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.