By SHAWN YORKS
• Leader & Times
The 64-46 final score of the Seward County Lady Saints’ victory over Colby on Wednesday night is deceptive. The ladies might have won by 18, but they were up by just two points with four minutes left in the game.
That’s when Kayla Thomas took over. Thomas stole the ball out of a Colby player’s hands and took it coast-to-coast for a layup to give Seward (12-5 overall, 2-1 Jayhawk West) a 46-42 lead and spark a 13-2 run that put the game out of reach.
Thomas, Mariah Lee and Ashlynn Knoll found their scoring legs during the run. After Thomnas hit two free throws to make it 59-46, Mattie Yanke nailed a 3-pointer with 45 seconds left to put an exclamation point on the win.
Up to that point, it was a sluggish game for both teams.
With one of Seward’s leading players — Hannah Rotolo — out with a concussion, Seward struggled in the first half and much of the second half.
Colby opened with a 4-0 lead, Autumn Miller scored Seward’s first basket at the 17 minute mark, and after Colby went up 5-2, the Lady Saints got in gear. Miller and Morgan Skomal cut it to 7-6 and Kelsey Willson gave Seward its first lead at 8-7. Wilson extended it to 10-7, but Colby (6-11, 1-2) regrouped for a 13-11 lead.
Four straight Lee free throws gave Seward a 15-13 advantage, but Colby took a 27-26 halftime lead, ending the half on a 7-0 run. After Miller put Seward up 26-20, Two baskets and a steal by Colby led to a monster trey by Tayler Puttergill to put the Lady Trojans in the lead.
Skomal, Knoll and Hanna Bogner helped Seward keep pace in the second half before the Lady Saints went on their late run.
Lee and Thomas led Seward with 14 points each, Knoll added 11, Skomal 9, Miller and Willson 5 each, Yanke 4 and Bognar 2. Skomal and Knoll each had 9 rebounds for the Lady Saints, who shot just 30 percent for the game, 24 percent in the first half.
Seward hosts Pratt on Saturday.
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