By EARL WATT
• Leader & Times
Most coaches would take a 21-point win and be satisfied.
Not Toby Wynn.
The coach of the No. 14 Lady Saints wanted more from his Lady Saints despite a 71-50 drubbing of Frank Phillips Saturday at the Green house.
“I was disappointed in our focus,” Wynn said. “We talked about it Friday night and at the shoot-around — be focused and ready right away.”
Instead, the Lady Saints starting five were confused on the opening tip when Seward won the tip but it landed in the hands of Lady Plainsmen’s LaChrista Nash near Frank Phillips own goal. Seward didn’t rush back to defend, and Wynn made a wholesale substitution nine seconds into the game.
The starters saw limited playing time the first half.
Ashlynn Knoll, who signed with K-State and had back-to-back double digit games, only scored eight points in 14 minutes.
“In college basketball you can’t just show up,” Wynn said. “You have to prepare and you have to play. You can’t under-estimate anyone.”
With the second five on the court, the Lady Saints built a 12-point lead including three pointers from Charmaine Burns and Payton Fleming and a strong defensive effort that limited the Lady Plainsmen to three points, all free throws.
With 10:10 to play in the first half, Wynn put his starters back in but after only one basket by Knoll he pulled the entire group back out less than two minutes later.
“I was proud of our five subs,” Wynn said. “They brought some energy and got us going.”
Frank Philips went on a run that cut Seward’s lead to two with 6:38 to play in the half, 19-17 and had the game to one point, 25-24 with 2:40 to play before the break.
Knoll scored two baskets before the end of the half and Kinjita Kelley hit a shot for the Lady Plainsmen.
Seward used a three-point shot early in the second half from Anete Kirsteine to spark a 12-4 run that ended with another three from Mattie Yanke that extended Seward’s lead to 41-30.
Mariah Lee began to exert herself in the lane and scored the next four points for the Saints. Fleming then hit five unanswered points including a three to give the Lady Saints a 50-34 lead.
Kirsteine added some mid-range jumpshots in the final 10 minutes and hit two deep three-pointers along with a torrid finish from Lee and Fleming.
The Lady Plainsmen struggled from the free throw line in the second half, only making one of seven attempts, and the Lady Saints breezed to the 71-50 win.
Lee led the Lady Saints with a double-double, scoring 15 points and 10 rebounds. Kirsteine scored 13, and Fleming had a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
Yanke just missed a double-double with 10 points and nine rebounds.
The surprise was the struggle from Knoll who shot four for 11.
“She missed four or five easy shots,” Wynn said. “We expect her to make those plays and she expects to make those plays.”
Seward(7-0) travels to Garden City Friday to play No. 10 Independence and Saturday will face No. 13 New Mexico Junior College.
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