By JEREMIAH WILSON
• Leader & Times
Fabiana Monte bailed the Lady Saints out Friday night in the Greenhouse, hitting a runner with 3.8 seconds left to give Seward an 87-86 win over the 5-6 McLennan Highlassies in the Pizza Hut Classic, and keep the Lady Saints perfect season alive.
It was an offensive shootout early on as Seward took a 21-19 lead midway through the first half. A 10-2 McLennan run gave the Highlassies their first lead since the opening minutes, but the Lady Saints fought back and took a 49-46 lead into halftime.
It was McLennan winning the battle to start the second half, and a Seward squad playing with just seven players looked like they might be out of gas against a Highlassie team who went 13 deep with ease.
McLennan jumped out in front by seven, six-and-a-half minutes into the second half.
But the Lady Saints once again showed their grit, fighting back to take the lead once again. With just under seven minutes to go it was a one point game, 71-70.
The game went back and forth down the stretch..
A Seward timeout with under 10 seconds to go gave them a chance to design a play. With the ball in her hands, Monte drove through the Highlassie defense and put up a runner with time winding down, rimming in a shot with 3.8 seconds left on the clock to give Seward an 87-86 lead.
McLennan lost the ball on the inbounds, and the Greenhouse crowd went crazy as the Lady Saints won it 87-86.
Seward shot 40 percent to McLennan’s 41 percent in the win, but the game was won at the line where the Lady Saints outscored the Highlassies 30-11 on the night.
Seward outrebounded the McLennan 58-42, and had 18 second chance opportunities.
Kyndal Davis led the Lady Saints with 20 points off the Seward bench while Shanise Brooks and Monte each had 15 points. Brooks posted a double-double with 12 rebounds while Monte tied a career high with 8 rebounds of her own. Korina Chapman also had a double-double, scoring 14 points and grabbing 11 boards.
After jumping to No. 7 in the latest NJCAA rankings, the Lady Saints improve to 10-0 with the win, and remain one of just eight unbeatens left in Division I.
McLennan loses their seventh straight, and second straight one point contest as they fall to 5-7 on the year.
The Lady Saints took on Labette Saturday night, while McLennan battled high flying Dodge City. Dodge City defeated Labette 99-63 in the early game Friday.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Roy Allen contirbuted to this report.