By EARL WATT
• Daily Leader
Not only did the Lady Saints remain perfect Saturday night in Jayhawk West action by knocking off Butler, 86-73, but they also picked up another game in their conference lead when Hutchinson defeated Cloud County, giving the Lady Saints a two-game lead at the midpoint of the conference season.
No. 10 Seward is 8-0 in the Jayhawk West while three to her teams are tied at 6-2 (No. 15 Cloud, No. 22 Hutchinson and Garden City).
Seward held the Lady Grizzlies to 46 percent shooting Saturday while hitting 50 percent of their own shots.
The Lady Saints were also able to protect their lead at the free throw line, hitting 72 percent (18 of 25 attempts).
Rachel Barnes was the go-to players for the Lady Saints, scoring 27 points in the win.
The Lady Saints will get little time to enjoy the first-half sweep. Seward will travel to Hutchinson today to face the Lady Blue Dragons who upset the Lady Thunderbirds Saturday.
If Hutchinson wants to stay alive in the Jayhawk West race, the Lady Blue Dragons will have to defeat the Lady Saints.
If Seward pulls out the win in the Arena, Seward will have a three-game lead on Hutchinson with a favorable home schedule down the stretch.
The Lady Saints will play five of the remaining seven conference games in the Green House.
The Lady Saints have a chance to move up in the polls with a win tonight. Ranked No. 10, losses last week by No. 9 Northern Oklahoma and No. 5 Salt Lake could move the Lady Saints higher.
So far in conference play, the Lady Saints defense has led the way. Seward has only given up an average of 54 points per game. In that same eight-game stretch, the Lady Saints have scored an average of 77 points per game for an average margin of victory of 23 points.
Tipoff is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. The game will be broadcast live locally on KSCB AM 1270.