Wednesday, on sophomore recognition night in the Greenhouse, the #13 Seward County Saints made school history by capturing their second straight Jayhawk West Conference Championship with a 79-51 victory over the Butler Grizzlies to make them the first team ever at Seward County to win two straight titles.

With the title on the line, the Saints came out like gangbusters against the Grizzlies, quickly taking control of the game with a 12-2 lead after Kaheem Ransom found Edson Avila inside for an easy two, six minutes into things. Butler didnít get their second field goal of the game until the 13:47 mark of the first. Seward relaxed and Butler took advantage, cutting the Saints lead all the way down to three with a 7-0 run to make the score 12-9 with 11:11 to go. The Butler run apparently woke the Saints up and Seward went on an 8-2 run of their own as Deveon Boardingham and Irvin Hollinger went to work on the inside to put Seward up 20-11. After a Butler free throw cut the Saints lead to 8, they were back at it again. A Deverell Biggs drive and score sparked a 9-0 burst by Seward and before the Grizzlies knew what hit them it was 29-12 Saints with under 5 minutes to go in the half. The Seward lead ballooned to as many as 19 before Butler got it back to 16 as the half hit with the Saints on top and in control of things 38-22.
Butler had cut the lead to 14 points in the first 3 minutes of the second half when Coach Bryan Zollinger called a timeout to stress his team to stay aggressive despite the sizeable lead. The message was well received. Ransom hit a three for the Saints out of the break to make it a 17 point game and Brice Jenkins hit a pair of free throws to push the lead back to 19. With news of Pratt leading Barton quickly spreading to the Butler folks, the Grizzlies, who with a Pratt win and a loss to the Saints would be eliminated from playoff contention, decided to give it one last go of things and got to within striking distance of the Saints, down just 12, 50-38 with 11:18 to go. An Avila hoop snapped the Saints slide and four Seward free throws had the green and white up 16 and it was a 17 point game in favor of the Saints with 7:23 left. The Seward lead hit 20 at the 6 minute mark and three minutes later it was Saints by 30, 74-44. With word of Hutchinsonís loss at Cloud County buzzing around the Greenhouse, the Seward faithful smelt the finish line and they got one last highlight reel play to put their hands together for as with 18 seconds left Biggs found Boardingham for an alley-oop dunk to send the crowd into a frenzy and put the finishing touches on the Saints 79-51 win to clinch the conference crown.
The Saints hit just 1 three pointer in the game but shot 49% from the field overall. Butler on the other hand shot a dismal 26% from the floor and had just one player with more than 8 points in the game. Boardingham led the Saints in scoring for the second straight game, putting up 17 points and grabbing 3 rebounds. Avila and Biggs each finished with 15 points while Avila also had 9 rebounds and 3 blocks and Biggs had 6 rebounds and 5 assists. Hollinger had 11 for Seward and Ransom scored 9.
The championship is the 7th in school history and marks the first time that a Seward County team has won the title in back to back seasons. The Saints are now 24-5 overall and 12-3 in Jayhawk West play. Saturday Seward travels to Hutchinson to take on the #19 Blue Dragons in the Sports Arena at 7:30. A win would end the Saints season with a full 2 game margin between themselves and 2nd place in the league for the second straight year as well.
#13 SEWARD COUNTY/BUTLER BOX SCORE