The Seward County Lady Saints Basketball Team did something Saturday night that they had failed to do in over three seasons as they went into Great Bend and knocked off the two-time defending Jayhawk West Conference Champion Barton County Lady Cougars for the first time since the 2006-2007 season to remain undefeated at 10-0 on the season.
Seward would give up a layup on their opening defensive possession but would immediately score on their first possession to answer and would never trail in the game again. Nine Lady Saints scored in the first half including Rachel Barnes who put up 8 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 steals in the first 20 minutes, all game highs. Seward would hold Barton to just 23 first half points on 33% shooting from the floor and would force 20 Lady Cougar turnovers in the period to push themselves out to a 15 point, 38-23 lead at the break.
The Lady Saints would continue to cause havoc for Barton’s backcourt in the second half as they would take advantage of three straight Lady Cougar turnovers to take their largest lead of the game 57-34 with just over 12 minutes remaining in the game. Seward would be whistled tightly for fouls in the next few minutes and Barton would take advantage by knocking down their bonus free throw attempts and would cut in to the Lady Saint lead to remain in the game at 62-48 but would never get to within striking distance as they lost by the same margin 70-56 as time expired.
Seward scored 34 points off 34 Barton County turnovers in the game and outscored the Lady Cougars 36 to 16 in the paint in the contest. They held the Jayhawk’s leading rebounder and 2nd leading scorer Annie Kassango to just 6 points and 7 rebounds, 12 points and 4 rebounds under her season average. Offensively Seward was led by a balanced attack as all five starters reached double figures in the game led by 14 points apiece from Vaneza Junior and Megan Lassley. Sheila Washington tied a career high with 12 points and Nadia Rosario chipped in 10 points and 6 rebounds. Rachel Barnes filled up the stat sheet in the win for Seward scoring 10 points, grabbing 8 rebounds, dishing out 7 assists, and picking off 7 steals.
The win takes Seward to 10-0 on the season and 2-0 in conference play and should continue to vault them in the NJCAA rankings that will come out Wednesday before their matchup with the Lady Trojans in Colby. The Lady Saints and Lady Trojans will tip off at 6:00 in the Community Building Wednesday before the gals in green return home to take on 10-1 Northeastern Friday and Jayhawk East favorites Labette Saturday in the Pizza Hut Classic in the Greenhouse.