The Seward County Lady Saints got back on track this weekend with wins over a 7-1 Otero team on Friday afternoon and then a win over 8-4 Lamar on their home court Saturday night. The Lady Saints came out on the good end of a 45-43 slugfest with the Rattlers in their first contest before putting together a 51 point second half to knock off the Lady Lopes on Saturday.
After dropping three of their last four contests going into the weekend, Seward County knew that the 7-1 Otero Lady Rattlers weren’t going to be the easiest team in the world to get things back on track against. Both teams struggled through the first half offensively with Otero coming out of the chutes with the lead before the Lady Saints slowly worked themselves back into it and took a lead of their own halfway through the first period. Seward would hold a one point advantage, 23-22 at the break as both teams would head to their locker rooms with more turnovers than field goals in the half.
It didn’t get much easier for Seward or Otero during the second half as the two teams continued to struggle to put points on the board. The Lady Saints would hold a slight margin through most of the half and would eventually get enough defensive stops to hang on and pick up the 45-43 win over the Rattlers. The final stat lines were not pretty for either team as Otero shot 27% from the field as a team and the Lady Saints 28%. Seward was 2 for 15 from the three point arc while Otero was 4 for 22 and the pair combined to go just 16 for 34 from the charity stripe.
Individually for the Lady Saints, Kayla Thomas led the way, posting a double-double with a career high 12 points and 12 rebounds to go along with 3 steals. Mariah Lee finished the contest with 10 points and 8 rebounds and Kelsey Willson also cracked double digits with 11 in the win. Hanna Bognar was a big part of the Lady Saints stymieing defense, coming up with 5 big blocked shot and 4 rebounds in her 12 minutes of work.
Looking to keep things rolling in their second game of the weekend, the Lady Saints now stood opposite of Lamar on their home court Saturday night. The arrow pointed towards the Lopes in nearly every statistical category in the first half as they outshot Seward and beat them on the boards 24-16 but the Lady Saints won the turnover battle, forcing 16 Lamar miscues in the half and took a three point, 28-25 lead into the break.
With the way that the first half went, it looked as if the Lady Saints were going to have another dogfight on their hands in the LCC Wellness Center but Seward bolted out of the locker rooms on a 30-6 run to take a 58-31 lead and continued to put it on the home team for the remainder of the half, coming away at the end with a 39 point, 79-40 victory. Seward torched the nets for 51 second half points on 57% shooting and connected on 6 of 13 long range shots. They held Lamar to just 15 points on 18% shooting and forced nearly twice as many turnovers as the Lopes would make buckets in the half.
Five Lady Saints would score 10 or more points in the victory including Hannah Rotolo and Autumn Miller who scored 14 points each and combined for 8 assists in the game. Ashlynn Knoll scored 11 points and had a team high 9 rebounds for the Lady Saints while Thomas finished with 11 and Lee 10 in the win. Mattie Yanke filled up the stat sheet with 8 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists, and 4 steals and Willson finished with a matching 7 points and 7 rebounds on the night.
The much needed victories move the Lady Saints to 7-3 overall on the season as they return home this weekend for the Pizza Hut Classic. In the classic the Lady Saints road will not get any easier as the schedule may get some minds thinking back to 2002 and Seward’s NJCAA National Tournament run as they will take on the team they defeated in the first round in overtime, 9-0 Northeastern Junior College at 6:00 on Friday night followed by a championship game rematch, 9 years later, with Northeastern Oklahoma A&M on Saturday at 6:00. Pizza Hut is this weekend’s buyout sponsor and will have free tickets throughout the week at either Liberal location.