The Seward County Lady Saints and Saints longest conference road trip of the season was definitely one to forget Saturday night, as both teams came home without a win. In front of a packed house in Concordia the 13th ranked Lady Saints took on the 15th ranked Lady T-Birds to open the night. Cloud took an 11 point lead early in the game with reigning NCAA National Player of the Week Amanda Pierson sidelined due to foul trouble but the Lady Saints fought back to cut the lead to just four going into the half. The Lady T-Birds wouldn’t allow the Lady Saints to get any closer in the second half however as they continued to pound the offensive glass, where they got 20 second chance opportunities Saturday night, to salt the game away late in a 87-71 win for Cloud. Seward certainly felt the effects of having Pierson in foul trouble the majority of the game and their other center, Nadia Rosario, out of the game due to injury. Cloud outrebounded Seward 52 to 38 on the night and made their way to the free-throw line 34 times as the Lady Saints were only awarded 12 shots from the charity stripe. Rachel Barnes had another good game for the Lady Saints scoring 17 points and grabbing 11 rebounds while Vannessa Simmons scored 14 and had 6 rebounds in the loss. The loss drops the Lady Saints to 16-3 overall and 4-1 in the Jayhawk West Conference. They will enjoy an 8 day layoff before starting their most trying stretch of their 2008-09 schedule where they will play five games in 10 days including pivotal conference matchups against Hutchinson and Barton County on the back end of that stretch.
The Seward County Men’s team was looking for its third straight conference win Saturday night at Bryant Gymnasium against the host Thunderbirds of Cloud. The Saints got off to a slow start but were able to hang around in the first half and trailed just eight going into the break. A fired up Saints team came out rejuvenated in the second half battling back and exchanging the lead with the T-birds throughout the middle and end of the half. With under a minute left, Tony Smith was able to connect on one of two free throws to give Seward a 73-71 lead but Cloud wasn’t going to go down without a fight and was able to rattle in a baseline jumper on their next possession to tie the game at 73. With the shot clock off, Seward looked to get the last shot in regulation but with just five seconds left, the Saints turned the ball over without getting a shot and leaving them with one defensive possession to get a stop and send the game to overtime. That is just what they did as a Jemal Farmer shot rimmed out as the clock expired and sent the game to overtime. The Saints and the T-Birds traded baskets in overtime but Cloud scored on their final possession to give the home squad an 84-81 lead with just seconds left on the game clock. As many fans were getting their belongings ready to head home, Thijin Moses was fouled on a desperation shot with under a second left on the clock and headed to the line needing to make all three of his free-throw attempts to send the game to a second overtime. With ice in his veins, Moses knocked down all three of the free-throws with the capacity crowd on the edge of their chairs trying to deter him from doing so to send the game to a second overtime. Twice in the second overtime Seward County held 4 point leads but as Smith and Marcus James fouled out of the game, the Saints relinquished the leads as they had the ball again with the shot clock off and a 92-92 game staring them in the face. Coach Bryan Zollinger called a timeout to design a play to hopefully take the lead and the game at the horn but the Saints inexplicably stepped out of bounds with 10 second left to give the ball back to the Thunderbirds. Cloud took advantage by scoring on their next possession and went on to win the hard fought battle 94-92. The loss drops the Saints to 15-4 overall and 2-3 in Jayhawk West Conference play. The Saints will now have a much needed 8 day break before jumping back into play Sunday at Dodge City to kick off five games in 10 days for Seward County.