Following a road game Wednesday in which they had to squeak out a win over the last place Pratt Beavers, the #20 Seward County Saints knew that they would have to play a whole lot better Saturday night as they returned home to the Greenhouse to take on a dangerous Cloud County team with just 8 active players on the roster. That they did, as Seward had no trouble on either end of the floor in the first half of action, taking a 44-24 lead into the halftime break before putting together another strong final 10 minutes of play to come away with an 86-63 win to run their win streak to 9.

The Saints got on the board first with a bucket from Brice Jenkins but Cloud came back with a pair of hoops to take a 5-2 lead. That was the end of the positives for the fellas from Concordia on the night as Seward then went on a 13-3 run, led by 6 Deverell Biggs points and 4 from Irvin Hollinger to go ahead 15-8 with just under 14 minutes left in the half. The Saints extended their lead to 10 as Biggs hooked up with Hollinger down low for a basket to make it 22-12 and they pushed their advantage up to 31-14 with 6:17 left on the first half clock when smooth shooting Kaheem Ransom buried back to back jumpers. Sewardís lead eventually grew to 20 on two Edson Avila free throws and would reach its peak in the first half when Biggs was fouled while completing a drive to the basket to put the score at 43-19 with 2:57 left in the half. A late field goal by Cloud cut the Saints lead to 20 but Seward felt very comfortable as they headed to the break up 44-24 against the T-Birds. The Saints domination of the first 20 minutes was evident on the stat sheet as they shot 50% to Cloudís 29% and forced 12 T-Bird turnovers while committing just 6 themselves.
The start of the second half was more of the same for both sides as the Saints lead remained at 21 five minutes into things. Thatís when things went South for the green and white, and in a hurry. With the score 52-31, Cloud County went on a 15-0 run in the next 4:26 with Seward going 0-5 from the field and turning the ball over 3 times on their 8 possessions to all of a sudden make it a game again with the score 52-46 and 10:30 to go. Thatís when freshman Corieon Pearson answered the bell, nailing a three from the corner to get the Saints back on track and moments later Pearson hit another long bomb to push the Seward lead all the way back to 62-46. The Seward run took the wind out of the sails of the T-Birds and from that point on, the Saints again controlled the tempo, remaining comfortably ahead by double digits before closing the game on a 9-0 jolt finished by a Hollinger two handed slam to win 86-63.
Seward finished the game shooting an even 50% after hitting exactly half of their shots in both the first and second periods. The Saints played just seven players in the win with Hollinger leading the way with a game high 24 points on 9 of 13 shooting and also pulling down 6 rebounds for Seward. Ransom scored 21 points for the Saints and also picked the pocket of the T-Birds for 7 steals and had 6 rebounds. Pearson scored his career high with 15 as he hit on all 4 three point attempts and 5 of 6 field goals overall. Jenkins led the Saints on the glass with 7 rebounds and also chipped in 6 points and 5 assists.
The Saints winning streak runs to 9 with the victory over the T-Birds. Seward is now 16-2 overall on the season which marks their best start since the 2002-2003 season and is a perfect 4-0 in Jayhawk West Conference play where they sit alone atop the conference standings. They will enjoy their first half bye on Wednesday before heading to the Civic Center in Dodge City where they will battle the second place Conquistadors on Saturday night at 8:00.
#20 SEWARD COUNTY/CLOUD COUNTY BOX SCORE