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Whether they will admit it or not is one thing, but deep down, it would be hard for anyone in Seward green and white to say that going into Saturday night’s game with 6th place Butler, they weren’t somewhat looking past the game with the Lady Grizzlies and forward their upcoming matchup with 20-0 and #2 Hutchinson on Wednesday in the Greenhouse. However, the 8th ranked Lady Saints stayed focused enough to come away with a 76-59 win over Butler in the Power Plant to claim their 11th straight win and setup the top 10 matchup later this week.

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Saturday night, the 9th ranked team in the NJCAA and 1st place team in the Jayhawk West Conference, the Seward County Saints traveled the long road to El Dorado to take on a 7-13 Butler Grizzlies team that was by themselves in 9th place in the conference. One year ago, the Saints did nearly the same thing after a #13 ranking was put next to their name as they traveled to last place Colby and were shocked by the Trojans. Deja vu just about happened Saturday against the Grizzlies as Butler led much of the game before the teams tussled in the second half sending the game to overtime where Seward escaped with a 78-74 win.

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If you haven’t heard about it yet, you might have been living under a rock for the past couple of days. Wednesday night, Seward County’s Trey Starks did about the only thing that could have been done to upstage Kansas Head Coach Bill Self’s presence in the stands of the Greenhouse. Starks who stands at a generous 5’11, elevated to the top of the square on the backboard to throw down a huge one handed tomahawk slam over the top of 6’2 Xavier Carter of Garden City to send the Seward faithful into an uproar. The play, which has already received over 1,050 hits on Youtube in less than 24 hours was named the #2 play on the most popular sports television show in the world SportsCenter Friday night.

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Following a banner year in which they won a Jayhawk West Conference Championship, a Liberal Sub-Regional Championship, and a Region VI Championship before finishing 6th at the NJCAA Juco World Series, the Seward County Saints Baseball team will open its title defense season with a #14 National ranking next to their name.

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With just two opponents in front of them before their much anticipated face off with #2 Hutchinson, the 8th ranked Seward County Lady Saints made sure not to look over either of those two foes, including Wednesday night when they blew away a hot Garden City Lady Broncbusters team 78-59 to win their 10th straight game and keep their Jayhawk West record spotless at 6-0.

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The stage was set and the atmosphere couldn’t have been much better Wednesday night in the Greenhouse as the #9 Seward County Saints welcomed their arch rival Garden City Broncbusters to Liberal for a Jayhawk West Conference tilt. With fans amped up for the rivalry matchup as well as the presence of the winningest coach in college basketball in the past 7 years, Bill Self of Kansas, the Saints and Busters tipped things off, but it wouldn’t be the home folks that went home with a smile on their face. Garden City controlled the game from the opening tip and shot a blistering 57% to come away with an 81-74 upset win over Seward.

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The Jayhawk West Conference leading and 8th ranked Seward County Lady Saints traveled to Dodge City Saturday night to take on the struggling Lady Conquistadors in the Dodge City Civic Center and had no problem dispatching of the home team as they took a 56-23 lead into the halftime break before putting things on cruise control and taking it home 89-44 to remain tied with Hutchinson for the top spot in the West.

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All signs pointed towards an upset alert Saturday night as the conference leading Seward County Saints headed to Dodge City to take on a Conquistadors team that had yet to lose on their home court and had proved a menace to the Saints the past two years in the Civic Center, winning lopsided contests against the highly favored Saints. But, with only two returners from last year’s Jayhawk West Conference Championship team, the 2011-2012 Seward squad didn’t know all of that and went out and broke the two streaks as the Saints offense carried them to a 42-40 halftime lead before their defense clamped the Conqs down in the second half to come away with an 81-75 victory on the road.

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Things in the Greenhouse couldn’t be a whole lot better right now as both the Seward County Lady Saints and Seward County Saints sit atop the Jayhawk West standings with perfect 4-0 records and now both teams are ranked inside the top 15 in the latest NJCAA National Rankings.

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After missing Seward County’s first two conference games, and going without game action for over a month, Lady Saints sophomore Ashlynn Knoll looked like she hadn’t missed a beat last week as she averaged 15.5 points and 10 rebounds per game in two Seward wins to earn herself KJCCC Player of the Week honors.

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The bookends of the 8th ranked Seward County Lady Saints game against Jayhawk West rival Cloud County didn’t go exactly as planned, but the stuffing inside of the five minute stretches were just what the doctor ordered as the Lady Saints erased an early 10 point deficit to go into the half up by 9 before holding a 13 point advantage midway through the second half and hanging on to take down the defending Region VI Champs 79-76 to move to 15-2, 4-0 on the 2011-2012 campaign.

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Following a road game Wednesday in which they had to squeak out a win over the last place Pratt Beavers, the #20 Seward County Saints knew that they would have to play a whole lot better Saturday night as they returned home to the Greenhouse to take on a dangerous Cloud County team with just 8 active players on the roster. That they did, as Seward had no trouble on either end of the floor in the first half of action, taking a 44-24 lead into the halftime break before putting together another strong final 10 minutes of play to come away with an 86-63 win to run their win streak to 9.

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The freshly ranked #8 team in the country, the Seward County Lady Saints got off to a hot start Wednesday night on the road in their matchup with an upstart Pratt Lady Beavers team, leading 42-17 at the half. Good thing they did, as Pratt roared back in the second half to make a game of it before Seward finished strong and came out on top of a 66-48 decision.

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You can always count on two things when you go to the Beaverdome in Pratt to take on the home team in Jayhawk West action. First, that you are going to get the Beavers best effort and two that they are going to let it fly from the outside on the offensive end. Both of those happened Wednesday night as Seward traveled to Lesh Arena to take on the Beavers as Pratt dominated the first half outside of a standout effort from Saints freshman Edson Avila to take a 35-29 lead into the half. The Saints scratched and clawed to stay in the game before a late burst pushed them over the top and thanks to a big late three pointer from Corieon Pearson, grabbed the lead and took it home en route to a 75-68 win to move into first place in the Jayhawk West.

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After coming into existence last year, the Saints Hall of Fame will finally have its first members. Kim Ortega (Women’s Basketball), Galen McSpadden (Baseball), Jim Littell (Women’s Basketball), Cory Patton (Baseball), and the 2001-2002 Women’s Basketball team are officially set to become the Class of 2012 in April after being announced as the inaugural selections during a special ceremony between the Lady Saints and Saints Basketball games Saturday night in the Greenhouse.

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Coming off of a big win at #7 Barton on Wednesday night, some wondered if the Seward County Saints would have a letdown as they faced a Colby team that finished 8th in the conference a year ago. But the guys in green did their homework and realized that this Trojan team was a little bit different, coming into Saturday night’s game with Seward with a 13-2 mark and fresh off a win over Cloud County in their conference opener. The Saints started slow, but once they got going they were like a snowball rolling downhill, going on an 11-1 run late in the first half to carry a lead into the locker rooms and then blowing the Trojans out of the water in the second half, scoring 47 points to win going away 82-65 to move to 14-2 on the year.

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It was a mismatch on paper, and it played out that way Saturday night in the Greenhouse as the 12-2 and #10 team in the country, the Seward County Lady Saints hosted the 4-11 Colby Lady Trojans in Seward’s conference home opener. The Lady Saints took Colby out of the game early with an 18-2 run and went into the halftime break leading 55-19 before cruising to a 96-49 win.

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Things didn’t look real promising for the Seward County Saints for the first 35 minutes of their Jayhawk West Conference opener against #7 and 14-0 Barton Wednesday night in the Kirkman Center in Great Bend. A sluggish Seward team found themselves down by 12 at the halftime break and after cutting the Cougar lead to one early in the second half, went into a funk to fall back behind by nine as the midway point of the second half hit. However, after erasing the Barton deficit and taking their first lead since the opening minutes with 4:44 to go, the Saints owned the final minutes of the tussle, leaning on sophomores Daveon Boardingham and Deverell Biggs who combined for 32 second half points to lead Seward to a 73-67 upset win to hand Barton their first loss of the 2011-2012 campaign.

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When Seward County Lady Saints Head Coach Toby Wynn uses the words “one of my most memorable wins” you know it was a special night for the 7th year head man who is 176-40 in his Seward career. Already playing without two key starters and losing another starter midgame, the remaining eight Lady Saints answered the bell, stepping up big to knock off an upstart Barton Lady Cougars on their home floor 75-57 to open the 2012 Jayhawk West Conference schedule in Great Bend on Wednesday night.

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The Seward County Saints were admittedly rusty coming out of a three week layoff this weekend in Chanute for the Neosho County Sonic Shoot-Out, but the Saints found a way to come out with a 2-0 record after picking up a 66-65 win over the host Panthers Friday night and a 66-63 victory over Johnson County on Saturday to ring in the new year with a 12-2 record as they prepare for conference play starting on Wednesday at Barton.

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