Donations support Big Brothers & Big Sisters of Seward, Haskell and Stevens Counties


October 24, 2006

LIBERAL-Kansas- This Saturday, October 28 at 6:30 p.m. will be the Saints Bookstore Basketball Benefit Night at the Green House, where the 2006-2007 Seward County Community College menís and womenís basketball programs will host a night of fun for children and adults of all ages. This year the benefit night will support Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Seward, Haskell and Stevens Counties. Admission is free, and all goodwill donations will be accepted at the door.

Each day this week there will be a preview for the Saints and Lady Saints in preparation for the start of basketball season. The following is an outline of preview topics that will be highlighted this week:

Wednesday: Jayhawk West Preview (Pre-Season Coaches Poll, what to look for in the Western Division)
Thursday: Non-Conference Schedule Preview (Pepsi, Wendyís, Pizza Hut Classics & Jayhawk Shootout)
Friday: Saints and Lady Saints Coaches (Dave Brown/Aaron Kallhoff & Toby Wynn/Kim Ortega-Davis)

- Big Brother/Big Sister matches are:
46 % less likely to start using drugs
27% less likely to start drinking alcohol
55% less likely to skip school
33% less likely to get into a violent confrontations
- To learn more go to

The Kansas Jayhawk Community College Conference is a predominant power in menís and womenís basketball. Last season, the Jayhawk West Conference showcased five womenís basketball programs that received NJCAA Top 20 national rankings during the regular season including Barton County C.C., Cloud County C.C., Colby C.C., Hutchinson C.C. and Seward County C.C. Even more notably since 2000, Johnson County (NJCAA D-II, 2000), Cloud County (2001) and Seward County (2002) have all won NJCAA National Championships.

In menís basketball the KJCCC has been the home for many NBA players before signing professional contracts or moving on to high-profile NCAA Division I basketball programs. In the history of the Jayhawk West Conference, there have been three programs that have won national championships and a total of 10 national titles have been won between the Western and Eastern divisions since 1953. Last season the menís western conference proved to have as much parity as the conference had ever seen in recent memory. Midway through last season, six teams were separated by less than two games. To prove the success that western division programs had last season, eight-of-nine programs won at least 17 games and all nine teams won at least 15 games.

The womenís pre-season poll this season shakes up the final regular season standings from last season. Cloud County is ranked No. 1 and returns four starting players, including 2006 Jayhawk West Conference Freshman of the Year, Stanecia Graham. Seward County returns two of the top players in the conference (Taushelle Rushing and Ilda Chambe) to earn a No. 2 pre-season ranking.

Defending Region VI Champion, Colby Lady Trojans, slip to the No. 3 pre-season spot, after graduating their top players from last season and only returning three players off last seasonís roster. Dodge City (No. 4) and Hutchinson (No. 5) each return players who will help them challenge in the West. Butler (No. 6) and Pratt (No. 7) are still programs that top teams like Seward, Cloud County and Colby will have to keep an eye on and Garden City (No. 8) has an uphill road to climb with a first-year head coach and no returning players with only eight players listed on their roster to start the season. Barton County, who returns three players with successful third year head coach, Lane Lord, who has an overall record of 50-18 at the helm of the Lady Cougars, will participate in conference competition but will not contend for the conference or regional title due to NJCAA probation.

The menís pre-season poll has 2006 co-champion, Dodge City Community College ranked No. 1. The Conquistadorís are led by returning sophomore, Charlie Coley, who was tabbed First Team All-Region VI as a freshman. Hutchinson (No. 2) receives a high ranking with first year head coach Ryan Swanson and returning 2006 Jayhawk West Freshman of the Year Nathan Brumfield. Swanson is no stranger to winning in the Jayhawk West Conference. Swanson led Garden City C.C. to a conference championship in 2004-2005, in his final season as the Broncbusters head coach.

Butler C.C. received the No. 3 ranking in the pre-season poll and has several newcomers listed as players-to-watch within the junior college ranks. Cloud County returns four players from last seasonís co-championship season, including 6-foot-10-inch Cassin Diggs, who is considered among the best big-men in the nation. The Saints are listed at No. 4, and will look to several newcomers along with key sophomores to put Seward County back into the elite of the Jayhawk West Conference, where they have been throughout the tenure of 11th year Head Coach Dave Brownís coaching career. Garden City (No. 5) will be guided by first-year head coach Kris Baumann, who takes the reigns after serving last year as an assistant for the Broncbusters. Baumann is the third head coach for Garden City in the last three seasons. The bottom half of the pre-season poll has Pratt at No. 7. The Beavers are just one-year removed from entering the season as the defending Region VI Champions. Following at No. 8 is Colby C.C., who returns the tallest player in the Region VI (7-foot-1-inch Jorge Canedo). Finishing out the poll is Barton County C.C. at No. 9. The Cougars are coming off two consecutive seasons where they have been ineligible for post-season play, but will be able to contend for a KJCCC title in 2006-2007.

Come be a part of the Saints Bookstore Basketball Benefit Night on Saturday, October 28 at 6:30 p.m. at the Green House. Help support Big Brothers Big Sisters and Lady Saints Basketball on Saturday night!