Saints work overtime to knock off Conquistadors Print
Monday, 26 January 2009 23:33

Marcus James takes a shot in the lane late in the second half Sunday  
at the Dodge City Civic Center. Seward won in overtime, 70-67.

• Daily Leader

DODGE CITY — For this years edition of Seward County Saints, 40  
minutes of basketball just isn’t enough.
The Saints have gone to overtime five times this season, three of  
those in Jayhawk West competition.
The latest was against Dodge City Saturday, and it was the first  
overtime win in the conference, 70-67.
Seward had a seven-point lead with  five minutes to play, but the  
Conqs rallied.
The game was tied 61-61 with 33.9 seconds to play when Thijin Moses  
took a shot and missed. But Marcus James tipped in the rebound to  
give the Saints a 63-61 lead.
Dodge City’s Cory Perkins hit a late basket to send the game to  
The game stayed tight throughout the extra period, and Marquez  
Patterson gave the Saints a 68-67 lead with 1:59 to play on a free  
With less than 20 seconds to play, Patterson attempted a drive to the  
basket and made contact with a Dodge City defender. No foul was  
called, and the Conqs rebounded the ball and headed down for what  
could have been a game-winning shot.
But the Saints intercepted a pass and lobbed the ball ahead to James  
who was intentionally fouled with a tenth of a second left on the  
clock. He made both free throws, and the Saints earned the 70-67 win.
“We’ve been asking guys to step up and play harder, and marcus has  
taken that challenge.” Seward coach Bryan Zollinger said. “We need  
more people to follow his example. We need to play with more tenacity.”
While Seward chalked up the win, Zollinger indicated that some  
defensive statistics have not been trending the way he would like to  
see them.
“We are giving up 18 out of 19 teams in points allowed,” he said.   
“three-point shooting against us, rebounding margin, a lot of  
defensive statistical categories we led the country in  a year ago we  
are at the bottom of Kansas now. That comes down to toughness.”
Seward exhibited more toughness in the second half Sunday and was  
able to cut Dodge City’s shooting percentage from 57 percent in the  
first half to  44 percent in the second. The Saints won and only shot  
38 percent for the game.
“We hit some key baskets and got a little more aggressive defensively  
in the second half,” Zollinger said. “We forced 17 turnovers. It  
boils down to toughness.”
James led the Saints with 29 points and 14 rebounds, Moses had 18,  
and Patterson scored 10.
Dodge City had one major threat, Rodney Clinkscales, who scored 27  
points including six three-pointers. But Zollinger’s defensive  
strategy protected against a strong second scorer.
“You try to be aware of where good scorers are, but there are times  
when good shooters get loose for shots,” he said. “One guy can’t beat  
you. One guy might get 30-35, but we win the game. Clinkscales got  
his, but as long as you don’t let another guy have a career day,  
you’ll be OK.”
Seward is 3-2 in overtime games following the victory over Dodge  
City, the third extended affair in the Jayhawk West.
“I think it’s a great chance to learn,” Zollinger said. “We’ve made  
some mistakes in other games. We had three possessions against Barton  
and Cloud and had a chance to win the game and didn’t get a shot off.  
Tonight we did get the shot off. So that’s progress.”
Seward is currently fourth in the Jayhawk West, two games behind  
league-leading Barton County (18-2, 5-1). The Saints (16-2, 3-3) will  
travel to Garden City to face the Broncbusters (13-7, 3-3) Wednesday.