When you look at the box score from Wednesday nights non-conference game between the #18 Seward County Saints and Raleigh’s Finest Prep Academy there aren’t really any numbers that are going to pop off the page and hit you in the face. However, looking deeper at it, an interesting side note will. Every Saint that played in the game had 3 or more points, 2 or more rebounds, and all but two players had 3 or more assists. What exactly does this mean? It means that Seward County is playing team basketball and gelling as a unit as they move towards the midway point of conference play, something that makes all Saints fans happy as they watch their team contend for a Jayhawk West title.
The Saints midweek tilt with Raleigh’s Finest was never much of a game as Seward rushed out to a 10 point early lead and would take that lead wire to wire. The Roadrunners squad was ill-equipped to handle the Saints up tempo offense and pressure defensive style with a roster of only 6 players and it would show as they would go just 4 for 20 from the field in the first half and would turn the ball over 11 times in the first 20 minutes. At the half Seward held a 39-16 advantage as they shot 50% from the field and held Raleigh’s Finest to just 20%. In the second half the Saints exploded offensively and shot 58% while putting up 62 points on the board. Seward opened up a 50 point lead with 2 minutes remaining and would hold that same count as time expired with a 101-51 victory.
Four Saints finished the game with 17 points each as Marcus James, Latiq Agard, Tony Smith, and Marky Nolen all hit the mark while Jon Tassin scored 14 and Donte McCarter 7. Chris Chaney scored 5 points and had 3 rebounds and assists in the win and Spencer Moore and Isaiah Thaw combined for 7 points and 8 assists on the night. James was the game’s leading rebounder with 13 and the sophomore tied Smith for the team lead in assists with 5. As a team the Saints combined for 18 steals on the night, led by Smith who had 4 and Tassin, James, and Moore who had 3 each. For the Roadrunners, 6’8 Julian Robinson had 19 points and 10 rebounds while fellow lefty Robert Wakefield had 11 points and 8 assists.
The win is Seward’s 10th straight as they move to 16-3 on the season and have climbed to #18 in the latest NJCAA National Poll. The Saints now have three days off before they return to the court in Dodge City where they will take on a Conquistadors team that will be hungry after a 32 point loss to Cloud County in Concordia Wednesday night. Seward will see its next home action next Wednesday when Garden City comes knocking on the Greenhouse doors as the last two NJCAA National Tournament participants from the Jayhawk Conference collide.