By EARL WATT
• Leader & Times
Hutchinson may have a two-game lead in the Jayhawk West, but Seward’s performance against Cloud Monday indicated that the Lady Saints were not ready to concede the title.
Seward’s defense dominated the Lady Thunderbirds, holding Cloud to 29 percent shooting and forcing 28 turnovers to life the Lady Saints to a 54-47 win.
Cloud slipped out of sole possession of second place, and the Lady Saints moved in to a tie with Garden City.
Seward broke a 13-13 tie midway through the first half with a 9-0 run that included two three pointers, one from Bridget Crandall and another from Fabiana Monte.
Cloud clawed its way back and narrowed Seward’s lead to two early in the second half, but two more threes from Madison McLain and Kelsey Blair gave the Lady Saints a 31-23 lead.
Cloud was able to cut the lead to three with 5:50 to play, but the Lad Saints finished on a 10-6 run for the win.
“Defensively we played really well,” Seward coach Toby Wynn said. “We were switching up from man to zone to press and kept them off balance, kept them from getting any rhythm all night long.”
Seward (18-7, 9-3) will travel to Dodge City (9-17, 3-9) and will return to the Green House Feb. 20 to host Garden City (23-3, 9-3).