With 1st place in the Jayhawk West Conference on the line Wednesday night in the Community Building in Colby, the #15 Seward County Saints took care of business, withstanding an early barrage from the home Trojans to take a one point lead at the half, before going up big in the second half, just to have to hold on 74-69 to earn their 20th victory of the season.

Coming off of a tough road loss on Monday at Cloud County, Colby came out firing as expected and seemingly couldn’t miss during the first 10 minutes of the game. The Saints took an early 9-3 lead but deadeye Carson Konrade of the Trojans nailed 5 three pointers to single handedly keep Colby in the game. Seward though used a more balanced attack to do their scoring and kept pace with the Trojans thanks to a strong half from Irvin Hollinger and the slashing of Deverell Biggs to hold a one point advantage into the half 36-35. Both teams shot 46% and had 10 turnovers in the first 20 minutes but Colby scorched the nets for 57% from deep while the Saints did their work inside, getting to the free throw line 14 times and hitting 13 of their attempts.
Slowly but surely Seward built on their lead as the second half began. A Kaheem Ransom drive and score put them up by six and a left wing three pointer from the freshman later on gave them their largest lead of the game at 62-51 with 8:35 remaining. The Saints looked like they had the game in their back pocket as they took a 16 point lead with under 6 minutes to go as Corieon Pearson picked up a steal and scored but the Trojans weren’t going to go down without a fight in front of a ruckus home crowd. The Trojans went on a 14-2 run in the next four minutes to cut the Saints lead all the way down to 4 as the Seward offense went into hibernation. A huge three pointer by Hollinger broke the momentum and the Saints took care of business at the free throw line down the stretch to come away with a 74-69 win.
The Saints cooled the Trojans offense to a simmer in the second half as they hit just 1 three pointer after nailing 8 in the first half while Seward also forced Colby into 17 second half turnovers to finish the game with 27. The Saints were outshot by the Trojans 47% to 40% in the game but Seward outscored Colby 25-14 at the free throw line which ultimately was the difference. Biggs led the Saints on both sides of the floor as the sophomore guard scored 18 points and picked the pocket of the Trojans 8 times with steals. Hollinger put together another workman like effort with 16 points and 4 rebounds and Ransom backed up his 22 point performance Saturday with 15 against the Trojans. Edson Avila led Seward with 11 rebounds and also pitched in 7 points while Daveon Boardingham came off the bench for 8 points and 3 rebounds.
Seward gets to the 20 win plateau for the 5th straight season under Head Coach Bryan Zollinger as they improve to 20-4 but more importantly the Saints have put themselves on a perch atop the Jayhawk West Conference with an 8-2 mark through 10 games which gives them a full game lead plus the tiebreaker on 2nd place Barton and a two game lead plus the tiebreaker on 3rd place Colby. Next up things will seemingly get a little bit easier for Seward after facing the top 4 teams in the league in 4 straight outings, as they host the struggling Pratt Beavers for Homecoming Saturday night in the Greenhouse at 8:00. Free tickets are available courtesy of our buyout sponsor Pizza Hut at either of their Liberal locations.