By EARL WATT
• Leader & Times
When the Lady Saints begin the Region 6 tournament later this season, they may look back at their trip to San Diego as a guide.
Seward will play three games in three days and started with a dominating 91-44 win over MiraCosta Friday.
“The biggest thing is this gives us an opportunity to be like a region tournament,” Seward coach Toby Wynn said. “You have to win three games in four days to win the region. We try to approach it the same. We got through the first one, we now have two tough games. This gives us an opportunity to go through that — the first one you get through, second you hope you are alright, then make it through the third one on adrenaline.”
The Lady Saints hadn’t faced an opponent since Dec. 7, but there was little rust.
The Lady Saints continued where they left off, pushing the ball inside to Shanise Brooks and Korina Chapman, and that opened up opportunities for Kyndal Davis and a welcome outside shot from Fabiana Monte.
The Lady Saints jumped out early and turned Lady Spartan turnovers into transition buckets.
By halftime, the Lady Saints had a 46-19 lead.
MiraCosta’s only bright spot came from Brogan Griffin who already had 16 points four minutes into the second half before injuring her ankle and missing the rest of the game.
Seward’s defense didn’t give up a point over the next five minutes, and the Lady Saints extended their advantage to 72-31.
Seward coasted to the 91-44 win. The defense forced 34 MiraCosta turnovers, and the Lady Saints shot a blistering 55 percent from the floor.
“It was good to get back on the court,” Wynn said. “We have our team back together. We have not worked out since (Dec.) 13. We were sharing the ball and playing together the way we have, it was encouraging to do that.”
MiraCosta fell to 0-7 while the Lady Saints remained perfect at 12-0.
Saturday’s opponent, however, will be a tougher challenge.
Eastern Arizona advanced to face the Lady Saints. The Lady Gila Monsters are 10-3 with wins over common opponents South Plains and New Mexico Junior College.
“They are one of the best programs in Arizona,” Wynn said. “They played (No. 10) Central Arizona to three.”
After that, Seward will face either No. 21 Arizona Western (9-4) or Eastern Utah (6-8).
To protect their unblemished record, Wynn said they will have to maintain the focus they had against MiraCosta.
“We got off to a pretty good start,” Wynn said. “We jumped out early and did a good job of getting the ball inside. We executed set plays and got transition buckets from Kendall Davis and Alana Simon. Fabiana hit some threes. It was 75 degrees, but it felt like 95 in that gym. We tried to keep everyone fresh in second half.”
All eight Lady Saints scored.
Davis led the Lady Saints with 20. Monte scored 17 including three threes, Chapman had 12, Simon scored 11, and Brooks added 10.
Saturday morning was the only chance for the Lady Saints to have some free time, and the team headed for the beach, but only for a brief time. The shoot around began at noon.
“We try to have a good balance of having some fun and trying to have a serious approach,” Wynn said. “Tomorrow morning is the only chance to have free time, so it is scary as a coach to let them have the morning, go to the beach, then shoot around at noon. You hope your group is mature enough to know we have a good opponent coming up, and we are trying to prepare for the conference. Hopefully the sand and 75 degrees doesn’t play into it that much.”