By EARL WATT
• Leader & Times
After Redlands coach Yaphett King was given a technical foul in the first half Friday night in the Green House after protesting a foul call, he looked to Clarendon College’s coach who was watching the game for a little moral support.
He didn’t appear to receive any.
When it came to the scoreboard, Seward didn’t provide any sympathy to the Cougars there, either. The Saints battled through a physical contest that saw the two teams combine for 64 fouls, four players fouling out and three technical fouls against Redlands College in a 112-63 Seward County win.
Seward shot a total of 41 free throws in the physical battle but only made 26 of them. Redlands had 29 opportunities to score at the free throw line but only made 16 free throws.
The frequent trips to the free throw line and the scorer’s table removed any flow from the game, but Seward coach Bryan Zollinger thought his team responded well to the hard-nosed approach of the Cougars.
“They have a good team,” Zollinger said. “We hit some shots from the perimeter on fast breaks, and we defended well. When you do those things to another team, it can snowball on them.”
The middle of that snowball might have been the ice running through the veins of Kaheem Ransom. Ransom lit up the scoreboard form the three-point line, hitting five of seven shots and leading five Saints into double digits with 29 points.
The effort was improved compared to the second half against North Platte according to Zollinger.
“I think we sustained our intensity better and deeper into the game,” he said. “Our offense executed early, and we were moving the ball better.”
Seward attacked the basket with a fury in the first half. Daveon Boardingham took the first possession straight to the hoop and put Seward up in the first 10 seconds of the game. Brice Jenkins connected ona three to put th Saints ahead 9-4.
Redlands’ Josiah Campbell hit a basket with 17:44 to go in the first half to get the Cougars within three, 11-8, but it was as close as the Cougars would be the rest of the game.
The Saints responded with a 10-0 run and a defensive effort that shut the Cougars down over the next four-and-a-half minutes of the game for a 21-8 lead.
Redlands scored a basket to break the run, but Seward reeled off seven more unanswered points for a 28-10 lead.
That’s when Ransom brought the rain in the Green House. He sparked a 19-1 run with a three-pointer and added another in the stretch along with two baskets from Boardingham and a free throw from Edson Avila that led to a 26-point for the Saints, 39-13.
The Saints continued to pour it on with two more baskets before King’s frustration resulted in a technical foul. Three free throws later, Seward had a 46-13 lead.
Redlands made one more shot from the field in the final 6:08 of the half and made seven of 11 free throws, but Seward continued to score at will. Ransom connected on two more threes before the half along with two lay-ups and the Saints had a 64-22 halftime lead.
Both teams scored more in the second half, but the Saints never took their foot of the gas, something they might have done a week earlier against North Platte.
In less than two minutes of the second half, Cougar Dontrey Chavis fouled out after receiving a personal foul and a technical.
Seward’s largest lead came with 10:19 to play when Avila hit a basket to give the Saints a 58-point advantage, 94-36.
Tha Saints continued to dominate in the 112=63 win.
Along with Ransom’s 29 points were Boardingham with 16, Irving Hollinger with 11, and White and Jenkins each with 10.
“We looked good on defense and the offense is coming around,” Zollinger said. “Team spirit is good. There’s a lot going good right now. The challenge is to keep it going.”
Seward (5-0) faced Clarendon (5-2) late Saturday in the Billy’s/Days Inn Classic.