Some may have thought that Seward County’s draw for the 2008 Jayhawk Shootout in Coffeyville was going to be a breeze. Friday they were set to matchup with Division II Johnson County before squaring off with Labette on Saturday, a team that the Saints already drilled by 30 earlier in the season. The weekend proved to be anything but as the Cavaliers from Johnson County showed that their #14 Division II ranking was no fluke coming back from a 7 point halftime deficit to tie the Saints at the end of regulation before Seward County took control in overtime to win the game 71-66. Marcus James picked a good time to have the breakout game of his early career for the Saints, scoring 24 points on 9 of 14 shooting while ripping down a team high 8 rebounds. “I feel like everything is starting to click with Marcus” coach Bryan Zollinger said. Along with James, Latiq Agard was the only other Saint in double figures with 19 points to compliment 5 big offensive rebounds. Seward County shot just 1 for 18 from the three point line in the contest and converted on just 36% of their shots overall. As typical for a Bryan Zollinger coached team however, the Saints defensive prowess led them to the win, holding Johnson to just 5 of 20 shooting in the first half and 38% overall.
Saturday brought the Labette Cardinals the Saints way. After the wakeup call on Friday night, and an early morning wakeup call Saturday, literally for the 11:00 a.m. start, the Saints controlled the whole contest against their Eastern division foe, and moved to 12-0 with a 100-76 win against Labette. The Cards did not go away as easy as they had in the Saints earlier matchup with them, keeping the game to a single digit lead at halftime and creeping to within four early in the second half. The Saints ran away late however with 59 second half points to hit the century mark late in the win. Latiq Agard continued his strong play inside for Seward County notching a team high 28 points on 10 of 14 shooting and collecting 10 rebounds. Thijin Moses knocked down 6 of 7 free throw attempts to help him on his way to 11 points to go along with his 7 rebounds. Jason Payton gave the Saints a lift off the bench, scoring a season high 10 points and dishing out 4 assists while collecting 4 rebounds.
Although the wins took Seward County to 12-0, coach Bryan Zollinger still isn’t overly impressed with his team’s performance on the weekend or thus far on the season saying “we might be 12-0 but we still aren’t playing up to our capabilities. We need to stop having lapses on both ends of the court and start being more consistent. If we can do that we are going to be pretty good but if we can’t figure that out pretty soon we are going to be in trouble.” The Saints will face Haskell Indian Nations JV team Friday night before their marquee matchup with #11 College of Southern Idaho on Saturday at 8:00 in the Greenhouse in the Pizza Hut Classic. Free Tickets are available at both Liberal Pizza Hut locations and from the Seward County Athletic Department.