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No. 8 Lady Saints cruise by Butler to move to 4-0 PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 16 November 2017 15:33

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Vilma Covane drives past a Butler defender Wednesday night int he Greenhouse. Covane scored 13 points to help the Lady aints knock off Butler 72-58. L&T photo/Earl Watt

By EARL WATT

• Leader & Times

For the second straight game, the Lady Saints shot out early to build a strong lead and cooled off in the second half, but the early effort provided all the offense Seward needed in a 72-58 win over Butler Wednesday in the Greenhouse.

The Lady Saints dominated on defense, forcing turnovers that converted into points, including the first basket of the game when Silvia Veloso picked the pocket of Butlers point guard before recovering the loose ball and heading to the basket for a lay-up.

Wherever the Lady Grizzlies looked, they found a Lady Saint. 

From double teams to jumping the passing lanes, the Lady Saints swarmed early and built a 22-15 lead after the first quarter.

The only drawback to the Lady Saints’ first-half performance was Brennyn Seagler committing three fouls and having to go to the bench.

But Seward coach Toby Wynn had no problem filling the gap. Wynn utilized Sidney Tinner who played 24 minutes off the bench, and the Caro twins Vanessa and Valerie also came off the bench for 18 and 14 minutes respectively.

Carla Covane also played 17 minutes off the bench, and Amy Scott had 16 minutes.

All 15 Lady Saints played.

Seward continued to use a dominating three-point shot to go along with some mid-range jumpers by Vilma Covane and drives inside to build a 40-26 halftime lead.

But after having a strong first half, the Lady Saints cooled off in the second, and they also struggled to make sharp passes, leading to turnovers and allowing Butler to keep the game close to a 10-point margin.

But the Lady Saints recovered and stretched their lead to 56-39 at the end of the third quarter.

The Lady Grizzlies never threw in the towel, and they continued to force turnovers and keep the Lady Saints lead under 20.

But the Lady Saints were able to protect a sizable lead, and Wynn was able to clear his bench in the 72-58 win.

The Lady Saints shot 44 percent, outpacing the 37 percent shooting of Butler.

The Lady Saints also attempted 38 threes and made 13 of them. The 38 three-point attempts were more than two-point shots. Seward only attempted 24 two-pointers.

By the end of the game, Seward and Butler each committed 26 turnovers, and Butler had a slight edge in rebounding, 42-40.

But the strong start and deadly outside shooting proved to be the difference.

Mollie Mounsey led the Lady Saints with 21 points, 12 of those off three pointers.

Covane added 13 as the only other Lady Saints to reach double digits.

Tinner had nine, and Scott had eight, both off the bench.

“In the first half we played efficient basketball for about 16 minutes,” Wynn said. “The last four minutes of the second quarter, we had a chance to assert ourselves, and we didn’t do it. We lost focus, we allowed them to stay in the game.”

Wynn knew form the Hutchinson game that every point in the first half could be critical.

“Butler cut our lead to 14 at half,” Wynn said. “I was concerned at half based on the third quarter against Hutch where we were outscored by 10. You worry about that, and we didn’t start the third that well. We made some plays later and got a little bit more of a lead, and when they went zone, we should have thrived. It was disappointing to see us shoot the ball so poorly in the third quarter.”

Wynn’s strategy for the second half was to keep the momentum, and while the Lady saints executed the offense to get open looks, the shots weren’t falling.

“We wanted to keep doing what we were doing,” he said. “We wanted to get the ball inside to Vilma (Covane). Then you start the second half, have open looks and shots, and for whatever reason — I can’t explain it — to move the ball and shoot the ball efficiently and then see a complete drop off is concerning.”

Still, the Lady Saints played two of the perennial powerhouses in the Jayhawk Conference and came away with double-digit wins.

“Butler and Hutch will be good,” Wynn said. “Getting them early at home is a huge advantage. I think as the year goes on they will both get better. It will be even more physical and tougher later in the year.”

No. 14 Hutchinson traveled to Cloud County after losing to Seward and lost to the Lady Thunderbirds 70-63.

The Lady saints will make the long five-hour bus ride to Concordia to face the undefeated Lady Thunderbirds Saturday. Tip-off is scheduled for 6 p.m.

 

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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 and the Associated Press.

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