By EARL WATT
• Leader & Times
If anyone can understand the cost of injuries as well as Seward’s coach Toby Wynn it might be Cloud coach Brett Erkenbrack.
Wynn has played an entire season with a shortened bench due to preseason injuries, and Erkenbrack watched his two top scorers writhe in pain on the floor of the Greenhouse Wednesday. The Lady Saints took advantage and walked away with a key 80-66 win over Cloud, one of the perennial powerhouses in the Jayhawk West.
Cloud started on fire from the outside, connecting on three long-range three-pointers to jump out to a 9-2 lead.
Korina Chapman hit a basket to spark a 7-0 Seward run that included a Fabiana Monte three that gave the No. 9 Lady Saints an 11-9 lead.
Cloud took a three-point lead with 7:07 remaining in the half, but the Lady Saints responded with another Monte three to tie.
Shanise Brooks added a basket and hit a free throw when she was fouled on the play to put Seward ahead 23-20.
The lead changed hands two more times before half when the Lady Saints took a 39-35 advantage.
Post Jordan Alexander twisted her ankle in the first half, which affected Cloud’s inside game.
Early in the second half, Courtney Fisher injured her knee and did not return.
The Lady Saints were able to build a lead as high as eight after a Briana Scott three with 13:44 to play.
Cloud reduced the lead to two after back-to-back threes by Raneisha Duncan and Alyssa Steppe, but Seward responded with a 6-0 run with two baskets from Kyndal Davis and another from Alana Simon to give Seward a 63-55 lead.
Monte took over for the next three minutes, scoring 10 points and pushing Seward’s lead to 73-59.
Cloud never made a serious run in the final five minutes, and the Lady Saints earned the 80-66 win.
Monte led the Lady Saints for the second straight game with 21 points. Simon scored 19, Scott had 11, and Davis scored 10.
Brooks led all rebounders with 10.
Seward (20-2, 5-1), will travel to Pratt (15-7, 2-4) Saturday and will return to the Greenhouse Wednesday to host Colby (2-20, 0-6).