It was in their fingertips and then ran through it just like sand Monday night in Koch Arena in Wichita. The best in the West, the Seward County Saints and the beasts from the East, the Coffeyville Red Ravens squared off for the Region VI title and a trip to the NJCAA National Tournament on the line on Monday. Seward would look good early on as they came out fired up and held a solid lead through most of the early part of the game as they picked up steals and long rebounds and turned them into transition points to take a 20-12 lead 11 minutes in.

That’s when the Saints got complacent. A 9:19 stretch to end the half would see Seward score just 4 points and Coffeyville would chip away minute by minute until they led at the half 25-24. The Saints would ramp things back up as the second half got underway and would hold a 47-37 lead as the midway point of the half came and went. A failed dunk attempt would sway the momentum as Coffeyville went on an 18-4 run to erase the Seward lead and take a 4 point lead of their own in the final 6 minutes of the contest. The Saints would claw back and a pair of free throws with 1:30 left on the clock would tie the game but a three pointer on the Red Ravens next possession would put them up by 3 and another three pointer after a steal would be the dagger as they went up by 6 with just 1:04 remaining. Jeremy Jones would try and will his team back into it as he hit a pair of three pointers in the final minute to get the Saints close but Coffeyville simply couldn’t miss at the free throw line down the stretch as the Saints were forced to foul and the Red Ravens would go on to win 73-69 to the dismay of all wearing green inside Koch Arena. Coffeyville would hit 11 three pointers on the night including 7 of 14 in the second half while the Saints were just 1 for 11 before Jones hit the two late to finish Seward at 3 for 13 from beyond the arc in the game. Jones would finish the game with 17 points and 4 assists for the Saints while Daveon Boardingham would continue his coming out party on the national stage as he had his third straight head turning game with 17 points and 7 rebounds. Marky Nolen finished his Seward career fittingly with a 12 point, 12 rebound double-double while Marquez Patterson wrapped up his stay with the Saints with 6 points and 6 big rebounds. Seward finishes the Region VI runners-up for only the second time in school history with the Red Ravens also their opponent the only other time it happened. The Saints end the season with a 27-7 record, the second most wins for a Seward team in the past 9 seasons. At the conclusion of the tournament Jones and Boardingham were both named to the All-Tournament Team after Jones averaged 22 points and 3 assists per game during the tournament and Boardingham put up 16 points and 8 rebounds per game in Seward’s three games in Wichita.