By ROY ALLEN
SCCC Sports Information
The first half of both the Seward County/Dodge City Women's and Men's games Sunday afternoon in the Civic Center in Dodge City were less than appeasing to fans of the Lady Saints and Saints. The difference was, the Lady Saints would play a record setting second half while the Saints would not fare a whole lot better in their final 20 minutes.
The Lady Saints would go on to beat the hapless Lady Conqs 73-21 while the Saints would fall 93-75 in their first attempt to wrap up the conference crown.
The Lady Saints and Lady Conqs would play one of the uglier halves of basketball that you will ever see. After the first 20 minutes Seward would hold a 29-14 advantage while the Lady Saints shot 40 percent to the Lady Conqs 20 percent. Seward would finish with 10 field goals and 12 turnovers while Dodge City would manage to find the hole just four times while kicking it to the Lady Saints 14 times.
The second half however would be nothing short of spectacular, in a good way for Seward and in a bad way for Dodge. The Lady Saints would cruise as they continued to pile it on the Lady Conqs but the inability for Dodge City to score would be the story.
With Seward's defense playing as well and with as much energy as it has all year, the Lady Conqs would manage just two field goals on 32 second half attempts. They would finish the period with just 7 points on that 6 percent shooting effort meaning that they would finish the game with just 21 on the scoreboard.
The 21 points mark the lowest scoring effort by any Seward County opponent in school history, six fewer than when they held Hutchinson to 27 in 2007. Seward would win the game 73-21 as they outscored the Lady Conqs 44-7 in the second half.
Seward was hot in the second half, shooting 53 percent from the floor and finishing the game at 48 percent. Dodge on the other hand would finish the game 6-for-52 shooting, good for a whopping 12 percent.
Ashlynn Knoll would lead the Lady Saints in scoring with 14 points and would also have a team high eight rebounds while Mariah Lee would finish with 12 points and five rebounds. Morgan Skomal, Hannah Rotolo, Mattie Yanke, and Kayla Thomas would score nine points apiece while Thomas would add seven assists without a turnover and Rotolo five helpers in the game. Hanna Bognar would score just four points but would rack up eight rebounds and seven blocked shots while owning the paint for the Lady Saints.
Seward improves to 18-10 overall on the season and 8-6 in Jayhawk West Conference play after their season sweep of the last place Lady Conqs. The Lady Saints will play their final home game of the season Wednesday night in the Greenhouse when they will celebrate sophomores Morgan Skomal and Hannah Rotolo's final game in Liberal with Sophomore Recognition Night.
• After watching Garden City fall to Cloud County Saturday night in the Perryman Center, the Saints had a clear path to the Jayhawk West Conference crown. It was simple, they win Sunday against Dodge City and the title was all theirs. However, with three Big 12, two Big East, and a number of other Division one Head Coaches on hand, the Saints would come out flat and it would cost them.
Dodge City, which is battling in the middle of the pack for a home playoff game, would jump out to a 30-10 lead early in the first half and would stretch it to 50-26 before taking a 52-32 lead into the halftime break.
The Saints settled for 13 three pointers in the period and would shoot just 39 percent while Dodge City would take the opposite approach, moving the ball and getting shot after shot in the paint to finish shooting 58 percent in the first 20 minutes.
The Saints would amp up their intensity as the second half began and would posession by posession cut into the Conqs lead and would have it to just 10, four minutes into the half. Dodge City would regain their footing midway through the half and a fourth foul on both Daveon Boardingham and Marky Nolen would put the Saints in trouble on the inside.
Seward would get the lead down to just five at one point in time but that is when Holcomb native Jordan Wilcox would take over. The lefty would bury a pair of three's and a layup on a backdoor cut to score eight straight points and agian put the Dodge City lead to double digits. Seward would never recover as things would get a bit sloppy late before the Conqs went on to win the game 93-75.
With the likes of Frank Martin, Bob Huggins, Jeff Caple, and Travis Ford on hand to watch his talents, the Saints Jeremy Jones would score 17 second half points and finish with a game high 25 in the loss.
Rafriel Guthrie would get to the free throw line 11 times where he would knock down seven and finish with 16 points to go along with his five steals while Marquez Patterson and Daveon Boardingham would both finish with 10. Much of the 18 point loss can be placed on the slow start and lack of intensity on defense but Dodge City also had the game of the season on Sunday afternoon as they finished the game shooting 54 percent from the field 67 percent from the three point line, and 75 percent from the foul line. Dodge would dominate the boards as they held a 47-30 advantage on the glass at the end of the night while Wilcox would score 20 points, all in the second half and Dodge forward Tyshon Pickett would have a career game with 22 points and 16 rebounds.
The Saints lose their third game in their last four trips to the court and fall to 22-6 overall and 10-4 in conference play. Thankfully the Saints hot play in December and January put them far enough ahead that they still hold a two game lead in the conference standings.
They will hit the hardwood for the final time at home during the regular season on Wednesday against Garden City when they will celebrate Sophomore Recognition Night as four Saints play their final Jayhawk West game in the Greenhouse.
Free tickets will be available courtesy of our buyout sponsor Sharp, McQueen PA throughout the next three days.