and Kendra Spresser returned from her injury to score 9. Nadia Rosario and Sumr Robinett didn’t light up the scoreboard in the win but the two did combine for 11 points, 16 rebounds, and 6 blocked shots to control the paint for Seward. Liz Ginther popped a pair of three pointers in the win and Megan Lassley was held to her lowest scoring output of the year with just 1 point but did have her highest assist total of the season with 8.
The Lady Saints move to 19-1 with the win and 6-0 in conference play as they look forward to a matchup with upstart Garden City on Wednesday night in the Greenhouse. The Lady Busters will come into Wednesday’s tilt 5-1 in conference play and nearly 6-0 after blowing a 9 point lead with just under 3 minutes left Sunday against Cloud County, falling in overtime to put a mark on their unblemished record. Wednesday’s buyout sponsor is the Sunflower Bank who will be distributing free tickets at their Liberal location as well as McDonald’s, Hutch’s, and the Best Market Supermarket. Wednesday will be Vaneza Junior poster night, so make sure to grab your poster of Vaneza and have her sign it at halftime of the Saints game outside the concession stand.

Seward County beat Cloud County in Liberal by 14 last weekend. Cloud County beat Dodge City in Concordia by 32 Wednesday night. So… If my math is correct that means that #18 Seward County should have come out on top by around 46 points Sunday afternoon as they headed to Dodge to take on the Conqs. Well, should have and what actually happened didn’t agree Sunday as Dodge City controlled the game for nearly the entire 40 minutes as they took down the Saints 88-75 to put the first ‘L’ on the board for Seward in nearly two months.
After playing an overtime thriller in the Civic Center a year ago, the 3-3 Dodge City Conquistadors and the 5-0 Seward County Saints headed into battle Sunday afternoon ready for another good matchup with one other. Unfortunately for Saints fans the game was never in their favor as Dodge City stole the spotlight from the conference leaders for the night as they dominated the game in every facet to come away with their 9th home win of the season. Dodge City took control early, picking up an early lead that they would seemingly never relinquish. The Conqs took advantage of a somewhat sluggish first half Seward offense to take an 8 point lead at the half. The Dodge lead was build thanks in part to a terrible outside shooting half for the Saints as they went just 1 for 9 along with a 13/4 advantage on free throws shot in the first 20 minutes.
Seward battled back early in the second half and had the game within striking distance but foul trouble forced four of the Saints better players to the bench midway through as they attempted to get back in the game. Dodge would take advantage and behind strong efforts from Chuck Coley and Bruce Massey, would open up the lead into the upper teens before eventually taking home the 88-75 win. While the Seward offense was better in the second half, shooting 52%, the Saints defense was nearly non-existent, giving up an unheard of 52 second half points on 79% shooting from the Conqs.
For the game Seward shot 47% while giving up 60% to Dodge City. The Saints were outrebounded 34-19 including 12 offensive boards from the Conqs and Dodge outscored Seward 28-19 at the free-throw line. The Saints two leading scorers in the contest, Jon Tassin and Marky Nolen both fouled out of the contest as each went 7 for 12 from the field and combined for 39 points. Tony Smith and Latiq Agard, Seward’s top two leading scorer’s coming into the game averaging a combined 33 points and over 10 rebounds a game, totaled just 12 points and 3 rebounds in the loss in an unusual showing from two of the Saints more reliable players in the last two seasons. “We got beat in every phase of the game” a frustrated Bryan Zollinger said after the game. “Dodge City outplayed us at every position and they deserved to win” he continued.
The Loss drops Seward to 16-4 overall and 5-1 in the conference as well as snapping a 10 game win streak for the Saints. The win propelled Dodge to 16-5 on the season and 4-3 in the conference and moves their record on their home floor to 9-1 on the year. The Saints won’t have much time to dwell on their Sunday loss as they host defending Region VI Champion Garden City on Wednesday in the Greenhouse. The game will kick-start a 4 game in 7 day stretch for the Saints as they look to finish the first half of conference play and start the second half on a winning note. Wednesday’s buyout sponsor is the Sunflower Bank who will be distributing free tickets at their Liberal location as well as McDonald’s, Hutch’s, and the Best Market Supermarket. Wednesday will be Jon Tassin poster night, so make sure to grab your poster of Jon and have him sign it at halftime of the Lady Saints game outside the concession stand.

With all due respect to Hall of Famer Dominique Wilkins, Seward County Community College has found their own ‘Human Highlight Reel’ and he comes from Greenville, North Carolina. The Saints HHR, Tony Smith has been named Jayhawk Conference Player of the Week for his efforts in Seward County wins over Pratt on the road and Cloud County at home last week. The Seward point guard continues to fill up the stat sheet with regularity and last week was no different. The sophomore scored 18 points, had 9 rebounds, and 9 assists on Wednesday against then, fellow first place Pratt, before turning around Saturday night and scoring 23 points on 6 of 9 shooting while also helping on the boards with 7 rebounds, and dishing to his teammates with 8 assists against Cloud. Smith is currently the Jayhawk’s leading assist man at over 7 per game while also near the top in scoring (2nd) and steals (3rd). Smith and his Saints will have a couple of days to catch their breath before traveling to Dodge City Sunday to take on the Conqs and then Seward will return home to clash with defending Region VI Champion Garden City Wednesday night in the Greenhouse.
When you look at the box score from Wednesday nights non-conference game between the #18 Seward County Saints and Raleigh’s Finest Prep Academy there aren’t really any numbers that are going to pop off the page and hit you in the face. However, looking deeper at it, an interesting side note will. Every Saint that played in the game had 3 or more points, 2 or more rebounds, and all but two players had 3 or more assists. What exactly does this mean? It means that Seward County is playing team basketball and gelling as a unit as they move towards the midway point of conference play, something that makes all Saints fans happy as they watch their team contend for a Jayhawk West title.
The Saints midweek tilt with Raleigh’s Finest was never much of a game as Seward rushed out to a 10 point early lead and would take that lead wire to wire. The Roadrunners squad was ill-equipped to handle the Saints up tempo offense and pressure defensive style with a roster of only 6 players and it would show as they would go just 4 for 20 from the field in the first half and would turn the ball over 11 times in the first 20 minutes. At the half Seward held a 39-16 advantage as they shot 50% from the field and held Raleigh’s Finest to just 20%. In the second half the Saints exploded offensively and shot 58% while putting up 62 points on the board. Seward opened up a 50 point lead with 2 minutes remaining and would hold that same count as time expired with a 101-51 victory.
Four Saints finished the game with 17 points each as Marcus James, Latiq Agard, Tony Smith, and Marky Nolen all hit the mark while Jon Tassin scored 14 and Donte McCarter 7. Chris Chaney scored 5 points and had 3 rebounds and assists in the win and Spencer Moore and Isaiah Thaw combined for 7 points and 8 assists on the night. James was the game’s leading rebounder with 13 and the sophomore tied Smith for the team lead in assists with 5. As a team the Saints combined for 18 steals on the night, led by Smith who had 4 and Tassin, James, and Moore who had 3 each. For the Roadrunners, 6’8 Julian Robinson had 19 points and 10 rebounds while fellow lefty Robert Wakefield had 11 points and 8 assists.
The win is Seward’s 10th straight as they move to 16-3 on the season and have climbed to #18 in the latest NJCAA National Poll. The Saints now have three days off before they return to the court in Dodge City where they will take on a Conquistadors team that will be hungry after a 32 point loss to Cloud County in Concordia Wednesday night. Seward will see its next home action next Wednesday when Garden City comes knocking on the Greenhouse doors as the last two NJCAA National Tournament participants from the Jayhawk Conference collide.

Playing on a team that has five sophomores drawing Division 1 interest, it is hard as a freshman to garner a whole lot of attention. One way to do that is put up your first career double-double and that is exactly what Lady Saints freshman forward Sumr Robinett did Monday night in Seward’s makeup game win over struggling Colby.
Monday was one of those games where a coach talks about having to be ready for each and every game and overlooking no opponent. Overlooking them or not, the 17-1 Seward County Lady Saints came out of the gates flat against the 2-16 Lady Trojans and managed only a 10 point halftime lead even while limiting Colby to just 21% shooting from the floor in the first half. The Lady Saints picked it up in the second half while outscoring Colby by 14 by shooting 47% to come out on top 70-46 but the victory wasn’t a satisfying one for the Seward County coaching staff. “We have to play at the top of our game every single night if we want to get where we want to be at the end of the season” assistant coach Penny Jones said. “We came out tonight and played with little intensity and no sense of urgency. Thankfully we have a very talented group of players and we had some kids step up off the bench tonight to help us come away with a win” she continued.
Other than Rachel Barnes who had 22 points and 5 rebounds in the win, the Seward starters shot just 7 for 34 from the field and combined for 11 turnovers. A bright spot for the Lady Saints was their play from their bench who combined for 25 points and 19 rebounds in the victory. The aforementioned Sumr Robinett had the best game of her young career scoring 10 points on 5 of 7 shooting and ripping down a career high 12 rebounds. Fellow freshman Morgan Skomal also had a nice night for Seward, scoring 10 points on 4 of 7 shooting and finding her way to the glass for 6 rebounds. Liz Ginther knocked down a three pointer and a pair of free throws in her 18 minutes played and finished the game with 5 points and a team high 2 steals.
Though it wasn’t the prettiest win for the Lady Saints, the W still takes Seward to 18-1 on the season and a perfect 5-0 in Jayhawk West Conference play. They will now enjoy a well deserved five day break before locking up with Dodge City in the Civic Center in a rare Sunday afternoon tilt.

Although the 4-0 Seward County Saints were matched up with the 0-4 Colby Trojans Monday night, the Saints found out that there just aren’t any off nights in the always tough Jayhawk West Conference schedule as they came out with a 71-57 victory in the Community Building.
After missing the entire conference season last year as a freshman, Latiq Agard has a lot to prove to his fellow Jayhawk West foes. Monday night in Colby, the sophomore showed just why he was a preseason All-American pick as he cashed in on a 9 for 9, 19 point first half to help push the Seward County Saints out to a 43-31 advantage at the break. Agard’s 19 led a solid offensive effort for the Saints in the first half as they shot 53% but were only able to hold Colby, the conferences worst shooting team, to 48% shooting to keep the game close. While Seward’s fire power kept them out in front relatively comfortable the entire game, the Trojans weren’t about to give up on their home floor and cut the Saints lead to as close as 7 late but wouldn’t be able to get any closer as Seward came away with the 14 point win 71-57.
The game was fairly sloppy for both teams as Seward turned it over 24 times and Colby lost possession 22 times in the contest. The Saints struggled shooting the ball from the outside as Tony Smith knocked down all 4 three point makes for Seward while the rest of the team shot a combined 0 for 11 in the game. Latiq Agard led all scorers with 23 points on 10 of 12 shooting, returning to a form in which many Saints fans came accustom to last season. Smith finished the game with 21 points, 6 assists, 5 rebounds, and 4 steals while Marcus James had a solid night above the rim with 17 points and 9 rebounds.
With the win, Seward has now taken care of their last nine opponents and have a 15-3 overall record with an unblemished 5-0 record in Jayhawk West Conference play. Due to the move of the Colby game from December to Monday night, the Saints now have just one day off before returning to the court to take on Raleigh’s Finest Prep Academy from Oklahoma City on Wednesday at home. The buyout sponsor for Wednesdays 7:30 tip is Southern Office who has free tickets available at Southern Office, Pizza Hut, and the Community Bank.

It was the game that everyone around the country had their eyes on Saturday night. 11th ranked, 17-0 Cloud County Lady T-Birds on the road against the 15th ranked, 16-1 Seward County Lady Saints. It didn’t take long to realize that the Lady Saints weren’t about to take it easy on their guests as they held Cloud without a point for the first four minutes of the game and never trailed in the contest as they defended their home court with a 76-53 win and moved to 4-0 in Jayhawk West Conference play and 17-1 on the season Saturday night in the Greenhouse.

A slow start for both teams as neither was able to buy a bucket in the first two minutes of the game, Vaneza Junior scored on a dish from Sheila Washington to put the Lady Saints up 2-0 with 18:00 left and kick-started a 6-0 run for Seward to open the game. Cloud finally got on the board just over four minutes in but Seward would continue a hot start with back to back layups from Junior put the Lady Saints up 12 with a 16-4 advantage with just over 13 minutes to go in the half. The undefeated Lady T-Birds wouldn’t make it too easy on the Lady Saints however as they took the next three minutes to go on an 11-0 run and turn the 12 point game into a nailbiting 1 point game with one quarter of the game gone. A three pointer from Megan Lassley would cap a 10-1 run for Seward after the Lady T-Birds were able to cut the lead to 1 and once again the gals in green had a double digit lead at 26-16. The Lady Saints would again count on the services of Junior late in the half as the sophomore drained a triple from the top of the key to give Seward their largest lead of the half at 43-28 and after a bucket down low by Cloud on the next possession the Lady Saints would go into the half up by 13 as they looked to hand Cloud their first loss of the season. Junior and Rachel Barnes scored a dozen a piece for Seward in the first half who shot 56% from the field while holding Cloud to just 35% from the floor at 10 of 29.

The Lady Saints would start the second half just as they had played the first half, with tenacious defense and a quick paced offense and opened up the final 20 minutes of play by scoring 12 of the first 13 points and 15 of the first 18 to blow open a 25 point lead as they threatened to embarrass the 11th ranked team in the country. Cloud never put up much of a fight in the second half and Seward continued to poor it on, taking as much as a 30 point lead with just over three minutes to go before eventually finishing off the Lady T-Birds 76-53 to come away with their 17th win of the season. The Lady Saints, who led wire to wire in this one, shot 49% in the game while holding Cloud to a dismal 27% in the contest. Seward’s harassing defense forced Cloud into 27 turnovers and cashed in on 16 steals while winning nearly every statistical category on the night.

Seward was led in scoring, rebounding, and assists by Rachel Barnes who lit up the Lady T-Birds for 22 points, 9 rebounds, and 5 assists picking up her 2nd straight blowout win in the Greenhouse against Cloud. Vaneza Junior backed up a career high 21 point performance Wednesday night against Pratt with 18 points and 5 steals in the win over Cloud. Nadia Rosario put up a solid 14 point 6 rebound effort while Megan Lassley found her way into double figures again with 10 points and 4 assists. Sheila Washington shook off a rough shooting night to finish with a nice line of 5 points, 7 rebounds, and 4 assists in the win.

The Lady Saints will return to action Monday night with a road matchup with Colby before taking the week off and going back on the road Sunday afternoon at Dodge City.
After a solid late effort on the road Wednesday night at Pratt, the Seward County Saints looked to remain perfect in conference play at home Saturday night against Cloud County, a team that on paper looked to be an inferior matchup for the 13-3 guys in green. Little did the Saints know that the T-Birds would come out ready for a fight and would give Seward all they wanted for most of the game before the Saints talent took over late to give the home team an 80-66 win to help them move to 4-0 in conference play as they prepare for a busy schedule in the next two weeks of Jayhawk West action.

The Saints would start slow and fall behind as much as four early but the North Carolina connection of Tony Smith and Donte McCarter would keep Seward in it with the first nine points of the game for the home team to keep the game knotted at nine. Seward would take its first lead of the game at the 14:20 mark of the first half as a driving McCarter would find Marky Nolen down low for the finish to put the Saints up 11-9. Seward was able to stay ahead through the middle part of the first period but wouldn’t be able to run away as Cloud continued to match the Saints bucket for bucket before Latiq Agard connected on a jumped to cap a 7-0 run and put the Saints up 26-19 with seven minutes to go in the half. Cloud would chip away slowly and cut the Seward lead to one with a free throw and then go ahead by one with yet another first half basket by point guard Adrian Herrera. Spencer Moore would score the games next five points and give Seward a four point lead but Brandon Newton would bang a three from the corner to cut the Saint lead to just one as the teams went to the locker room with the scoreboard reading 38-37 in favor of Seward.

The teams continued to trade points as the second half opened and Cloud and Seward remained tight as the Saints led by just two with 9:40 to go in the game. From that point on it was all Saints as Seward turned up the defensive pressure and capitalized on their offensive possessions as Latiq Agard gave the home team their first double digit lead of the game with 5:48 to go as Spencer Moore connected with the big fella down low. The T-Birds would cut the lead to nine a couple of times late but would get no closer as a three point play by Marky Nolen would put an exclamation point on an 80-66 win for the Saints. Seward outshot Cloud 58-37% in the game and the T-Birds were unable to capitalize on a 40-33 rebounding advantage as they fell by 14.

Tony Smith again dazzled the Seward faithful as the sophomore point guard went for 23 points, 7 rebounds, and 8 assists, all team highs while Donte McCarter and Marky Nolen went for 13 points apiece in the win. Marcus James put up most of his 12 points and 7 rebounds in the second half and Latiq Agard put together another workman like effort with 12 points on 5 of 8 from the field. Spencer Moore played a season high 25 minutes and took advantage scoring a career high 8 points including a pair of triples for the Saints.

The 14-3 Saints won’t have much time to celebrate as they get ready for a stretch including Saturday where they will play 7 games in 14 days. Their next matchup will take them to Colby Monday where they will take on the Trojans before returning home Wednesday in non-conference action to play On Point Prep Academy. Free tickets for Wednesday’s game can be picked up at Southern Office Supply, the Community Bank, and both Pizza Hut locations.
It had been talked about all week leading up to the Seward County Saints big matchup in the Beaver Dome Wednesday night against Pratt. The Beavers liked to shoot the three ball and if they started falling, they very well could stake themselves out to a big lead. But what that style could also do if the shots weren’t falling, was allow your opponent to get back into the game. Right on script Wednesday night, the 13-2 Pratt Beavers came out of the gates on fire building a 19 point lead at one point, but when things went cold, the Saints took advantage, creeping back into the game before taking the lead and holding onto it to move to 3-0 in conference play with a strangle hold now on the competition.
When the 2009-2010 Jayhawk West basketball schedule was released, the Seward County Saints January 13th date with Pratt defiantly wasn’t one that was circled on the calendar for anyone in Liberal. Most probably looked at the opener with Hutchinson or their road matchup with Barton County as the games to watch but few also expected the 13-2 and 2-0 start in conference play by the upstart Beavers. With the way the cards have fallen, Wednesday’s tangle with Pratt ended up being the game of the night as both teams battled to move to 3-0 in conference play, but only one would come out with that mark. Pratt started on fire and Seward the opposite end of the spectrum as the Beavers raced out to an 11-0 lead to open the game and then pushed all the way out to a 32-13 lead as Seward fans remained in relative shock. Pratt’s hot start was thanks in part to an 8 for 10 start from the three point line and a blistering 70% shooting start from the field. The Beavers would cool down as the first half came to an end and Seward was able to work their way back into striking distance as the half came to a close and the teams went to the locker rooms.
The Saints faced a 10 point, 42-32 deficit as second half play started and after some physical play, they were able to cut the Pratt lead to 8 and then 5 after a trio of free throw makes to make the score 51-46 in favor of the Beaves with 13:16 remaining to play. The Saints would continue their strong defensive pressure through the middle part of the second half and cashed a pair of turnovers into four points to get to within 2 with just over 7 minutes remaining in the game. With just over 3 minutes to go, Jon Tassin called for the ball and found nothing but the bottom of the net to give Seward its first lead of the game at 68-67. A Pratt free throw later tied the contest at 70 a piece but an offensive rebound and put back from Marky Nolen would give Seward the lead again at 72-70, a lead in which they would never give back. Up 74-72 with just 9 second to go in the game, Marcus James pulled a rebound down for Seward and was immediately fouled to send him to the line with a chance to ice the game. With no Saints in to rebound against the four Beavers in their places to get a James miss, the Seward sophomore knocked down the first free throw but with a chance to put the Saints up two possessions with a second make, missed his next try. Just when you thought things might get interesting with the James miss, he grabbed his own rebound against four Pratt Beavers and was put on the line again with a foul with just under 6 seconds to go. Given a second chance, James wouldn’t relinquish the opportunity again, drilling the first free throw to more less seal the game as a meaningless desperation three by Pratt at the buzzer would come up short and the Saints would escape with the 4 point win 76-72.
The Saints were led offensively by Tony Smith who turned in an 18 point, 9 rebound, 9 assist performance with Oklahoma Head Coach Jeff Capel in attendance to watch the Seward point guard. Along with the free throws to seal the game, Marcus James finished with 15 points and 3 boards while Marky Nolen and Latiq Agard had 13 points apiece inside and combined for 13 rebounds. Jon Tassin buried a pair of big three’s in the contest and finished the game with a team high 4 steals to couple with his 10 points and 3 rebounds. The Saints finished the game shooting 51% as a team as Pratt cooled off from a blistering start to shoot 44% as a group. After starting 8 for 10 from the three point line, the Beavers went just 3 for 17 in the game’s final 35 minutes from the great beyond as Seward chipped away and eventually came away with the victory. Even with the 6’11 Illiwa Baldwin inside for Pratt, the Saints came out ahead 34/27 on the rebounding front and forced 23 Beaver turnovers while committing 21 of their own.
The 23rd ranked Saints are now 13-3 overall and 3-0 in Jayhawk West Conference play after picking up their 7th straight win Wednesday night. The Saints will return home Saturday night as they take on Cloud County in the Greenhouse at 8:00. The buyout sponsor for the 8:00 tip is First National Bank who will have free tickets available through game time Saturday at all three of their Liberal locations. Saturday night will be the first of 7 gameday poster nights as Donte McCarter will be the featured Saint, so pick up your Donte McCarter poster at either entrance and have him sign it at halftime of the Women’s game outside the concession stand
Some games you say ‘that’s why the game isn’t played on paper’. Wednesday night’s 15-1 Seward County vs. 2-14 Pratt game however could have been played on paper. After playing far from a perfect half and still finishing the first 20 minutes up by 16, the Lady Saints outscored the home team 51-19 in the second half to win a 93-45 blowout in the Beaver Dome.
The game was closer than expected early on as Pratt was able to remain within relative striking distance until later on in the first half when Seward opened up a 16 point, 42-26 lead at the half. Phylicia Freeman was the one thing keeping Pratt in the game and scored 15 first half points but hot starts by guards Megan Lassley, Sheila Washington, and Vaneza Junior pushed Seward out to the comfortable halftime margin. The Lady Saints put the clamps down defensively in the second half and it turned to easy offense on the other end as they held Pratt to just 8 field goals while going 20 of 35 on their end of the court. The game was never close in the final 20 minutes as Seward coasted to the win behind new career highs in points from both Junior and Washington with 21 and 17 respectively. Rachel Barnes turned in yet another double-double, her 3rd in the Lady Saints last 4 games. Nadia Rosario put together another strong night inside with 7 points and 7 rebounds while Megan Lassley lit up the nets from the outside with a pair of three’s finishing with 12 points and a team high 5 assists. Off the Seward bench Sumr Robinett led a strong showing with 9 points as the Lady Saints reserves outscored the Beaver bench 23-12 in the game.
The win moves the 15th nationally ranked Lady Saints to 16-1 on the season as they remain perfect in Jayhawk West Conference play at 3-0. Their toughest test of the season will come Saturday at home as Cloud County comes knocking on the Greenhouse doors with a perfect 17-0 record and an 11th rank in the latest NJCAA poll. The matchup will be one of the most anticipated in Seward County athletics history as the two teams have the highest combined winning percentage (.971) of any game in school history. The buyout sponsor for the 6:00 game is First National Bank who will have free tickets available through game time Saturday at all three of their Liberal locations. Saturday night will be the first of seven game day poster nights as Liz Ginther will be the featured Lady Saint, so pick up your Liz Ginther poster at either entrance and have Liz sign it at halftime of the Men’s game outside the concession stand.
When the 2010 Jayhawk Shootout schedule was released in the Spring of 2009, there were only a couple of games on the schedule that really caught your eye at first glance. They both involved Seward County and they were matchups with the two most dominate teams in Region VI in the decade, first the Cowley Tigers and second the 3rd ranked JUCO program of the decade, the Coffeyville Red Ravens.
Friday Seward matched up in a much anticipated tussle with Cowley after the two had traded ending each other’s seasons in the 08’ and 09’ campaigns. Cowley came out white hot and scorched the nets for 19 points in the blink of an eye and led 19-4 in just four minutes of play. Seward would not roll over though as they slowly worked their way back into the game before going on a run of their own to end the half and take a 12 point lead at the break. The Saints finished the half shooting 50% from the field while Cowley banged in 7 of 13 three point attempts but just 5 of 13 shots inside the three point line to fall behind by 12. Cowley started the second half just as they had started the game as Tyrus McGee and Lance Russell connected on shots behind the arc as Seward’s lead was cut to 6. The Saints continued to pound away inside , dominating the glass and the painted area against the conferences worst rebounding team and regained their 12 point advantage midway through the frame before going on to win by 16 as the final horn sounded.
The Saints shot 52% as a team in the 83-67 win as they pushed through a barrage of Cowley 3 balls, 12 to be exact, in the victory. Seward won the battle on the boards by doubling up the Tigers rebounding total 46-23 and managed 20 points off of 18 Cowley turnovers. The Saints allowed just 7 points on 2nd chance opportunities while making the most of theirs, scoring 22 points on 17 offensive rebounds on the night.
Tony Smith wowed the crowd looking on to the Saints win, scoring a game high 25 points and dishing out 13 assists while missing out on a triple double by just 3 rebounds as he had 7. Marcus James tied a season high with 20 points in the win and the muscle duo inside of Marky Nolen and Latiq Agard combined for 23 points and 16 rebounds on the afternoon.
The Saints road wouldn’t get any easier Saturday night as they would have the home team, the Coffeyville Red Ravens, winners of 8 Jayhawk East titles and 5 Region VI titles in the past 10 years. An up and down affair in the first half, both teams put on an offensive show with Seward connecting on 66% of their first half shots and Coffeyville on 52% of theirs. Jon Tassin, Marky Nolen, and Spencer Moore went a perfect 8 for 8 in the first half from beyond the arc and helped the Saints to a 55-43 halftime lead. Seward’s lead would grow to as much as 21 early in the second half but as is the case in the game of basketball, every team makes their run, and that Coffeyville did slowly trimming the Saints lead through the middle part of the half and in the waning moments found themselves down just 3 after a flurry of failed free throw attempts from the Saints. With under 10 seconds remaining on the clock and the Saints up three, Coffeyville had the ball and a chance to tie if they could connect on their 9th three pointer of the night. After passing the ball in and nearly double dribbling at mid court, Coffeyville’s Eric Hardaway got the ball in the corner to Justin Johnson who missed his three point attempt short thanks in part to a harassing Saints defense, and Seward came away with the rebound and pushed it up the court to run the clock out before the Red Ravens could foul and escape a hostel Nellis Hall with the 93-90 win.
The Saints lit up the nets from three point range to the tune of a 65% shooting percentage while struggling at the free throw line shooting just 50%. Coffeyville shot 51% in the game and outrebounded the Saints 39-31 but couldn’t stop Seward on offense as they gave up 60% shooting to the Saints in the loss.
Five Saints had over 13 points in the win as Donte McCarter’s 19 led the team followed by a career high 18 from Jon Tassin who nailed all 4 of his three point shots on the night. Marky Nolen scored 15, all in the first half, for the Saints by knocking down 6 of 7 shots, including all three of his shots from downtown. Latiq Agard remained solid in the post for Seward, scoring 14 points and grabbing three rebounds while Tony Smith again showed why he is one of the best players in the region by putting up 13 points, 8 rebounds, and 8 assists in yet another near triple double miss.
The wins were Seward’s 5th and 6th consecutively and they may now be looked upon as the team to beat in the region after having knocked off two of the top teams in the West and now two of the top teams in the East in their last six games with victories over Hutchinson, Barton County, Cowley, and Coffeyville in their last half-dozen ball games. They will hit the court again Wednesday in a game that should be much better than most people anticipated at the start of the season. The Saints will go to the always tough Beaver Dome in Pratt where they will face a Beaver squad that knocked them off last season there and comes in winners of 9 of their last 10, including a 9-0 mark at home. They will return home on Saturday where they will take on Cloud County at 8:00 in the Green House.

If the old adage, “defense wins championships” is true, and this weekend’s Jayhawk Shootout is any indication of things to come, the Seward County Lady Saints Basketball Team has good things in their future. After defeating Jayhawk East powers Cowley and Coffeyville this weekend, holding the pair to just 55 and 43 points respectively, the Lady Saints will get back into the swing of things in Jayhawk Conference action at 15-1.
In a rare Friday morning affair, the Lady Saints opened up the 2010 Jayhawk Shootout by taking on Cowley, who is currently leading the Jayhawk East Conference at 3-1 in conference play. The game started slow as the contrasting styles of play clashed on the court with the methodical offense and 1-3-1 zone defense of Cowley matching up with the up-tempo offense and man to man defense of the Lady Saints. Both teams struggled to find a rhythm on offense and shot under 30% in the first 20 minutes but 11 offensive rebounds and a trio of three pointers for Seward helped them to a 25-16 lead at the half. In the second half Cowley was able to find a better cadence on the offensive end and shot their way back into the game, erasing Seward’s 9 point halftime lead and actually taking a lead of their own late in the half after a handful of empty possessions for the Lady Saints. There was no quit in the gals in green however as a Megan Lassley three pointer sparked the Lady Saints and after a stop on defense and a bucket on the other end, Seward found themselves up three with under a minute left to play. With the game going much as last year’s matchup with Cowley did when the two locked horns in the Thanksgiving Classic in Garden City, a late three point attempt for the Lady Tigers would miss short and the Lady Saints would eventually come away with a 60-55 victory.
Clutch late free throw shooting by the entire Lady Saints team helped seal the victory as Seward was 22 of 24 in the second half from the charity stripe and finished the game shooting 88% at 30 for 34. The Lady Saints withstood a 12 for 24 second half shooting attack from Cowley while shooting just 24% themselves, but in the end 26% was all Seward needed shooting the basketball in the win. The biggest stats of the game came with 26 Seward points off of 20 Cowley turnovers as well as 19 offensive rebounds for the Lady Saints compared to just 9 for the girls from Arkansas City.
Individually Seward was led by 20 points and 6 rebounds from Rachel Barnes and 9 points and 10 rebounds from Nadia Rosario. Barnes was a perfect 8 for 8 from the free throw line, many of those coming down the stretch while Rosario knocked down 3 of 4 from the charity stripe. Megan Lassley finished with 9 points and 3 assists including two big three pointers and a Harlem Globetrotters play to end the half in which she went to the floor with the basketball while keeping her dribble and spinning in a circle before passing the ball ahead to Barnes for an easy two. In an interested side note, three Seward County players scored all of their points in the game from the free throw line as Sheila Washington, Kendra Spresser, and Sumr Robinett combined to go 11 of 13 from the line for 11 big points in the game.
The win for Seward and a win by Coffeyville later Friday night over Butler setup the matchup of the tournament on the women’s side between the Lady Saints and the Lady Red Ravens, Saturday night at 5:00. The two went back and forth much of the first 20 minutes and neither team was able to open up too wide of a margin as much like the first Seward game, both teams struggled on the offensive end of the floor, shooting a combined 26% in the half. An offensive rebounds and put back by Kendra Spresser at the buzzer would put Seward up 6 at 26-20 as the Lady Saints held Coffeyville to just 21% shooting in the opening half. The Seward offense started clicking in the second half and a quartet of three point splash downs for the Lady Saints helped open up a sizeable lead as they ran away with their 15th win in 16 tries on the season as they finished the game with their largest margin of the whole contest as they went on to win 61-43.
Seward held Coffeyville to just 43 points, 27 under their season average while also holding the Lady Ravens to their 2nd lowest shooting night, 24% of the year. A main cause of the offensive shutdown for Coffeyville was the lockdown defense the Lady Saints played on Sheay Longstaff, the Lady Ravens biggest offensive threat, as they held her to just 3 points on 1 of 7 shooting after the sophomore had 20 points including 6 three point makes the night before against Butler.
In the win Rachel Barnes again paced the offense with 23 points and a career high 15 rebounds, including 9 of those on the offensive glass. Megan Lassley drilled 3 three pointers in the win and finished with 10 points while Nadia Rosario played big inside for the second straight contest and finished with 9 points and 8 boards. Liz Ginther found the bottom of the net on 2 of 3 three point attempts and ended the night with 6 points and Sumr Robinett, Morgan Skomal and Sheila Washington combined for 14 rebounds to help give Seward a 51-46 rebounding edge in the game.
The pair of quality wins moves Seward to 15-1 on the season, the best start since the 2006-07 season when the Lady Saints started 24-0 before going on to finish 3rd at the National Tournament. They will return to conference play Wednesday when they travel to Pratt to take on the Beavers before returning home Saturday in a much anticipated matchup with 13th ranked and 17-0 Cloud County in the Greenhouse. Saturday’s home tilt will be sponsored by First National Bank where free tickets for the game can be picked up at any of the three FNB locations in Liberal.

Celebrating the donning of a new decade it is time to relive the 10 best teams in green and white of the 2000’s.

#10- 2002 Baseball
The only non-National Tournament team on the list, the 2002 Saints still hold the record for most wins in school history (50), team batting average(.385), and home runs (117) among many others. Individuals on the 2002 team can be found at the top of nearly every category in the Saints single season record books including 3 out of the top 4 home run hitters in school history. This team sported the National Player of the Year (Cory Patton), the National Student-Athlete of the Year (Patton), a National Batting Champion (Matt Wells), and two NJCAA All-Americans (Patton & Dan Dody). They were the Jayhawk West Champions and the Region VI Sub-Region Champions before losing to Cowley in the Region Championship.

#9- 2002 Volleyball
In the middle of a 5 straight National Tournament run, the 2002 Lady Saints finished 6th in the big dance behind sophomore All-American Joy Okpa. The Lady Saints were Jayhawk West Conference runners-up in the regular season before going on to win the Region VI Championship. Seward finished with a 48-7 overall record which still stands as 4th most in school history.

#8- 2006 Women’s Tennis
The 2006 Lady Saints were the first team of the decade to find their way to the National Tournament and surprised many when they got there eventually finishing in 10th place. The Lady Saints were paced by Uthala Abdullah who won her Region VI singles and doubles bracket and Amina Abdullah who helped her sister Uthala knock out the rest of the competition in their doubles bracket on their way to the championship. Charity Andrews lost in the first round of the National Tournament before coming back to win the consolation bracket to help the Lady Saints to their top 10 finish.

#7- 2007 Men’s Tennis
Led by Rogerio Yamamoto, Ruben Mora, and Victor Mesquita, the 2007 Seward County Men’s Tennis team wrapped up their second straight season by finishing 9th at the NJCAA National Tennis Tournament. Yamamoto put the much needed points on the board by winning the Region VI Tournament in his singles play while Mora and Mesquita were ranked as high as 13th in the country for their tandem work in doubles play. At the National Tournament Luis Cabizuca picked up the consolation bracket championship while Yamamoto finished lost in the championship match of consolation play.

#6 2009 Softball
What a magical season 2009 was for the Lady Saints softball team as they recovered from a 5-4 conference start to win their final 8 conference games before going on to sweep the Region VI Tournament to reach their first National Tournament in school history. The highlight of the 09 season came in their 40th win of the year when sophomore Katie Glenn would hit a walk-off inside the park home run with two outs in the 12th inning to beat Odessa and send the Lady Saints to the Elite Eight of the 16 team tournament. Seward fell in the next round but still came away with a 40 win season and a 7th place finish at the National Tournament. Pitching and speed were the name of the 2009 game for the Lady Saints as they set school records for stolen bases, ERA, and strikeouts against behind All-American Courtney Auger who set the All-Time ERA mark and Katie Glenn who matched the single season stolen base plateau.

#5 2000 Volleyball
The 2000 Lady Saints set the bar for all other Seward volleyball teams to come in the 2000’s. After winning the Jayhawk West Conference with a perfect 8-0 record, the gals in green went on to win the Region VI Tournament and finish 5th at the National Tournament. The Lady Saints would finish the season 48-6 while putting together a 29 match winning streak during the season and the sophomores on this 2000 club finished their two year careers with a 100-8 overall record and won all 14 Jayhawk West matches they played in. At the head of that class was All-American Carol Bozikis who still finds her names in the top 5 in school history in both kills and blocks after a stellar season in 2000.

#4 2004 Baseball
Winning 47 games, good, winning the Jayhawk West Conference, the norm, winning the Region VI Tournament and taking your Hall of Fame Head Coach to his first NJCAA World Series, priceless. After falling one game short in 2003, the 2004 Saints were not to be denied as they rode the right arm of Danny Vais and the bat of Jason Van Kooten all the way to 5th place in the World Series. For the first time in three years, the Saints didn’t have an All-American on their roster. It didn’t matter, this relatively young group came together and came up big when it needed to going 47-16 on the year and making a deep run into the National Tournament to try and give Head Coach Galen McSpadden his 1st National Championship. Vais’ 103 innings and David Dinsmoore’s 12 wins paced the squad while the freshman Van Kooten led an offense who had the 3rd most hits in school history.

#3 2007 Women’s Basketball
A late game substitution mix up is maybe all that was in the way of a 34-0 regular season for this talented group as Tegan Cunningham, Chontaye Walter, Taushelle Rushing and company made a run at the school’s second National Championship in women’s basketball during the 2006-07 season finishing the season 36-2 and in 3rd place in the NJCAA National Tournament. After winning the Jayhawk West Conference with a 13-1 regular season record the Lady Saints weren’t satisfied as they marched through three rounds of the Region VI Tournament before pulling off an overtime win in the Championship game against Coffeyville to send them to Salina. Seward won their first two games of the National Tournament before falling in the semifinals to Odessa, but came back and beat top seeded Southeastern Illinois to give themselves 3rd place in the tournament. The “Magnificent 7” as they were called would see 5 players off of their team sign Division 1 including two time All-American Tegan Cunningham who along with Chontaye Walker signed at Oklahoma State.

#2 2008 Men’s Basketball
Rarely are there high expectations for college coaches in their first season of work but Bryan Zollinger wouldn’t settle for mediocrity as he took a Saints squad that went 17-14 and 7-9 in conference play in 2007 to a 32-6 and 13-3 record in conference play in 08’ before leading the guys in green to the National Tournament where they finished 3rd in the nation. The Saints started the season 12-2 as they headed into Christmas break but understood that they hadn’t been tested by the top notch teams they would see in conference play yet. Coming back from the break and starting 1-2 in conference play with their only win coming in dramatic fashion in overtime against Dodge City at home, Saints fans began to think that their bubbles of hopes and dreams were burst. Little did they know that this team had in them a 19 game stretch where they would fail to be beaten in regulation as they finished the regular season 25-5 with a Jayhawk West title and a full head of steam going into the Region VI Tournament. After winning their first three contests of the tournament the Saints were pitted against Eastern Division rival Cowley in the finals where they were only given a chance by those who had green come out of their body when they were poked by a doctor. The only problem for the Tigers is the Saints all did, and the upstart guys from Liberal defeated the beast from the East by double digits and earned their first trip of the decade to the National Tournament. After knocking off heavily favored Chipola in the first round in Hutchinson, the Saints went on to pick up a 7 point win over Northeastern Oklahoma in the quarterfinals to send themselves to the final four. Though their National Championship hopes came to an end in the semi’s against eventual National Champions South Plains, the Saints came back in the third place game with only pride on the line against Three Rivers to win convincingly 81-63 to take home the third place trophy. The most remembered players on this team will always be the colorful Darko Cohadarevic who signed at Texas Tech University and guard Reggie Chamberlain who traded in his green and white for the black and gold of Wichita State at season’s end, but those close with this 08’ group will tell you that it was each and every member of this team that made it what it was; the role players who did their job in the end to almost push this group to their ultimate goal of a National Title.

#1 2002 Women’s Basketball
Was there any doubt when you saw the title of this article who was going to be #1? Didn’t think so. No matter what happens in the future of this great athletic department, the 2002 Lady Saints Basketball Team will always be remembered as the first. The first team to win a National Championship, the first team to go undefeated, the first team to have the NJCAA National Player of the Year, and the first team to have a two time first team NJCAA All-American. Head Coach Jim Littell’s 2002 bunch was truly one for the ages. A sophomore class that finished their careers 71-1, won back to back National Academic Championships as well as the school’s first National Championship. A team that contained the likes of two time All-American’s Kim Ortega and Tracy Wynn as well as Vaida Zagurskyte’ and Marta Dydek who helped the Lady Saints to their 38-0 record during the winter of 01’ and the spring of 02’. Seward’s trip to the crown went through Northeastern JC in the first round of the National Tournament where the Lady Saints pulled off an overtime victory before they marched through Moberly Area and Gulf Coast easily on their way to the title game against Northeastern Oklahoma. For the second straight game, the Lady Saints faced an undefeated foe and behind a career high 35 points from Kim Davis, the gals in green sealed the deal with a 87-80 win over the Aggies to secure the championship. The 02’ team still remains the all-time leaders in rebounds and free-throw percentage and is the second highest scoring team in school history.

As the 2010’s begin, who will be the teams that are on this list a decade from now? A Lady Saints basketball team that has started 13-1? A Saints basketball team who is threatening being the highest scoring team in school history? How about a Lady Saints softball team with 9 sophomores looking to go a couple steps further from last year’s National Tournament run or a baseball team that has 12 returners that come back after being on the field last May when their season ended just one game short of the NJCAA World Series? Seward will send two tennis teams ranked in the nation’s top 15 to the hard court this spring and will return the conference’s Freshman of the Year to the floor when the volleyball team kicks their 2010 season off in August. No matter who makes the list or who doesn’t, if the 2010’s are as exciting for the Saints fans as the 2000’s were, then everyone in green is in for quite a ride in the next 10 seasons of Seward County athletics.