Needless to say, to some observers, the jury was still out on the Seward County Saints after a pair of big opening weekend wins over Sterling JV and Godís Academy Prep. After this weekendís Garden City Pepsi Classic though, that same jury should be able to render a little bit better of a decision after the Saints dismantled Division II National Tournament competitor Highland 98-59 on Friday and dumped 3-0 North Platte 78-61 on Saturday to move to 4-0 overall on the early season.

Hitting the road for the first time in the 2011-2012 season, the Saints had no problem getting things going early against the Jayhawk Eastís Highland Scotties as a strong start from Daveon Boardingham had Seward on top 13-8 six minutes in. After defeating the Saints a year earlier in the same classic, the Scotties stuck around with Seward to the midpoint of the first half where it was just a six point game with the score 24-18 in favor of the Saints. From that point on however, it was all green and black. The Saints got their offense clicking on all cylinders and ramped up their intensity on defense to stymie the Scotties and take a 49-29 lead into the halftime break. Seward shot 53% as a team in the first 20 minutes of action and connected on 4 of 9 from downtown to hold the big advantage as the teams went into the locker rooms. In the second half Seward was nearly unstoppable as they again went for 49 points in the period while shooting a blazing 65% from the field, missing just 9 shots in the half. Their defense also took it to another gear, allowing Highland just 10 field goals on 27 tries while keeping the Scotties long range threats scoreless from beyond the three point arc. The Saints were never threatened as the final half played out and Seward coasted to an impressive 98-59 win in the battle between Jayhawk West vs. Jayhawk East. Kaheem Ransom led five Seward players in double figures with 23 points on the afternoon. Boardingham finished the contest with 20 points and 8 rebounds while Irvin Hollinger and Deverell Biggs both went for 14 and Corieon Pearson added 13. On the defensive side of the ball the Saints turned in a much more pleasing effort to their coaches, forcing 32 Highland turnovers and holding the Scotties to under 40% shooting on the afternoon.
BOX SCORE
Saturday night was a showdown between 3-0 Seward County and 3-0 North Platte who had already claimed a win over Garden City earlier in the classic. The Saints however, had different plans for the Knights and using a combination of smothering defense and a high powered offense, bolted out to a 44-22 halftime lead. Seward held North Platte to just 5 first half field goals and 19% shooting while hitting on 47% of their attempts and cashing in on 13 of 18 from the free throw line to build the 22 point advantage. North Platte gave Seward much more trouble in the second half after the teams came out of the break, knocking down 59% from the field and 4 of 5 from the three point line in the final period. But, the Saints big halftime lead and another strong offensive 20 minutes was enough as they put things on cruise control down the stretch and enjoyed a 78-61 victory as the final horn sounded. The Saints threw a balanced scoring attack at the Knights as they got 17 points and 4 assists out of Biggs before he fouled out of the contest and got 16 points each out of Hollinger and Ransom in the win. Boardingham finished with 13 points and 6 rebounds while Pearson just missed getting into double figures with 9.
BOX SCORE
The two wins improve the Saints to 4-0 on the 2011-2012 campaign. Next up for Seward is a return to the Greenhouse where they will host the Billyís/Days Inn Classic on Friday and Saturday. Opening night of the classic, the Saints will square off with Redlands at 8:00 while Saturday night fans are sure to be treated to a fireworks show as high flying Clarendon comes in at 8:00 to take their best shot as Seward.