By Rustin Watt
WICHITA — Despite being in Charles Koch Arena at Wichita State University, an all familiar clap was heard in unison with fans in green standing as the final minute of play ticked away in Seward’s second-round matchup with Coffeyville.
A battle in the first half left Seward with a 35-33 lead as they headed into the locker room. The second half Seward needed a spark, and Kendra Spresser provided.
Only eight minutes into the second half, Spresser went on a 10-point shooting spree to help put Seward up 54-41. From there the Lady Saints were able to maintain and come away with an 80-69 win.
“I knew we had to find a way to win,” Spresser said. “And I knew the only way to do that was to be aggressive.”
Seward met with the Lady Ravens earlier this season and came out with a 61-43 win. This time Seward had to play a complete 40 minutes.
That 54-41 lead built up a cushion that the Lady Raven’s nearly deflated edging to within three points, 67-64, with just under three minutes to play.
“I think we came out sluggish,” Spresser said. “We didn’t expect it to be as tight.”
From there the Lady Ravens were only able to sink one free throw as the Lady Saints again distanced themselves aided by a Megan Lassley drive to the hoop and Rachel Barnes doing what Barnes does.
Barnes led the Lady Saints with another double-double scoring 27 points along with 12 rebounds. Kendra Spresser scored 16 and was 4-8 from three-point range. Megan Lassley was also money from behind the arch hitting four of her own on her way to an 18-point outing.
Barnes played the last three minutes of the game with four fouls, post Nadia Rosario also was in foul trouble, but both continued to contribute with four fouls.
“In those situations,” Wynn said. “We want our players to continue playing the way we want them to, not let up.”
The Lady Saints will move on to the regional semi-final which will be played at 3 p.m. Sunday afternoon in Charles Koch Arena. The Lady Saints will take on Cowley who defeated Garden City 54-46 prior to Seward’s matchup with Coffeyville.
“We want to be who we are,” Lady Saints head coach Toby Wynn said. “We want to do what we do, focus on ourselves and do what we can the way we know we can.”
The Lady Saints will rest Saturday, as the Saints will play Cowley at 5 p.m. in their second round of regional play.