Offense was in the air for the 2009 College of Southern Idaho Invitational in Twin Falls this weekend and the Seward County Saints offense was right in the middle of the action. On Thursday against the Pro Look All-Stars the Saints scorched the nets for a season high 119 points on 53% shooting from the floor, followed by a 109 point performance against Westchester (NY), and finished the weekend with a 92 point effort against perennial power CSI on their home court.
Seward found themselves in a barn-burner of sorts Thursday against the Pro Look All-Stars as 21 first half buckets would give them a 54-40 lead at the break. In the second half both teams remained hot and again put up unbelievable numbers as the two combined for 114 second half points, 65 of those going the Saints way in the 119-89 victory. Seward had six players score in double figures on the night but 15 three-pointers kept Pro Look hanging around throughout. Latiq Agard was on fire for Seward in the win going 14 of 17 from the field good for 28 points while also finishing the game with 8 rebounds and 4 steals. Marcus James also played big for the Saints inside scoring 20 points and pulling down a team high 10 rebounds, 7 of them on the offensive glass. Donte McCarter had 15 points and 6 assists and Tony Smith put up 14 and 5 in the Seward victory.
Friday night pitted the Saints against Westchester College from New York in another high scoring battle that would go Seward’s way. The Saints would come out of the gates hot in the Friday evening matinee as they shot nearly 60% on their way to 61 first half points and a 20 point 61-41 lead at the break. They wouldn’t cool off in the locker room at half unfortunately for the Vikings as they would come out in the second half to shoot 57% and stretching their lead out to 27 points at game’s end. Tony Smith’s triple-double would pace the Saints 109-82 win as the sophomore scored a team high 20 points, dished out a team high 10 assists, and pulled down a team high 10 rebounds in the victory. Latiq Agard matched Smith’s 20 points on 8 of 12 shooting and also grabbed 7 rebounds while Donte McCarter scored 18 behind a quartet of triples to help the Saints charge. Marcus James and Jon Tassin had 15 and 14 points respectively and Robert Sigala and Alex Sturanovic were able to chip in on the glass with 6 rebounds apiece.
With both teams 2-0 the showdown was set. The Saints and the Golden Eagles of CSI were set to do battle on center stage in front of a packed house in the marquee Saturday night matchup. Robert Sigala would score the games first basket to put Seward up 2-0 and after a three-pointer from CSI’s Charles Odom the game would be delayed nearly 5 minutes after fans showered the court with toilet paper as part of their “whiteout” festivities. Once the action returned Sigala would continue his strong play putting Seward up 4 shortly after and then up 8 with a pair of free-throws two minutes in. Seward would hold the lead for the first 7 minutes of the game but CSI chipped away at that 8 point lead and erased it with 12:42 remaining in the first half on an old fashioned three-point play by the Golden Eagles’ Carrick Felix to put them up 21-19. The Saints would go back up one 27-26 with 9:30 left in half number one but a rash of fouls would put CSI to the line 23 times in the first half on 20 Seward County fouls to put them behind by three at halftime 48-45. At half the Saints would find themselves in major foul trouble with 5 players with 2 fouls and 3 players with 3 causing Seward to play a little more leniently on the defensive end when the second half whistle would blow.
The teams would go back and forth to start the second half and Seward would regain the lead with just under 17 minutes remaining on a steal and score from guard Robert Sigala. The Saints would stretch the lead to 4 on a jumper by Latiq Agard and after trading the lead with the Eagles would go up 3 with just 11 minutes remaining on a 10 footer by Marcus James to make it 67-64. CSI retook the lead and would lead by 2 as back to back whistles would give the Saints point guard Tony Smith his 3rd and 4th and then a phantom 5th foul call that nobody at the scorer’s table was able to explain, except for it was in the book that way, to disqualify him from the game. A review of the game tape clearly showed that Smith had only been whistled for four fouls but nevertheless he had to sit for the game’s final 9 minutes and the Saints were never able to regain their footing after that. Agard was able to cut the lead to one at 76-75 with 6 minutes left but it was all CSI from there as the Golden Eagles would stretch the lead up to as many as 10 before eventually salting the game away late by 7 99-92.
Three Saints starters fouled out of the contest as Tony Smith would leave with a very nice game going scoring 17 points and grabbing 7 rebounds while Marcus James would exit with 9 points and 7 rebounds and Robert Sigala with 13 and 5. Latiq Agard paced the way for the Saints scoring 23 points on 8 of 15 shooting despite battling foul trouble throughout the game. Jon Tassin led the Saints in rebounding with 9 as well as scoring 14 points on the night. CSI capitalized on 49 free-throw attempts, making 36 of them to outscore Seward by 7 at the line, the eventual margin in the contest. At the conclusion of the tournament Latiq Agard and Tony Smith were named to the All-Tournament Team while CSI’s Romario Souza was named the MVP.
The Saints will return to action Friday in The Dock @ Billy’s/Days Inn Classic where they will host Clarendon Friday night before matching up with Redlands on Saturday night at 8:00. Free tickets for the tournament are available at Billy’s BBQ, Days Inn, Hutch’s, Jeff Harding State Farm Insurance, Pizza Hut, and KSCB.