The Seward County Lady Saints showed exactly why the Jayhawk West coaches picked them as the top team in the league this season on opening weekend in the Greenhouse as they blew out Oklahoma Baptist on Friday 120-59, just to back that up with another sizeable win 88-61 over Brown Mackie to start the season 2-0.

In their opener on Friday night, the Lady Saints took on Oklahoma Baptist JV, in what was more less expected to be a warm-up game for more of a test Saturday night against Brown Mackie. After struggling much of the preseason on the offensive end, the Lady Saints showed no signs of trouble against the Lady Bison, quickly taking a 7-0 lead just two minutes into the contest and adding to their advantage with 11 straight points moments later to make it an 18-5 game just over five minutes in. Seward’s pressure defense continued to give Oklahoma Baptist troubles and led to quick strike opportunities on the offensive end. A three pointer from Jaleasa Jones started a quick 9-0 burst that included a pair of baskets from Avery Burns and the hot shooting Lady Saints continued to build on their lead to 36-14 after a three pointer from Madison McLain moments later. The Lady Saints never let up and scored the final six points of the half before taking a commanding 62-35 lead into the break on an impressive 51% shooting as a team.
Seward’s offense continued to sizzle in the second half as Kelsey Blair started heating up from the outside. The sophomore guard scored seven straight points for the Lady Saints on three straight buckets and helped the Lady Saints open the lead up to their largest of the game at 73-37 after a 11-2 run to start the second half. With the offense clicking on all cylinders, the question wasn’t if the Lady Saints were going to hit the 100 point mark, but when. Seward did so with 8:50 remaining in the half when Burns connected on a pair of free throws and after two more makes from the charity stripe by Sheree Ryan it was 102-51 in favor of the gals in green. Even with their starters resting for the final nine minutes of the contest, the Lady Saints stayed strong down the stretch, continuing to play smothering defense while executing their offense to a t before dribbling the ball out at the end to win 120-59.
The Lady Saints finished the game shooting 52% from the field in the win and connected on 12 three pointers to help their cause in the blowout. Seven players reached double figures in the victory and all 10 Lady Saints dressed for the game found their way into the scoring column. Kelsey Blair led the way with 20 points and 6 steals while Ricquia Jones dropped in 18 points to go along with 8 steals and 7 assists and Jaleasa Jones finished with 17 points and 7 rebounds. Anete Kirsteine and Madison McLain each scored 16 and Avery Burns and Fabiana Monte finished with 13 and 10 respectively. The Lady Saints forced 38 Oklahoma Baptist turnovers and held the Lady Bison to just 38% shooting in the game.
The competition ramped up a bit for the Lady Saints on night two of the classic as they took on a talented Brown Mackie team that won 20 games a season ago. Once again in front of their home crowd, the Lady Saints got off to a good start, this time thanks to their defense that held the Lions without a field goal until the 13:22 mark of the first half. While rather slow compared to their opening night win themselves, Seward still managed to take a 20-12 lead into the midway point of the half after a three pointer by Blair from the right wing. The Lady Saints continued to force Brown Mackie into tough scoring opportunities to stay on top and Ricquia Jones and Jaleasa Jones paced the Seward offense, combining for 14 points in the final eight minutes of the half to give the Lady Saints a 36-19 lead at the halftime intermission. Seward shot just 40% in the first 20 minutes, but held the Lions to just 6 field goals and 21% in the half to hold the 17 point lead.
Seward got cooking offensively to start the second half as R. Jones connected on a pair of three pointers to put the Lady Saints ahead 42-19. Three more baskets on the Seward end put the Lady Saints on top 51-27 to give them their largest lead of the game to that point. Brown Mackie closed the gap to 18, but a quick 5-0 run by Seward pushed the game back out of reach and the Lady Saints continued to have no problem scoring the basketball down the stretch as six different players scored Seward’s final six field goals of the half as they stretch their lead to 27 as the game came to a close to win 88-61.
The Lady Saints scored 52 points and shot 49% in the second half, leading them to the win over the Lions. They held Brown Mackie to under 30% shooting in the game and forced 25 turnovers. Ricquia Jones led Seward with a career high 22 points and a career high 8 rebounds in the win while Blair and Kirsteine added 10 points and 7 rebounds apiece and Jaleasa Jones scored 10 and had 3 rebounds.
Seward opens up the season 2-0 for the 17th straight season with the two victories. They will face their busiest week of the non-conference schedule this week as they go to sunny Arizona on Thursday for the first of three games in three days. Thursday Seward will battle against Scottsdale, Friday they will take on Glendale, and Saturday the Lady Saints will finish their trip against Mesa. Their next home game will be on November 16th when they welcome South Plains to the Greenhouse for the Billy’s/Days Inn Classic.