It was a game that Head Coach Toby Wynn called the most important game of the season. The 9th ranked Seward County Lady Saints coming off of only their 2nd loss of the year, hosted the defending conference champion Barton County Lady Cougars in the Greenhouse Wednesday night to open up a three game home stand. If it was in fact the most important game of the year for Seward, their future is looking bright as they blew out the gals from Great Bend 87-64 after leading by as many as 34 in the game.

The game started just as the Lady Saints drew it up on the chalkboard, racing out to a 5-0 lead with a layup inside by Nadia Rosario and a three ball from Vaneza Junior, previewing what was to come on the night. Barton would fight back to tie the game at 9 minutes later but the game wouldnít be knotted for long as Seward would hold the Lady Cougars scoreless for the next seven minutes as they went on an 18-0 run behind 8 points each from Junior and Rachel Barnes to take any hope out of the Greenhouse visitors. Seward would end the half up 39-23 capitalizing on 19 Barton turnovers and a 17 first half points from Junior.

Seward would quickly extend the lead to 24 in the second half as Megan Lassley and Kendra Spresser hooked up on a fast break layup and the lead would reach 31 minutes later after Spresser picked the pocket of former Liberal High School guard Hannah Rotolo and took it coast to coast for the layup. The Lady Saints would take their largest lead of the game with 7:54 to go as Sheila Washington drove to the bucket and scored an easy two. Barton would cut into the lead in garbage time to make the score appear closer than the game was but Seward still came out on top 87-64 as the final horn sounded.

If you were to look at the box score alone and not know the score prior to looking you might think that this one was a close battle as Seward shot 49% to Bartonís 48% while Barton shot better from the three point line and free throw line at the same time as outrebounding the Lady Saints 37 to 29. The place that made the score as lopsided as it was, was the 29 Lady Cougar turnovers to just 11 from Seward County. Individually Seward was paced by a career high 27 points from Vaneza Junior who took advantage of numerous fast break run outs and easy layup chances to go 10 for 13 from the field including 3 of 5 from long distance. Rachel Barnes and Nadia Rosario had no problem with the nations #2 shot blocker Annie Kassongo as the pair combined for 40 points on 16 of 23 shooting as they had their way with Barton inside. Kendra Spresser was the only Lady Saint to score off the bench but outscored the Barton bench all by herself putting up 14 on 5 of 8 shooting in the contest. While not getting into the scoring column on the night, Megan Lassley did a job defensively on the Lady Cougar guards as she helped force 11 turnovers from Bartonís starting backcourt and came away with 5 steals for her effort.

Seward glides to 22-2 on the season and 9-1 in Jayhawk Conference play. They will take on a pair of conference bottom feeders in their next two contests as 3-20 Colby comes to town Saturday followed by 3-20 Pratt on Wednesday before their much anticipated showdown with Cloud County in Concordia next Saturday. The buyout sponsor for Saturdayís game with Colby is McDonaldís with free tickets available at either Golden Arch location. Saturday will be Rachel Barnes poster night in the Greenhouse so make sure to pick up your free poster of the All-American at either entrance and have her sign it at halftime of the Menís game outside the concession stand.