For only the fourth time this season, the Seward County Community College men’s basketball team scored over 100 points as they dismantled Labette Community College 101-59, on Wednesday night in the First Round of the Region VI Tournament played at the Green House in Liberal. Seven Saints scored in double figures as they have now won 13 of their last 14 games overall. SCCC used a 46-33 rebounding advantage, and forced 26 turnovers to help lead them to the program’s third first-round Region VI victory in the last four seasons. Seward improves to 26-5 overall this season, and tournament No. 15 seed Labette ends its campaign with a 5-26 overall record.

The Jayhawk West champion Saints have advanced to the quarterfinals of the NJCAA D-I Region VI Tournament on Sunday, March 9, at 7 p.m. to take on Garden City Community College for an unprecedented fourth time this season. The No. 10 seeded Broncbusters pulled off the only tournament upset in the first round defeating No. 7 seed Neosho County C.C., 79-69, in Chanute, Kan.

The No. 2 seeded Saints started off slow with the score tied, 11-11, after the opening six minutes of play. Seward then added three straight lay-ups and back-to-back 3-pointers from freshman Reggie Chamberlain and Nick Burns to go on a 12-2 run, giving the Saints a 23-13 lead.

Burns scored a game-high 19 points with five rebounds, three assists and two steals. The Saints grabbed a 47-29 lead at halftime after shooting 53 percent from the field, 6-of-15 from long range and forcing 16 Cardinal turnovers.

The Saints never looked back in the second half leading by as many as 43 points (96-53) following sophomore Donald Dixon’s 3-pointer with 3:09 left to play. Dixon, a sophomore transfer from Pratt C.C., scored 13 points off the bench for the Saints. Dixon also recorded a season-high six free throws, and equaled season-highs with seven assists and five steals.

Sophomore post Darko Cohadarevic added his seventh double-double of the season with 14 points and a game-high 12 rebounds. Also scoring in double figures for the Saints were Chamberlain (11 points, five assists), Ervin Williams (11 points), Bruno Mendes (10 points, five rebounds, four assists) and Bryson Hampton (11 points, four rebounds).

Labette became the Saints’ third opponent in the last four games to be held to under 60 total points. The Cardinals shot just 37 percent from the field and were limited to a dismal 3-of-12 shooting performance from behind the 3-point arc.

The Saints entered the contest as the eighth-best free throw shooting team in the nation and lived up to expectations hitting 21-of-28 from the foul stripe (.750).

Labette was led by Mekaile Reed (14 points, six rebounds, six turnovers), Terry Dawson (12 points) and Andrija Tintor (11 points, seven rebounds). Sophomore guard Ismar Neto also scored in double figures (10 points), but did so on just 2-of-15 shooting from the field.

FIRST-ROUND REGION VI TOURNAMENT SCORES:
(1) Cowley defeated (16) Butler – 78-44 (@ Arkansas City)
(8) Barton County defeated (9) Allen County – 89-84 O.T. (@ Great Bend)
(5) Coffeyville defeated (12) Dodge City – 79-65 (@ Coffeyville)
(4) Hutchinson defeated (13) Fort Scott – 85-61 – Tuesday – (@ Hutchinson)

(3) Independence defeated (14) Pratt – 98-53 (@ Independence)
(6) Cloud County defeated (11) Kansas City, KS – 60-51 (@ Concordia)
(10) Garden City defeated (7) Neosho County – 79-69 (@ Chanute)
(2) Seward County defeated (15) Labette – 101-59 (@ Liberal)