Saints back on track with 96-80 win PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 12 January 2009 16:30


Daily Leader composite photo/Earl Watt
In this time release photo, Marcus James takes a free throw shot with
the arc of the ball in view. James shot six of eight from the free
throw line Saturday to help the Saints knock off Colby 96-80.

 

 

By EARL WATT

• Daily Leader


Playing the third game without their leading scorer, the Saints found
a way to win Saturday, using a strong inside-outside game to knock
off the Colby Trojans 96-80 in front of a near-capacity crowd at the
Greenhouse.
Seward is now 1-2 since losing Latiq Agard who averaged more than 20
points per game prior to his ankle injury at Hutchinson.
Three Saints eclipsed 20 points Saturday.
Antonio Smith continued to fill Agard’s shoes, scoring 24 points.
Thijin Moses added 23, and Marquez Patterson scored 20.
Marcus James had 16 points in the win.
Colby battled with the Saints early. Seward fell behind 13-9 with 13
minutes to play in the first half before Smith and Moses combined for
12 unanswered points to put the Saints ahead, 21-13.
The Saints continued to push the lead and took a 46-33 advantage in
to halftime.
While Seward only outscored the Trojans by three in the second half,
the difference on the floor appeared to be greater. Seward had as
large as a 20 point lead when James slam dunked with less than four
minutes to play to put Seward ahead 90-70.
Colby narrowed the difference with a 10-6 run to end the game, but
the outcome had already been decided.
The win ended a three-game slide for the Saints. Two of those came
against the top two teams in the Jayhawk West. Both Hutchinson and
Barton are 3-0. The Saints are 1-2 and can even up the conference
record when they host Pratt Wednesday.
“I thought we played better than the last couple games as far as
defensive effort,” Seward coach Brian Zollinger said. “We were more
active defensively. Even though it doesn't show on shot percentage,
we did some things well.”
While the losing streak ended at three, Zollinger reiterated that
each game is handled on its own.
“I think you have to take each game as an individual game,” he said.
“Sometimes losses occur in succession, Sometimes they don’t. We look
to improve from the beginning of the season to the end. We want to
get a little better every time. We shoot for consistency in effort
and execution. That is more important than doing it for one or two
games.”
With the game-by-game approach, Zollinger said there has to be plans
and preparation for situations like playing without Agard, or any
other player who might get injured or face foul trouble.
“We try to plan things with the big picture in mind,” he said. “At
some point (Agard) will return. We’re not preparing for one game.
We’re preparing to beat the best teams on our schedule to make a run
at conference and region titles. We have to make contingencies. Our
system has to be adaptable to all personnel, not just one.”
To assure that, Zollinger has the same expectation for performance
from every Saint.
“Any one we put in there, we expect them to play at high level,”
Zollinger said. “ Whether its the first person or 15th. Do what you
are supposed to do. At the end of the game, when we put a sub in, I
hold them to same standard. You never know when they have to
contribute in a big game. Steve (Hooks) played in the region
championship game at the four-spot last year. He was able to perform
because of that expectation.”

 

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The High Plains Daily Leader and Southwest Daily Times are published Sunday through Friday and reaches homes throughout the Liberal, Kansas retail trade zone. The Leader & Times is the official newspaper of Seward County, USD No. 480, USD No. 483 and the cities of Liberal and Kismet.  The Leader & Times is a member of the Liberal Chamber of Commerce, the Kansas Press Association, the National Newspaper Association and the Associated Press.

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