With a home playoff game on the line, the Seward County Saints took the court Wednesday night with conference rival Garden City, a team who knocked them off earlier season in the Perryman Center. Seward County jumped out to an early 9-2 lead, holding the Garden offense scoreless for a four minute stretch after a basket on their opening possession. However, like Saints fans saw in the first matchup between the two teams, Seward was unable to stretch their lead midway through the first half and the ‘Busters tied the game with just under seven minutes to go in the half. Seward took a five point lead with a couple of quick buckets but Garden roared back to close the first half and took a 32-31 lead into the locker room. Garden took advantage of knocking down 60% of their first half shots and Seward struggling from beyond the arc, shooting just 3-13 in the first 20 minutes. Seward came out in the second half revitalized knocking down seemingly every shot they took and driving aggressively to the basket possession after possession. The Saints built a 13 point lead with under 10 minutes left in the half but Garden wasn’t going to go down without a fight. The ‘Busters jumped on the back of swingmen Richard Thomas and Fred Williams who drained 5 three-pointers and finished with a combined 37 points on the night. The two man team of Williams and Thomas was not enough for the ‘Busters to overcome the Saints balanced attack however as Seward County got a memorable performance from sophomore Thijin Moses who was playing his last regular season game in the Green House as the 6’8 forward drilled 6 big three-pointers and feathered in 5 of 6 free-throws down the stretch to lead the Saints to the 76-67 victory. Reigning Jayhawk West Player of the Week Marcus James scored 16 points and grabbed 9 big rebounds down the stretch while Tony Smith dazzled fans with 14 points and 9 assists on the night. Steve Hooks and Drew Jones hit key second half shots for the Saints and finished with 11 clutch points for Coach Bryan Zollinger in their Green House finale. With the win the Saints move to 22-7 on the season and 9-6 in Jayhawk West Play, wrapping up a home playoff game set for Tuesday, March 3rd in the Green House. With their win and a Butler loss to Cloud County, the Saints will now be playing for 2nd place Saturday night in El Dorado when they take on the Grizzlies. If the Saints can knock off Butler at the Power Plant, a coin flip will determine the West’s second seed going into the Region VI Tournament. The Saints likely first round opponent would either be Kansas City Kansas or Ft. Scott unless Pratt was able to upset Barton County in Great Bend Saturday night.

Well it wasn’t as exciting as the first time these two met, but, the Seward County Lady Saints did come out with their 5th straight win in a 28 point victory against Garden City. Seward County took the lead from the start and never looked back taking it to the Lady ‘Busters to the tune of a 45-26 halftime lead. LaNell Taylor scorched the nets for three first half three pointers while Vaneza Junior continued her active play for Coach Toby Wynn with 10 points and 4 rebounds at the break. The Lady Saints dominated inside during the first 20 minutes of play missing just 5 shots inside the three-point arc in the entire first half. Playing against the Jayhawk West’s leading scorer Katie Novack, who scored 30 on the Lady Saints in the first meeting between these two, the Seward defense was on lock down, allowing just one shot from the sharpshooter in the first half. The second half brought much of the same as the Seward defense continued to stifle Novack and the Lady ‘Busters offense as Garden finished the game with 26 turnovers and just one point from their superstar guard. Rachel Barnes cinched up yet another double-double in the win scoring 14 points and ripping down 12 rebounds. However, it was sophomore night and nobody was going to steal LaNell Taylor’s spotlight as the sophomore guard dialed up 5 three pointers and 21 points in the win. Raegan Broadie and Amanda Pierson scored 9 points apiece while Broadie ripped down 8 rebounds as well. Vannessa Simmons grabbed 5 rebounds in her final regular season game at the Green House and Bailey Crandall was 2-2 shooting to finish with 4 points and 3 rebounds. “Downtown” Karen Brown as she has come to be known by the Seward faithful buried a second half three-pointer to send her night off with a smile. The Lady Saints improve to 24-5 with the win and 12-3 in Jayhawk West Conference Play. They will head to El Dorado to face Butler Saturday night before returning home for their home Region VI Playoff game on Tuesday, March 3rd likely against Neosho County or Kansas City Kansas. With a win Saturday night the Lady Saints will guarantee themselves at least 3rd place in the West and with a Hutchinson win over Cloud County, or a Cloud County win and a win in the coin flip tiebreaker, the Lady Saints would finish 2nd.

For the second time in the past month, the KJCCC has announced that Marcus James has been named Jayhawk West Conference Player of the Week for his performance in the Saints game last Saturday against Dodge City. James scored 17 points and grabbed 8 rebounds in the Saints 71-69 win over the Conqs. In two games this season against Dodge City, James has put up 26 points and ripped down 22 rebounds. James and his Saints hit the court tonight in a pivotal Jayhawk West Conference matchup with Garden City. The winner of tonight’s game will be guaranteed a first round home playoff game while the loser risks going on the road to a Jayhawk East opponent.
While most NJCAA Top 25 teams were hard at work on the baseball diamond the week before their season openers, Coach Galen McSpadden and his Seward County Saints Baseball Team were out in a different field giving back to their community. As part of the Big Brothers/Big Sisters and “Pass it On” programs, many area youth were able to spend a day of trap shooting and pheasant hunting with some of the best junior college baseball players in the country.

Laurie and Jerry Hull of Sand Wells Outdoors in Hugoton were kind enough to donate their land, dogs, food, vehicles, and more to the 20 area youngsters as well as the Saints Baseball Team that Sunday morning and afternoon. After everyone got plenty of shots fired at the clay pigeons and their practice in for the day, the team and the “little’s” sat down for an old fashioned cookout to fill their stomachs before they headed out to the field. With stomachs full and hopes high, everyone geared up in their blaze orange hunting gear and loaded up on one of two deluxe hunting trucks to head out to the field. For many of the youngsters ages 7-15, Sunday was their first time to shoot a firearm so only those with their hunter’s safety cards and licenses were able to have a loaded gun for the hunt. For the younger members of the group that hadn’t reached that point in time yet, they took the occasion to get dressed up and emulate the older hunters as they tagged along. As the 25 Saints players and coaches along with their little’s lined up to start the hunt at their first field, one little compared the scene to a recent learning experience he had in school that week. “Whoa, this is like the Civil War” he said, “everyone is just lined up in the field with their guns and then we all start walking at the same time” he continued. Right off the bat, two roosters were flushed, but abiding by their instructors rules from earlier in the day, not to shoot anything if it got behind you, the long-tails would live to see another day. After the group was finished with the first field the score was hunter’s one and bird dog one, as just one pheasant had been shot while one had been caught on the ground without being shot by the guides dog. From there on, the group split and half headed one way while the other headed the other, but after a day of bonding with their little’s and showing them a little bit about the outdoors, the group reconnected for pictures and stories of their day.

The little’s and the baseball players seemingly had the same amount of fun with their time together. “I can’t wait until next year when I can hunt with you guys” one little exclaimed. Another seemed completely content with walking along with the group as long as he was able to carry the birds in his hunters vest once they had been shot. Saints starting catcher Todd Glime commented “the best part was, it didn’t really matter if we shot anything or they shot anything. We were all just enjoying the outdoors together, which is something that many of these little guys might not have the opportunity to do if it weren’t for days like this.” Many of the Seward County baseball players have built a connection with the Big Brothers/Big Sisters organization taking their little’s to various activities such as basketball games or just a friendly game of catch after a game. “The support and time that we get from the Seward County Baseball Team is just great” Big Brothers/Big Sisters coordinator Maggie Sale said. “They could be doing so many other things today with their season coming up and instead they are out here making every one of these children smile.”

As well as being successful off the field, the #12 Saints have started their 2009 season at 6-2 as they prepare for a midweek trip to Texas starting Monday, March 2nd. For more information on Sand Wells Outdoors or to book your hunt with them contact Laura Hull at 1-866-365-6112 or 620-544-2305.
After winning their 8th conference game of the year a week ago against Cloud, the Seward County Saints Basketball Team had to hang on amidst a furious late game really from Dodge City Saturday night in the Green House to come away with their 9th conference win. The Saints played well through most of the first half but let a 15 point lead slip to just six at the halftime horn. The Conqs came out hungry in the second half shooting a blazing 55% as a team while holding Seward County to just 38% from the floor. Still, the Saints found themselves up by double digits with under five minutes remaining but failed to utilize their 35 second shot clock and after a few missed shots just 10-15 seconds into the shot clock and Dodge City baskets on the other end of the court, Seward County found themselves tied with 35 seconds remaining in the game. While holding the ball for the last shot of regulation Seward seemingly found a crack in the Dodge City defense and drove to the basket. After recovering a loose ball, Jon Tassin was fouled attempting a shot with 12.2 seconds left and was sent to the free-throw line with the game in the balance. Tassin confidently knocked down the first before a Dodge City timeout and coming out after the break, sank the second attempt to put the Saints up by a pair with just over 12 seconds left. Seward County knew that the Conqs were going to try to get the ball into the hands of their superstar guard Rodney Clinkscales and countered with a hounding defensive attack from Tony Smith. Smith trailed Clinkscales the length of the court, fought through a screen and didn’t allow the Dodge star to get a shot off as Clinkscales was forced to pass the ball with under two seconds left and the Conqs failed to even get a shot off therefore losing the hard fought battle 71-69. The win vaults the Saints to 8-6 in Jayhawk West Conference Play and leaves them tied with Garden City, who fittingly will come to the Green House Wednesday night in a crucial game for both squads. The winner of Wednesday night’s game between the Saints and Busters’ will earn a home playoff game for the Region VI Tournament while the loser will need a number of scenarios to play out for that to happen. Wednesday night will be sophomore recognition night as four Seward County sophomores and one redshirt freshman will see their last regular season home action in the game against Garden. The quintet will be recognized between the Women’s and Men’s game Wednesday night in a ceremony honoring their hard work and dedication while at Seward County. Free tickets for the game are available at Sharp McQueen, P.A., Express Lane #22, Pizza Hut, Community Bank, and Sunflower Bank.
The Seward County Lady Saints Softball Team had an action packed weekend planed with two of the better teams in the region. They kicked off their four game weekend schedule with a double header Friday afternoon in Lamar. In game one of the twin bill, Seward County rode the arm of sophomore sensation Courtney Auger who struck out 14 batters in a complete game, four hit, shutout of the Runnin’ Lopes. Seward County blew the game open in the 5th inning after a pair of singles from Alicia Gonzalez and Marisa Coats followed by back to back errors from Lamar third baseman Rachel Foltz. In the win, the Lady Saints offense was led by two hits apiece from Coats, Alicia Reyes, and Brianna Baron. In the second game of the afternoon the Lady Saints pounded out 17 hits but were unable to hold onto a 4-0 4th inning lead and then a 7-6 6th inning lead as Lamar scored 6 against Seward County starter Cara Russell in the bottom half of the 4th and then a pair on a two out home run from the ‘Lopes Kayla Bruner in the 6th off of Erin Roufosse to take the lead and eventually go on to win the game 8-7. In the loss, Seward County had 3 hit games from Coats, Reyes, and Baron who combined to go 15-25 on the day. Sahara Howard had a pair of hits and RBI’s while Katie Glenn and Brittany Kent both tallied multiple hit games. Saturday the Lady Saints took on a fellow top 30 team in #10 Western Nebraska. The Cougars came into the season off a trip to the National Tournament and boasted the nation’s Pre-Season First Team All-American pitcher in Kelsey Garner. Seward County however was unimpressed, scoring four runs in the bottom of the first inning off of Garner by way of five hits including RBI doubles from Howard and Coats. The Lady Saints sailed into the 7th inning with a 5-2 lead but disaster struck when a two out infield popup wasn’t handled and the Cougars took advantage to the tune of four runs. Facing a 6-5 deficit in the bottom of the 7th, Coats led off with yet another double, her third of the game, and later scored on a Shelby Casey RBI groundout to tie the game at 6 and send it to extra innings. Western Nebraska leadoff hitter Adena Hagen led off the 8th win a double and after back to back Cara Russell strikeouts, Katie Groves singled up the middle to give WNCC the lead for good at 7-6. In the second game of the Saturday double header the Lady Saints started slow walking the leadoff batter of the game followed by an error which led to a pair of WNCC first inning runs. That is all the Cougars would be able to get off of Seward County starting pitcher Cara Russell as she finished the game with 5 shutout innings. Brittany Kent and Brianna Baron launched balls over the fence in the 2nd and 3rd innings respectively for their first career homeruns and every Lady Saint started collected at least one hit including seven of them who had two or more. The 10-2, mercy rule victory is the second win over a top 10 team for the Lady Saints, marking the first time in school history that that has been accomplished. Coats finished her weekend with yet another three hit performance, totaling 11 hits in the four games on the weekend. Tasia McEntire had a two hit, two RBI game for Seward County while Jamie Gilbert continued to have solid at bats and finished with two hits and an RBI in the second game. The Lady Saints are now 4-4 and will hit the field next Thursday at home against Northern Oklahoma starting at 2:00.
Coming off of arguably their best offensive effort all season in a 97-51 win against Cloud County last Saturday, many including Head Coach Toby Wynn thought that the Seward County Lady Saints had really hit their offensive stride. Saturday nights 69-43 win against Dodge City made those same people question their earlier thoughts. Seward County managed just 36% shooting on the night and turned the ball over an uncharacteristic 16 times. In the win Amanda Pierson had another solid night for the Lady Saints scoring 19 points on 7 of 13 shooting as well as grabbing 3 rebounds and blocking 3 Lady Conq shots. Rachel Barnes dialed up another hardnosed performance scoring 14 points and ripping down 7 rebounds while also creating 5 steals. LaNell Taylor knocked down a pair of three point shots en route to her 11 point effort while Vaneza Junior narrowly missed her 4th straight double digit scoring effort with 9 points. The win assures the Lady Saints of a home playoff game for the Region VI Tournament which will be played Tuesday, March 3rd at the Green House. The Lady Saints are now 23-5 on the season and 11-3 in conference play. They will return home Wednesday night to play Garden City in the final regular season home game for five Lady Saint sophomores. Each will be recognized between games Wednesday night with a brief ceremony for all of their hard work and effort put in while here at Seward County. Free tickets for the game are available at Sharp McQueen, P.A., Express Lane #22, Pizza Hut, Community Bank, and Sunflower Bank.
With a week off behind them and nothing but blue skies above them, the Seward County Baseball team had to have been using the old saying “what a day for baseball” Sunday afternoon at Brent Gould Field where the 25th ranked Saints had a scheduled double header with Clarendon College from Texas. In game one, Seward County took advantage of sloppy Bulldog defense to score three early runs and jump out to a 3-0 and then 5-0 lead through the first four innings. Clarendon scored a 5th inning run on a pair of doubles to cut the lead to 5-1 but Seward County starter Bobby Doran would allow nothing more, cruising to his 2nd win of the season throwing 6 innings and allowing just 1 run in a dominating affair. Mikel Huston was active for the Saints knocking in a pair of runs on sacrifice flies as well as collecting a hit and scoring a run. Trent Martinez pulled a pair of doubles down the left field line and drove in a 1st inning run while Jared Broadbent connected on the Saints first home run of the season in a mammoth shot over the 400 foot center field wall in the 6-1 win. Game two looked much like game one early on with Clarendon scoring a 2nd inning run to take a 1-0 lead into the bottom of the 3rd. That’s when things got a whole lot different than fans at Brent Gould Field had seen in the first 9 ½ innings of the day. Seward County roped three consecutive doubles to open up their half of the 3rd inning and put on a hitting display with 8 3rd inning hits good for 7 runs to take a 7-1 lead. But, just when the Saints thought they were smooth sailing, the wheels came off as Seward County allowed 9 4th inning runs on 7 hits highlighted by a Scott Tabrett grand slam following a dropped third strike to extend the inning. The Saints weren’t going to be held down after the nine run inning however as they came back with a 5 spot of their own capped by a 2 RBI single from Travis Parker, his 3rd hit and 4th RBI in two innings. When the dust settled at the end of the 4th the Saints led 12-10 and looked in good shape to collect the win with their well rested bullpen in place. After cleaning up the mess in the 4th and throwing a scoreless 5th, Seward County reliever Hayden Holub lost his control of the strike zone walking a pair coupled with a dropped third strike, the Bulldogs scored three times to take the 13-12 lead. The Saints were unable to get to Clarendon reliever Ryan Griffin who retired 6 of the final 7 hitters of the game while Clarendon tacked on a pair of 7th inning runs to come away with the 15-12 victory. Every Saints starter had a hit in the contest including three a piece from Kelby Tomlinson and Parker, as well as two each from Tanner Woods, Josh Dawson, and Kade Kauk. The split moves Seward County to 6-2 on the season where they will have a full week off before heading to the Lone Star State to take on Odessa and Midland Monday and Tuesday before returning home for their conference opener against Colby on March 7th.
For the second consecutive week and the third time this season, two Seward County basketball players have been named Jayhawk Conference Players of the Week. On the women’s side Amanda Pierson was named Jayhawk West Conference Player of the Week a month removed from being named NJCAA National Player of the Week. The sophomore from Belleville, averaged 20 points a game including a career high 24 points against Cloud County Saturday night in the Lady Saints 46 point win. On the Men’s side Jon Tassin became the third straight Saint to be named Jayhawk West Player of the Week in a week in which he recorded his first career double double in Wednesday’s matchup with Pratt. The freshman from Pontiac, Michigan averaged 10.5 points and 9 rebounds per game in the Saints two contests last week. The Saints and Lady Saints will take the court Saturday night against Dodge City on homecoming night in the Green House. Free tickets are available at both Liberal Pizza Hut locations.
After winning three of four against reigning Empire Conference Champion Northeastern Saturday and Sunday at Brent Gould field, the Seward County Saints had a date set with another Region IX competitor in Western Nebraska Monday afternoon. In the first game, Hayden Holub took the mound for his first collegiate appearance and threw 4 and 2/3rds innings of 3 hit baseball while striking out 5. Holub left the game with a 4-1 lead thanks to a first inning Trent Martinez RBI double, a second inning RBI triple from catcher Todd Glime and a pair of sacrifice hits from Tanner Woods and Jared Broadbent. After Holub left the game in the 5th inning the Saints bullpen ran into trouble with the Cougars in the sixth. Western Nebraska cut a 7-1 Seward lead at the start of the inning to a 7-6 lead at the end of the inning thanks in part to four hits as well as three walks. Billy Ninemire was hit by a pitch and Mikel Huston singled to set the table for Travis Parker and the sophomore from Lincoln, Nebraska cleaned up with a 2 RBI single to right field to open the lead and give himself some more breathing room as he came in to close out the 9-6 win on the mound. In the second game the Saints again pounced on the Cougar pitching early scoring 7 runs in the first three innings behind a pair of Austin Vanderwork extra base RBI hits as well as RBI knocks from Ninemire, Parker and Huston. Western Nebraska would scratch back within striking distance at 7-4 after a pair of 5th inning runs but Jared Wagner came in to close the door on the Cougar attack as he pitched the final 2 2/3rds innings without allowing a hit to pick up his first collegiate save. Matt Stevens allowed just one unearned run escaping a bases loaded, no out jam in the 3rd inning, and then pitching through the fourth inning with a 7-2 lead to pick up his first win in a Saints uniform. With the sweep the Saints move to 5-1 on the season and will have a six day rest to prepare for Clarendon who will come to town Sunday the 22nd for a 1:00 double header at Brent Gould field.
Opening weekend for the Seward County Lady Saints Softball Team was to say the least a roller coaster ride at the Cowtown Classic in Ft. Worth, Texas as the Lady Saints came back to Liberal with a 2-2 record. Friday the Lady Saints opened their 2009 campaign with North Central Texas and behind a complete game shutout from reigning Jayhawk West Player of the Year Courtney Auger, the Lady Saints came away with a 1-0 victory. Shelby Casey had two of the four Lady Saint hits in the contest as well as the lone RBI of the game. With their confidence high and their first win of the season under their belt, the Lady Saints took the diamond against the #4 ranked team in the country in Midland College for the nightcap. Cara Russell made it two straight shutouts for the Lady Saints in the circle as the sophomore shut down one of the nation’s top teams to the tune of just 7 hits as she struck out 5 and didn’t walk a batter. In the 6-0 win, Marisa Coats went 4-4 with a double and knocked in 2 runs while Casey blasted the first home run of her young career in the third inning. With a 2-0 record going into Saturday, Head Coach Andrea Gustafson had high expectations for her Lady Saints. Unfortunately, the same Lady Saints team did not show up to play Saturday that held their opponents scoreless on Friday. Texarkana scored 9 first inning runs Saturday morning as they capitalized on a pair of Seward County errors and walks, coupled with 7 hits to build an insurmountable lead. Coats provided the lone offense of the game for the Lady Saints with a 3rd inning two run homerun in the 12-2 loss. In their last game of the tournament, Seward County matched up with Eastern Oklahoma and again couldn’t get their offense going. The Lady Saints managed just five hits including two from Coats who finished the weekend going 8 for 11. The 4-0 loss dropped the Lady Saints to 2-2 on the season going into their next game with Lamar on Friday. The Lady Saints will take the field at home for the first time Saturday against fellow top 30 team Western Nebraska at 1:00 for a double header with the Cougars.
For the second time this season it has been announced that two Seward County basketball players have swept the weekly Jayhawk West Conference Player of the Week voting. Rachel Barnes picks up her second KJCCC Player of the Week honor after she averaged nearly 19 points, 10 rebounds, and 3 steals a game in the Lady Saints grueling week against #16 Barton County, #18 Hutchinson, and Colby. Through 13 conference games thus far, Barnes has averaged over 15 points, 8 rebounds, and 3 assists per contest while shooting 46% from the field and 41% from the three-point line. Marquez Patterson has also been named KJCCC Player of the Week on the Men’s side as he led the Saints to a 3-0 week including a road win against #9 Barton County as well as wins against Hutchinson and Colby. The freshman from Liberal averaged 16 points a game including a career high 27 on 11 of 17 shooting against Colby last Saturday night. He becomes the fourth different Seward County Saint to win the honor this season joining teammates Tony Smith, Marcus James, and Thijin Moses who all won the award earlier in the year. Both teams will take the floor next against Dodge City Saturday night in the Green House on Homecoming night. Pizza Hut will be the buyout sponsor and free tickets can be picked up at your local Pizza Hut locations.
Opening up the season ranked as high as 12th in some national publications, the Seward County Saints Baseball Team had high expectations for the start of their 2009 campaign. The Saints did little to disappoint this weekend winning three of four against reigning Region 9 Champion Northeastern Junior College from Colorado. In the first game the Saints rode the pitching of Bobby Doran who tossed 6 innings of 2 hit baseball while striking out 10 Plainsmen in his season debut. Keegan Morrow scored two of the three Seward County runs and Trent Martinez had a pair of hits in the 3-1 win. Travis Parker picked up the save for Doran and also drove in a run in the contest. In game two Saturday the Saints bats were silenced by NJC sophomore southpaw Matt Klein who threw a complete game shutout against the reigning Jayhawk West Champions. In the 6-0 loss, NJC got hits from eight of their nine hitters and outhit the Saints on the day 14-5. Sunday was a different story with the Saints offensive attack as they chased Northeastern starter Ty Cardona after just one inning after Luke Campbell cleared the bases with a first inning 3 RBI triple to the left center field gap. Seward County ran 12 players across the plate, combined with a quality first start for sophomore pitcher Corey Collins, came away with the 12-3 win in game three of the series. Mikel Huston, Jared Broadbent, and Billy Ninemire all collected three hits in the game while Campbell and Tanner Woods had a pair each. Game four brought more drama than any other game of the series as Seward County responded to a first inning run from NJC with one of their own in the bottom of the second to tie the score at 1. In the third inning Josh Dawson dialed up a two out single to plate Campbell and Parker to give the Saints a 3-1 lead. Northeastern responded with a pair of runs themselves off of Seward County starter Roldan Ochoa in the top of the fifth to deadlock the game at 3. The score remained tied at three until the final inning when Northeastern plated a run on a Scott Dalrymple single to take a 4-3 lead going into the Saints half of the 7th. After Kade Kauk was retired to lead off the inning, Parker doubled and Trent Martinez tripled off the center field fence to score him and tie the game at 4. With one out and a 1-0 count, Campbell laced a single through the drawn in infield to plate Martinez and the Saints came away with a walk off 5-4 win. Seward County won’t have much time to celebrate their series win however as they are right back in action today at Brent Gould field against Western Nebraska at 1:00 for a double header.
In an evening where more issues than a basketball game were brought to the forefront in the Green House Saturday night, both the Seward County Lady Saints, the Seward County Saints, as well as breast cancer awareness and Tony’s Team came away big winners.
About a month ago, the Seward County Lady Saints Basketball Team traveled to Concordia to face the Lady T-Birds of Cloud on a nine game win streak and boasted a perfect 4-0 conference record. Behind a relentless effort on the glass, outrebounding Seward 52-38, Cloud handed the Lady Saints a stunning 87-71 loss. Seward County had revenge on its mind Saturday night at the Green House and that is just what they got as they came out in the first half with 57 points against a Cloud team that averaged giving up just 51 points a game in conference play. Going into the half the Lady Saints led the game 57-30 shocking the visiting T-Birds and the second half didn’t get any better for Coach Erkenbrack’s 21-4 Cloud County team. Seward held Cloud to just 20% shooting in the second half and extended upon their 27 point halftime lead as they outscored the Lady T-Birds 40-21 in the last 20 minutes to walk away at the buzzer with a lopsided 97-51 win. The Seward County defense held Cloud to just 29% shooting on the night and outrebounded the Lady T-Birds 49-40 on the night. Four Lady Saints reached double figures Saturday night including a career high 24 from Amanda Pierson, 15 from Rachel Barnes who collected her 7th double-double on the season with 10 rebounds as well, 11 from Vaneza Junior who recorded her third straight 10+ point performance, and 10 from Raegan Broadie. Karen Brown knocked down all three of her three-point attempts on the night, giving her eight three-pointers in the last three games. The Jayhawk West’s leading assister Megan Lassley dished out six assists for the sixth straight game in the win. The victory sends Seward County to 22-5 overall and 10-3 in Jayhawk West Conference play, good for third place currently. Saturday the Lady Saints and the Seward County community also teamed up with the WBCA PinkZone fundraiser to raise $385.00 for breast cancer research and awareness through donations and their autographed memorabilia silent auction. The Lady Saints will enjoy a week off before returning to action Saturday night against Dodge City in the Green House.
After coming off of their toughest road trip of the season where they played six of eight games away from the Green House, the Seward County Men’s Basketball Team returned home Saturday night to face Cloud County. The two teams tangled earlier in the season, taking the game to double overtime where the T-Birds eventually came out on top 94-92. This game wouldn’t have quite the drama but Saints fans came away happy anyways. To open the game, Robert Sigala would set the tone on his career night, slashing to the bucket and picking up two on the Saints first possession. Tied at 19-19 with just over three minutes left in the first half, Marquez Patterson launched up a buzzer beating three to give the Saints the lead in which they would hold for the rest of the contest. Going into the half Seward led 32-25 even with Cloud shooting 50% from the floor, but the different came with nine Seward County steals on 13 T-Bird turnovers. Seward County stretched the lead to as many as 14 in the second half by way of 27 second half points from Thijin Moses and Patterson who finished the game with 21 points apiece. Cloud was able to cut the lead to three with just under six minutes to play but that is as close as they would get as Seward finished the game strong to come away with a crucial 75-66 win to move to 7-6 in Jayhawk West play. With the win Seward County moves to 20-7 overall along with a 7-6 mark in conference play putting them alone in fourth place. While the Saints win capped off a perfect night for both Seward County Basketball Teams, what made the night even more special were the generous donations made by everyone in attendance to “Tony’s Team”. Tony’s Team was an organization set up for 13 year old Tony Sigala, brother of Saints guard Robert Sigala, who was diagnosed with cancer less than a month ago. Tony tragically lost his fight with the disease just over a week ago but his memory will live on through the Saints family that comes together so closely at times like this. Through donations and a silent auction held at Saturday’s game, Seward County was able to raise over $715.00 to help the Sigala family and Tony’s Team. As fitting as it was, Robert Sigala was named Seward County’s Player of the Game as he put up a career high 12 points on 5 of 6 shooting as well as a career high in assists with 7. The Saints will now rest until next Saturday when they will take on Dodge City at home in the Green House.
After posting a 418-61 record in 14 years at the helm of the Lady Saints, former Seward County Community College Women’s Basketball Head Coach Jim Littell will be inducted into the NJCAA Hall of Fame this Spring. The Burden, Kansas native coached the Lady Saints to national prominence in more than a decade at Seward. He was named Jayhawk West Coach of the Year nine times, NJCAA Region VI Coach of the Year four times, WBCA National Coach of the Year once, and NJCAA National Coach of the Year once. Littell averaged more wins per season (29.85) than any other active or inactive head coach who coached 10 or more seasons in NJCAA history. Littell is 11th all-time in NJCAA history among inactive coaches for all-time wins and ranks in the top 25 all-time among all coaches in career wins. Twice Littell’s teams finished the season ranked 1st in the NJCAA poll after going 33-1 each season. Littell led the Lady Saints to a 93-3 record in Jayhawk West Conference play from 1997-2002. In 2002, Littell led Seward County through a perfect 38-0 season, winning the school’s first National Championship in any sport. Littell coached 11 All-Americans, five Region VI MVP’s, nine Jayhawk West Conference MVP’s, and four Jayhawk West Freshman of the Years. Littell’s most mindboggling accomplishment came from 1995-2004 where he coached his Lady Saints to a perfect 135-0 record on their home court. During his final 10 seasons with Seward County, Littell’s teams were ranked in the NJCAA Top 20 poll every single week of the regular season. Littell also produced successful student-athletes, as his players earned the NJCAA Academic Team Championship from 1999-2002 and earned the coveted WBCA Academic Championship by having the highest grade point average in the nation at any level (NCAA, NAIA, and NJCAA) in 2001-02. In 2005 Littell was named the Associate Head Coach of the Oklahoma State University Women’s Basketball team. In 2006-07 Littell helped OSU to the biggest turn-around in the NCAA Division 1 ranked with a 20-11 record after a 6-22 season the year before. Oklahoma State’s NCAA Tournament appearance in 2007-08 marked the first appearance in 12 years. Coach Littell is currently in his fourth season with the Cowgirls.
Experiencing back to back losses for the first time in over a year, the Seward County Lady Saints Basketball Team was in uncharted waters going into Saturday nights Jayhawk West Conference matchup with Colby. The Lady Saints came out of the gates slow, unable to capitalize on a short staffed Colby team with just seven players the Lady Saints actually went into the locker room at half facing a one point deficit. Colby took advantage of three first half three pointers, 31% shooting from the floor from the Lady Saints, and just 21% shooting from Seward County to take that 27-26 lead into the half. Unfortunately for the Lady Trojans, the real Lady Saints team showed up in the second half and turned a first half deficit into a 27 point victory after outscoring Colby 47-19 in the last 20 minutes of play. Seward County had 18 steals on 29 Colby turnovers led by a team high five from Vaneza Junior. Seward County’s defense showed a different intensity in the second half of the game, holding Colby to just four second half field goals on 29 attempts. Five Lady Saints reached double figures in the contest including Junior, LaNell Taylor, Vannessa Simmons, Rachel Barnes, and Amanda Pierson who led the Lady Saints with 17. Reagan Broadie led the Lady Saints with a career high 8 rebounds while Megan Lassley did her job as the point guard distributing 7 assists on the evening. On the night, Seward County had an unheard of 22 assists on 27 field goals. With the win the Lady Saints record their 16th straight 20 win season and improve their record to 20-5 overall and 8-3 in Jayhawk West Conference Play. Their next action will come against Pratt on Wednesday night in the Beaver Dome before heading home for Saturday night’s contest with Cloud County. Saturday night will be “Think Pink” night at the Greenhouse where fans are asked to wear pink in support of breast cancer awareness. There will be a silent auction for a team signed game used Lady Saints jersey as well as a team signed basketball. All proceeds from the auctions as well as donations through the night will go to the Kay Yow WBCA Cancer Fund. Free tickets for the evening’s festivities are available at Holiday Inn Express as well as at The Southwest Times.

February 9, 2009
Coming off of their biggest win to date against #9 Barton County Wednesday night in Great Bend, the Colby Trojans were probably hoping for a letdown by the Seward County Saints Saturday night. They got anything but that in a 85-67 Saints victory in the Colby Community Building. Seward County came out relatively slow, but were able to erase a 20-12 deficit early to take a 34-28 lead into the locker room at half. The Saints offense came out clicking on all cylinders in the second half putting up 51 points on the Trojans while knocking down 58% of their field goal attempts. Marquez Patterson had a career night in the win, scoring 27 points, 7 more than his previous career high, as well as grabbing 5 rebounds in the game. Marcus James continued his solid play for Coach Bryan Zollinger on the interior, scoring 18 points and ripping down 13 rebounds to record his second double-double on the season. Thijin Moses knocked down three three-pointers on his way to a 13 point night, his 12th double figure scoring night in the past 13 games. Tony Smith had a solid game in the win scoring 12 points on 4 of 6 shooting as well as adding 5 assists. Steve Hooks had arguably his best effort of the season, giving Coach Bryan Zollinger 19 solid minutes while tallying up 4 points, 4 steals, and 3 rebounds in the victory. The Saints next action will come Wednesday night in the Beaver Dome against Pratt. Saturday night the Saints will honor Tony Sigala, brother of Saints guard Robert Sigala, who tragically passed away last week. There will be an autographed jersey as well as an autographed basketball that will be auctioned off during a silent auction throughout the night to help raise money for the Sigala family. Free tickets for the evening’s festivities are available at Holiday Inn Express as well as at The Southwest Times.
Coming off of their biggest win of the season, the Seward County Saints looked to get back to back conference wins for just the second time this season against #9 Barton County. This was seemingly a huge task for the Saints, as 9th nationally ranked Cougars came into the game with an 8-1 conference record, as well as a 21-2 overall record on the season. After falling behind 12-2 just four minutes into the contest, someone forgot to tell the visiting Saints that they were supposed to roll over to the Cougar team who has 13-1 going into Wednesday night’s game at home in the Kirkland Center. In the next seven minutes, Seward County led the conference’s best offense to just four points while scoring 12 of the own from five different players. To end the half, the Saints went on a 21-10 run to capture a halftime lead of 29-25. After a Corey Bingham three-pointer to open the half, Thijin Moses responded with a three-pointer of his own and after being fouled on the play, converted a four point play with the free throw. After four minutes of nothing but Moses three-pointers, the Saints held their largest lead of the night at 39-28 and would never look back from there. Seward County opened up their largest lead of the night at 54-38 with a Marcus James layup with 10 minutes left in the half and the Cougars never got closer than seven for the rest of the evening. The Saints came away with a 77-65 win in the Cougar Den marking their biggest back to back wins since last year’s National Tournament run. Moses ended the game shooting 7 of 12 from the field including 4 of 7 from the three-point line good for 21 points. Jon Tassin recorded a career high in points for the second straight game with 18 to go along with his 6 rebounds. Marcus James followed up his KJCCC Player of the Week nomination with a 10 point 9 rebound performance of his own. The Saints went 20 of 25 from the free throw line in the win while holding the Cougars to just 39% shooting from the field and 65 points when Barton County had averaged 90 a game coming into the night. With the win Seward County moves into a fourth place tie with Hutchinson at 5-5 in the Jayhawk West Conference while they improve to 18-6 on the season overall. The Saints will now travel to Colby Saturday night to face a dangerous Colby team who despite their 5-19 record has beaten Hutchinson by 23 and beat Cloud County by 10 Wednesday night. They will then travel to Pratt Wednesday before returning home Saturday the 14th for a tilt with Cloud County on “Think Pink” night at the Green House.
With two of the four teams tied atop the Jayhawk West’s Conference standings going head to head Wednesday night in Great Bend, fans of both Seward County and Barton County knew they were going to have a show to watch Wednesday night. As advertised, both teams wowed the crowd putting up basket after basket in the first half. The teams stayed close until Barton went on a mini run led by sharp shooting guard Brooke Conley to take a 49-34 lead with 2:30 remaining in the first half. Just when Lady Cougar fans thought they could take a deep breath the Lady Saints stormed back on a 9-0 run to end the first half of play to cut the Barton lead to just six going into the break. Barton held a slight advantage through much of the second half but were never able to pull away from the 24th ranked Lady Saints which proved costly after a pair of Seward stops and scores on the other end had the game tied with just over three minutes remaining. Seward County lost center Amanda Pierson on an offensive foul call which was her fifth foul on the night after an impressive 19 point, 6 rebound, 6 block performance. With Pierson on the bench, Lady Saints Rachel Barnes was called upon to take over on the inside for coach Toby Wynn and that is just what she did putting in a pair of late buckets to keep Seward County deadlocked at 78. With eight seconds left, Barton County brought the ball down the court and against a well defended shot, Conley air balled her attempt and with the final horn sounding, a referees whistle blew. After a brief discussion, the officials decided that they would send the Lady Cougars Tressie Todd to the free throw line for two attempts with 0.4 seconds on the clock due to a foul incurring on her rebound and put back attempt at the buzzer. Needing just one of the two free throws to seemingly ice the game, Todd knocked down both and Seward County was unable to get a shot off in the .4 seconds remaining on the clock to send the Lady Saints to their second straight defeat in the waning moments of a game. “It’s just hard to swallow both teams playing their hearts out for 39 minutes and 59 seconds and then to have the game decided by a human judgment call” Seward County Head Coach Toby Wynn said. “I would have rather seen the game go an extra five minutes and have two teams who had been making plays all night, decide it on the court. Unfortunately that isn’t how it happened and now we have to fight for the rest of the year to get back on top. I am very proud of the way our girls played and battled in a tough environment tonight” he added. Rachel Barnes had an unforgettable night in the loss, finishing the game with career highs in both points (29) and rebounds (14). Although she was forced to sit out the last few minutes of the game, Amanda Pierson reached her career best 19 points as well as 6 blocks which she had done just once before. The Lady Saints drop their first back to back games of the season in the loss and now set at 19-5 overall and 7-3 in the Jayhawk West. After playing two of the teams tied for first place in the league in the past three nights, Seward County’s schedule will get seemingly softer in the next week when they will travel to Colby Saturday to play a Lady Trojans team they beat by 51 earlier in the year followed by a visit to Pratt Wednesday to take on the Lady Beavers who they beat by 41 in the first round of conference play. Seward County’s next home action will come on February 14th against Cloud County on “Think Pink” night at the Green House where fans are encouraged to wear pink and donate money throughout the night to help fund breast cancer awareness and research.

Seward County Freshman forward Marcus James has been named the KJCCC Player of the Week for his performances in the Saints three games last week. James averaged over 17 points and 8 rebounds a game last week and put on the best performance of his young career in the Saints win over Dodge City Sunday by scoring 29 points and ripping down 14 rebounds. James shot 44% from the floor on the week while hitting 15 of 19 free-throws. James and his Saints will hit the road tonight for a conference matchup with #9 Barton County at 8:00 p.m.
To start the 2009 conference season off the Seward County Lady Saints had to make a trip to Hutchinson to play the Lady Blue Dragons in the Sports Arena. Hutchinson went into that game with a 13-1 record while Seward entered at 12-2. After blowing the Lady Dragons off of their home court in Hutchinson, everyone involved with the two teams knew there was going to be no love lost between the two rivals when they collided in the Green House Monday night to open the second half of Jayhawk West Conference Play. Both teams came into the game with impressive 19-3 record and did little to disappoint although probably not in the matter most people expected. Hutchinson came out of the gates on fire while Seward County came out ice cold and quickly found themselves in a 22-3 hole to open the game. The Lady Saints battled their way back to within nine to close out the first half and gave themselves a glimmer of hope to go into the second period. Seward County chipped away at the Hutchinson lead throughout the first part of the second half and found themselves down just three with a little bit under five minutes remaining on the clock. With the lead cut to three, Lady Saints leading scorer Rachel Barnes dialed up a three pointer from the wing to tie the game at 54 and after a defensive stop again drilled a three from beyond the arc to give Seward County the lead at 57-54 with just over 4:30 to play. Coming out of a Hutchinson timeout the Lady Blue Dragons regained their composure and went on a quick 8-0 run behind leading scorers Heather Robben and Ariella McGee to get back on top 62-57. After exchanging baskets through the next couple of minutes the Lady Saints found themselves down four with under a minute left when Raegan Broadie pulled up for a 12 foot jumper and feathered it in to cut the Hutch lead to two. After a good defensive possession by the Lady Saints, Seward County had the ball with a chance to win or tie the game with the shot clock turned off. After a missed 23 foot three-point attempt by LaNell Taylor there was a slight scrum for the ball which slipped out of bounds off a Lady Dragon to give the Lady Saints one last chance with eight seconds remaining. After inbounding the ball, the Lady Saints were unable to get a good look at the basket and had to settle for an off balanced desperation heave by Taylor which didn’t fall, therefore giving the Lady Blue Dragons the victory 66-64. With the loss, Seward County falls to 19-4 overall and 7-2 in Jayhawk West Conference Play. The Lady Saints loss, coupled with a Barton County win over Cloud County yesterday evening means that the Jayhawk West now has a four way tie atop the standings with seven games remaining to be played. Seward County, Cloud County, Barton County, and Hutchinson are now all 7-2 with fifth place Butler at 4-5. The Lady Saints shot just 29% in the first half of Monday night’s game and connected on just 8 of 31 three point attempts on the evening. Megan Lassley led the Lady Saints with 16 points and 8 assists. Bailey Crandall came up big for the Lady Saints with three clutch three-point baskets in the second half to cut into the Hutchinson lead. The Lady Saints will now hit the road for three conference games starting Wednesday at Barton County before traveling home to play against Cloud County on February 14th which will be “think pink” night supporting breast cancer awareness and research.
With the Seward County Men’s Basketball Team going through its roughest stretch in recent memory, Head Coach Bryan Zollinger stressed to his team before Monday night’s crucial Jayhawk West Conference battle with Hutchinson, that they had to stick together and play like a team to get through times like this. That is exactly what the Saints did in a shocking 82-58 win against the rival Blue Dragons Monday night. Seward County came out at the start much like they had their previous two games against Garden City and Butler where they opened up early leads and had a 10-2 advantage just a few minutes into the contest. However, the Saints weren’t going to let this one slip away like they had the previous two and really put their foot down on the throats of the Dragons while defending their home court Monday night. The Saints used hardnosed defense and a balanced scoring attack with nine players getting into the scoring column to take a 10 point advantage into the locker room at half. Seward County came out in the second half bound and determined to make a statement against the visiting Blue Dragons and did just that opening up leads as big as 28 points in the final 20 minutes of the game and held a 24 point advantage when the final horn sounded at the end of the game. In the win the Saints saw career highs by Jon Tassin with 16 points and 6 rebounds, as well as Robert Sigala who had 10 and a team high 4 assists. Seward County’s pesky defensive play held Hutchinson star guard Darius Johnson-Odom to just two second half points while causing five turnovers from the conferences third leading scorer. For the game Seward County shot exactly 50% from the floor while knocking down 9 of 17 three-point attempts and cashing in on 17 of 18 opportunities from the free-throw line. With the win Seward County improves to 4-5 in conference play and 16-7 overall putting them in a fifth place tie with Cloud County and Pratt. The Saints will now travel to Barton County Wednesday for their fifth game in 10 days where they will take on the 21-2 10th ranked Cougars before road matchups with Colby and Pratt. The Saints next home action will come Saturday, February 14th on “think pink” night supporting breast cancer awareness and research in the Green House where Seward will take on Cloud County.
The Seward County Men’s Basketball team jumped out to a 24-7 and then a 32-14 lead in Saturday night’s battle with Butler but gave up a fierce 14-0 run by the Grizzlies before half to cut the Saints lead at the break to 32-28. In the second half Butler continued its pesky full court press that gave Seward County problems all night and grabbed the advantage midway through the period. The two teams traded buckets for most of the half sharing the lead back and forth until the end of the game where the Grizzlies opened up a three point lead with less than a minute remaining. With the ball in his hands, Saints forward Marcus James drove to the basket and was fouled on his shot attempt while Saints fans held their breath to watch the ball roll around the rim and then fall out hoping for the three-point opportunity. While James wasn’t able to get the shot to fall, he went to the line and after knocking down both free-throws the Saints trailed by just one. With just over eight seconds left on the clock the Saints fouled Butlers Maurice Colter where he made the first free throw before missing the second to give the Saints a chance to tie or win with a basket. Marquez Patterson drove to the three-point line but lost the ball while trying to go behind his back on the dribble and so went the Saints chances in the 63-61 loss. The loss drops Seward County to 3-5 in Jayhawk West Conference play and 16-6 overall. The Saints will have no time to dwell on the loss however, as Hutchinson will come to Liberal tonight hungry for a win on their mini road trip after losing to Cloud County in overtime Saturday night. Free tickets are available at both Liberal McDonald’s locations.
The #14 Seward County Lady Saints Basketball team continued its torrent offensive attack Saturday night in the Green House by scoring 91 points against the visiting Grizzlies from Butler. LaNell Taylor and Vannessa Simmons came out in the first half on fire for the Lady Saints as Taylor drained five three-point shots while Simmons connected on seven field goals as the pair combined to score 29 points compared to the entire Grizzlies team who had just 20 at the break. Taking the 45-20 lead into the break, the Lady Saints looked to continue their quality play of late and that is just what they did by putting up another 46 points in the second half, coupled with a fierce defensive attack which forced 29 Butler turnovers, to come away with the 91-46 win. Karen Brown, Liz Ginther, and Taylor all achieved career highs Saturday night as Brown hit all four of her three-point attempts to finish with 12 while Ginther hit on three of six shots including two three’s, good for 8 points, and Taylor ended the night with six three’s and 20 points. The Lady Saints win, coupled with a Cloud County loss on their home court to Hutchinson vaults Seward County into a first place tie in the Jayhawk West Conference after one round of play at 7-1 and 19-3 overall. Tonight Hutchinson will come to town off of their road win over #12 Cloud County with the tip scheduled for 6:00. Tonight will be Amanda Pierson poster night so pick up your free poster and have Amanda sign it at halftime of the Men’s game. Free tickets are available at both Liberal McDonald’s locations.