By EARL WATT
• Leader & Times
On paper, Garden City entered Saturday’s Jayhawk West opener against Seward as the favorite.
Good thing for the Saints the game is played on the hardwood and not on reputation.
Despite a slow start to the season, Seward traveled to Garden City and earned a 75-69 win.
The win was Seward’s seventh straight victory after a 4-6 start. The loss sapped an 11-game winning streak for Garden City.
Seward took advantage of the three-point line hitting five of nine from beyond the arc including three of four from Malcolm Hill-Bey. The Broncbusters only made two of nine from long range.
Garden City had a 19-15 lead midway through the first half before Hill-Bey heated up to start a 25-15 run to end the half with a 40-34 Seward lead.
Seward was able to overcome a slow shooting half by outscoring Garden 17-7 at the free throw line in the first half. Garden would win the free throw battle in the second half with a 20-13 advantage.
Garden took a 51-50 lead after a technical foul was called on Seward coach Bryan Zollinger, but moments later the Saints tied the game, 53-53 and then went on a 5-0 run with 9:11 to play.
Seward’s largest lead came with two minutes to ge when the Saints had a 66-58 advantage.
But the broncobusters cut it to three with a minute to play, 71-68. Seward missed a shot but Secan Johnson collected the rebound and put up a shot to give the Saints a 73-68 lead.
Seward used the free throw line to secure the 75-69 win.
Hill-Bey led the Saints with 24 points. Johnson added 20, and Quentin Purtue scored 11.
Seward (11-6, 1-0) will travel to Colby (9-8, 0-1) Wednesday and will return to the Greenhouse Saturday to host Hutchinson (15-2, 1-0).
EDITOR’S NOTE — Roy Allen contributed to this report.
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