By EARL WATT
• Leader & Times
WICHITA — A barrage of Coeffeyville three-point bombs, including two in the final minute and a half, ended Seward’s quest for a trip to the national toiurnament with a 73-69 loss in the Region VI championship.
Both teams had runs throughout the game, but it was back-to-back threes by the Red Ravens with less than a minute and a half to play that proved to be the difference.
Seward rallied back and cut the lead to two with 6.2 seconds to play and had a chance at a steal when Marquez Patterson cut in front of the inbound pass and grabbed the ball. But his momentum carried him out of bounds, and Coffeyville was able to get the ball in toNeil Watson who put the game out of reach with two free throws.
“We lost track of a guy a couple of times,” Seward coach Brian Zollinger said. “They didn’t do anything special. We just turned our back a couple of times.”
And Coffeyville took advantage, hitting 11 threes, seven of those in the second half.
And Seward still had a chance if Patterson could have held on to what would have been a miracle steal.
“Those are the breaks,” Zollinger said. “Quez had both hands on the ball.”
Coffeyville spent most of the night shooting from long range while the Saints had the inside locked down. The Red Ravens attempted 30 threes.
Seward only attempted 13 three-point shots, and several of those after Coffeyville took a six-point lead with the back-to-back threes late in the game.
Early on, it appeared Seward might run away with the Region VI title.
An alley oop jam by Daveon Boardingham midway through the first half gave the Saints their biggest lead of the first half 18-10.
Seward had chances to extend the lead, but a missed jam by Boardingham started a Coffeyville rally.
The Red Ravens used the long ball to keep the game close in the first 20 minutes scoring 12 of their 25 points from three-point range.
A Coffeyville three from Stacy Wilson started a 12-4 Red Raven run to give Coffeyville a 25-24 halftime lead.
While it appeared Seward was in control most of the first half, it took some fortunate bounces for Coffeyville to keep the game close. Coffeyville all but conceded the inside game and shot 16 three point shots, making four of them.
Marky Nolen was the spark plug for Seward in the first half, scoring eight points, but it was Boardingham’s monster dunk and a three-pointer from Jeremy Jones while standing on the Wichita State Shocker logo near midcourt that sparked the Saints.
But three threes helped Coffeyville rally to a 25-24 hlaftime lead.
The Sants battled to a 10 point lead midway through the second half, but again the three-point shot kept the Red Ravens close.
A 10-3 run cut Seward’s lead to 50-47, and the two traded leads over the next six minutes.
With the game tied 59-59 with 1:21 to play, Coffeyville connected on two deep threes, and the Saints never recovered.
Daveon Boardingham and Jeremy Jones each scored 17, and Marky Nolen added 12.
“This was a group of overachievers,” Zollinger said. “No one thought we would be any good. It never felt like we were really ever given any credit. We had to fight for respect. I am proud of how they stuck with it. They turned out to be a pretty good team.”
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