The Seward County Lady Saints won their 4th Jayhawk West Championship in the past 7 years Saturday night as they beat a hot Butler Lady Grizzlies team 93-46 to win the conference outright with a 15-1 record. Seward dominated Butler in the win, leading wire to wire, and holding a 10+ point lead for 35 of the 40 minutes in the game.
It didnít take long for the Lady Saints to get the lead Saturday night in their regular season finale against Butler as Sheila Washington banked home a jumper just one minute in and it was off to the races for Seward. They continued their onslaught led by Rachel Barnes to take a 16-3 lead 5 minutes into the game. After 5 minutes of play, Barnes had outscored the Lady Grizzlies by herself 9-3. Seward continued to build their lead and had their first 20 point margin with 8:09 to go thanks to, guess who, Rachel Barnes. The Lady Saints would put it in cruise control for the rest of the half and would finish the first 20 minutes nearly doubling up the Lady Griz, 47-24. Just how good was Barnes in the first half? The Seward sophomore headed to the locker room with 23 points, just one short of Butlerís team total of 24. Barnes shot 90% from the field in the first half and Butler shot 32%. The numbers donít stop there, Barnes 4 steals matched Butlerís team total and her 4 assists were just 2 shy of the Grizzlies team total.
Butlerís leading scorer Alysia Hart would bring the Lady Grizzlies to within 18 with a three pointer 5 minutes into the 2nd half but Seward would follow that with a 13-0 run capped by 5 straight buckets from Megan Lassley and Barnes to take a 31 point lead 69-38. The Lady Saint starters would begin to find themselves resting on the bench midway through the half but that didnít stop the lead from growing as Sumr Robinett, Kendra Spresser, and company would continue to build the Seward lead. In fact, Seward would close the game on a 19-2 run and would run away with the game at the end to the tune of a 93-46 win. The Lady Saints finished the game shooting 49% as a team while Butler struggled to just 37% from the floor. Seward outrebounded the Lady Griz as expected 48-31 and forced 28 Butler turnovers and committed just 11 themselves.
Rachel Barnes finished a memorable performance on sophomore night with 33 points and 6 rebounds on 14 of 17 shooting while also picking up 6 steals and 5 assists in the win. Sumr Robinett had her best game as a Lady Saint scoring 15 points and pulling down a game high 13 rebounds in 25 minutes of work. A trio of Lady Saints scored 11 points in the game as Megan Lassley finished with 11 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, and 3 steals, Kendra Spresser finished with 11 points and 4 rebounds, and Sheila Washington ended the night with 11 points, 7 assists, and 5 rebounds.
The win gives Seward the outright Jayhawk West Conference Championship with a 15-1 conference record and moves them to 28-2 overall on the season. They will now take on Allen County in the first round of the Region VI Tournament at home Tuesday night at 6:00. With a win, the Lady Saints will then move onto Wichita Friday night where they will take on the winner of the Coffeyville/Butler game at 7:00 in Koch Arena. Free tickets for Tuesdayís play-in game can be found at Seaboard Foods (1120 N. Washington), Stu Emmert, Pizza Hut, and First National Bank in Liberal.