By ROY ALLEN
Seward assistant athletic director
PRATT — The Seward County Lady Saints started February in style Saturday night in the Beaverdome in Pratt, knocking off the Beavers 90-68 to finish the first half of Jayhawk West Conference play 6-1 and comfortably in second place.
Pratt jumped out to the early lead on their home floor, but it didn’t take long for the Lady Saints to get going as a pair of Fabiana Monte free throws gave Seward an 8-5 lead and two straight steals and subsequent layups from Alana Simon stretched their lead to 12-5 four minutes into the game.
Seward continued to have their way on the offensive end of the floor, and Kyndal Davis used a baseline drive to score and keep the Lady Saints ahead by seven, 16-9, after a three-minute scoreless stretch for both sides. After the drought, both sides heated up, getting up and down the court and scoring with ease as Seward pushed their lead to 26-16 with just under 9:00 to go in the first half.
A well executed screen-and-roll from Brianna Scott to Shanise Brooks increased the Lady Saints lead to 33-20 as the clock neared 5:00 to go in the half. Pratt’s turnover numbers continued to mount, and the Lady Saints continued to take advantage, going up 37-20 and then 43-27 later as Scott got another steal and score with 2:14 to go.
Just before the halftime break, Scott took her production to the outside, drilling a three from the top of the key to send Seward to the break up 48-27.
Scott led Seward with 12 first half points while Brooks had nine and Monte added eight. The Lady Saints forced 15 first half Pratt turnovers, picking up 14 steals including four from Scott and three from Simon.
Pratt cut into the Seward lead early in the second half, but the Lady Saints quickly responded by taking their largest lead of the game after a three-point play from Simon to put Seward in front 56-34 with under 17:00 to go.
Seward made it a 25-point game two minutes later, but Pratt chipped away and made it a 68-49 game at the second half media timeout.
The Lady Beavers got it down to 15 before Rebekah Hatchard found Korina Chapman down low to make it a 78-61 game, and it was just about the nail in the coffin for Pratt as they never got close again as the Lady Saints finished Pratt off 90-86 for their fourth straight win.
Seward shot 47 percent from the field and were good from the free throw line at 83 percent while the Lady Beavers shot 39 percent from the field in the loss.
Scott led Seward with 19 points and five steals, her best scoring output since November. Brooks finished with 18 points and six rebounds for the Lady Saints while Monte cracked double digits with 12 and Davis added 11 off the bench.
The Lady Saints move to 21-2 overall and 6-1 in conference play.
Pratt falls to 15-8 overall and 2-5 in Jayhawk West play.
Seward returns home on Wednesday to host Colby in the Greenhouse for a 6 p.m. tip. Free tickets are available courtesy of buyout sponsor Holiday Inn with tickets available at their Liberal location as well as at the North Hutch’s.