Both the Seward County Saints and Lady Saints Basketball Teams came away with perfect 2-0 records this weekend at the Wendyís Classic held in the Greenhouse Friday and Saturday. The Womenís team defeated 5-1 Clarendon on Friday night 81-46 before the Menís team easily handled Central Christian University JV team 123-47. Saturday brought a stiffer test for both teams as the Lady Saints squared off against 5-2 Frank Phillips and came away with a 78-57 victory followed by a much anticipated matchup between the Saints and Jayhawk East foe Independence. The game lived up to its billing as two Tony Smith free-throws sent the game to overtime with 1.7 seconds left where Seward County outscored the Pirates 9-3 and won the game 93-87.
The Lady Saints returned from their first road trip of the season Friday night and were ready to play, holding Clarendon to just 27% shooting in the first half taking a 38-28 advantage. In the second half the Lady Saints came out firing lighting up the scoreboard for 43 points and holding the Lady Bulldogs to just 5 second half field goals and blowing the game open to the tune of a 81-46 victory. LaNell Taylor sparked the Lady Saints off the bench connecting on five of eight three point shots and pouring in 17 points in her 24 minutes of play. Vanessa Simmons helped the Lady Saints dominate the glass during the game by pulling down a team high 10 rebounds and chipping in with seven points. Amanda Pierson came off the bench for the first time this season for the Lady Saints and provided an instant flicker for Seward on both ends of the court coming away with 14 points, seven rebounds, and six blocked shots on the contest. Rachel Barnes continued her hardnosed play for coach Toby Wynn and the Lady Saints by scoring 13 points and coming away with nine rebounds. Bailey Crandall helped Seward County extend their second half lead and pull away from Clarendon by nailing two three point shots and pulling down four rebounds in the second half. The Lady Saints outrebounded the Lady Bulldogs 61-44 on the evening while forcing 35 Clarendon turnovers to just their six assists.
Day two of the classic pitted the Lady Saints against a hungry Frank Phillips team coming off of a disappointing loss to Pratt on Friday. The Lady Saints would have none of the Lady Plainsmen upset bid however as they opened the game on a 20-2 run and thanks to a Karen Brown buzzer beater at halftime, took a 19 point lead into the locker room at the break. The Lady Saints defense continued its persistent play in the second half, holding Frank Phillips to just 9 of 34 shooting as they held onto their large lead and eventually dispatched of the Lady Plainsmen 78-57. Vanessa Simmons recorded a double-double on the night for the Lady Saints recording 14 points on 7 of 14 shooting and grabbing 10 rebounds for the second evening in a row. Raegan Broadie took advantage of her starting role scoring 12 points on 4 of 6 shooting and knocking down 3 of her 4 free-throw attempts. Nadia Rosario added eight points for the Lady Saints while ripping down a season high 11 rebounds, including five on the offensive end. The Lady Saints defensive attack again shined causing 31 Frank Phillips turnovers and holding the Lady Plainsmen to just 33% shooting on the night.
The 5-1 Lady Saints will now enjoy a 13 day layoff before returning to action at the Thanksgiving Classic in Garden City on Friday the 28th against Lamar and then Saturday against the 30th ranked Cowley Tiger women at 1:30.
The Saints Menís Team also returned home Friday night after a short road trip to Eastern Kansas last week. Their first game matched them up with Central Christian Universityís JV team, a team the Saints had thrashed by 70 points just a week earlier. The Saints scored 58 first half points which would be more than enough for the whole game as the Tigers managed just 47 in the 40 minutes of play, but Seward County added on a whopping 65 in the second half and came away with yet another lopsided 123-47 victory. Seward County dominated the glass Friday night, outrebounding the Tigers 55 to 24 led by Thijin Moses who grabbed 12 to go along with his 15 points and Latiq Agard who ripped down 10. Agard also paced the Saints offensive attack connecting on 14 of 16 shot attempts while racking up 32 points on the night. Tony Smith continued to run the show for the Saints at the point guard position scoring 20 points and handing out 10 assists to just his two turnovers. Drew Jones continued his consistent play for the Saints scoring 12 points and snatching down seven rebounds. Thaigo Oliviera sustained his relentless play for the Saints, doing all coach Bryan Zollinger could ask for from the 6í5 Brazilian forward, as he scored eight points and pulled down seven rebounds in the game.
Saturday night had the buildup of a heavyweight championship boxing match as Independence came to town to face the Saints led by twin stars Daniel and Donald Rowe and Preseason All-American Michael Craion. Seward County came out a little slow against an Indy team with something to prove after an upset loss to Lamar a night before. The Pirates held a 13-4 lead a few minutes into the game before the Saints started to click on both sides of the ball. Seward County dominated the rest of the first half and took a 35-26 advantage into the locker room at half. Independence opened the 2nd half at a furious pace and forced Seward County into numerous turnovers that turned into easy points on the other end of the floor for the Pirates. Seward County recovered however and fought back to tie the game with only a few minutes left. The see-saw battle continued right up to the end of the game where Independence held a 2 point lead with just 4.5 seconds to play in the game and the Saints inbounding the pass from the far baseline with 96 feet to go to the basket. The Saints threw a length of the court inbounds pass to Tony Smith who dribbled into the corner and attempted a three-point shot. The ball didnít find its target, but, Smith was fouled on the play and was taken to the line to attempt three crucial free-throws with the game on the line. Smith missed the first to the dismay of the Saints largest crowd of the season, however, Smith stepped up and sank the following two free-throws with no margin for error to send the game to Seward Countyís first overtime contest of the year at 84-84. The overtime period was dominated by the Saints who outscored the Pirates nine to three and took home the 93-87 win against the titans from the East. Five Saints scored 15 points or more on the evening including Drew Jones and Marquez Patterson (15), Latiq Agard (19), Thijin Moses (20), and Tony Smith who scored a team high 21. Smith had a team high eight assists on the night while 6í0 Jones led the Saints with seven rebounds including five on the offensive end to keep possessions alive. The Saints free-throw shooting which had been their only Achilles heel so far on the year was vastly improved against the Pirates Saturday night as Seward County knocked down 30 of 39 attempts including numerous clutch shots from the foul line.
6-0 Seward County will next play Friday the 21st against Labette in the Independence Classic before facing off against an Independence team surely looking for revenge on Saturday night in front of their home crowd.