By EARL WATT
• Leader & Times
Sixteen Bulldogs took the court against the Saints Saturday night in the Green House, but Clarendon coach Tony Starnes could not find a combination that could slow down Seward in a 93-61 win for the Saints.
The up-tempo pressure from the Saints was showcased in monster jams and 15 steals throughout the night.
Five Saints reached double digits while no Clarendon players scored more than nine.
Despite the 32-point victory over the 5-3 Bulldogs, Seward coach Bryan Zollinger did not offer praise for his team’s effort.
“Of the six games we’ve played, this was the less inspired performance,” he said.
A specific area Zollinger wants to see improve is the number of fouls the Saints commit. Seward’s Trey Starks and Edson Avila both fouled out, and Corieon Pierson and Daveon Boardingham each ended the game with four fouls.
“We have to eliminate the stupid fouls,” Zollinger said. “We can’t have over-the-back fouls on free throws. We can’t have reach-in fouls 55-feet from the basket.”
While Seward may have sent Clarendon to shoot free throws 33 times, the Saints took 48 free throw shots themselves.
Seward struggled at the line in the second half, making 12 of 30 attempts. Seward made 13 of 18 attempts in the first half.
Irvin Hollinger had a stand-out night for the Saints, scoring 24 points to lead five Saints in double digits. Kaheem Ransom had 14, Starks scored 11, and Brice Jenkins and Boardingham each scored 10.
“We always look for balanced scoring,” Zollinger said. “I don’t think our execution was sharp. We gave up on offense too quickly.”
Boardingham brought the Saints fans to their feet in the first half with a dunk, and with only seven seconds to go in the half, Starks took advantage of a steal and got above the rim for a momentum boost and a 49-31 halftime lead.
Clarendon never had more than a four-point run in the entire second half.
The poor performance at the line kept the final score from being more lopsided than the 32 points.
Seward will travel to Odessa, Texas Friday and Saturday to face Odessa and New Mexico Junior College.
“This will be a tough road trip,” Zollinger said. “We will have to play well there. This will be the biggest test of the year.”