The Seward County Saints and Lady Saints as well as the Seward County Spirit Squads showed off to a big Greenhouse crowd Thursday night at their annual Saints Bookstore Basketball Preview Night, building excitement for the 2016-2017 season that officially begins on Tuesday.
The night began with an autograph signing for fans where they got some one on one time with the Saints and Lady Saints before the action in the Greenhouse started. The first competition of the night once things moved into the gym was Basketball Musical Chairs where the infamous Greenhouse Heckler Caleb Henry came back to claim the title.
The Coaches Free Throw Contest was a heated one with Lady Saints Assistant Coach and Seward County Hall of Famer Carlo Walton stepping over to team up with Patrick Nee for the Saints against Toby Wynn and DeAudra Brown. The battle went down to the wire with Nee sinking a shot in sudden death overtime to break a long losing streak for the Saints coaches in the competition. After some scoring questions raised by the Lady Saints coaches, the victory has been officially protested.
The Dribble Relay Competition put 16 Saints and Lady Saints in action against each other and after flying up and down the court weaving through human cones, it was Malik Brown, Pierre Johnson, Ernest Carter, Spencer Franklin, Neidy Ocuane, Manuela Fungate, Alex Tyson, and Valerie Caro coming out with the win.
The Dizzy Bat Competition didn't disappoint as usual as six Seward students twirled and twirled around in circles before attempting to make it down the court to make a shot. There were more crashes than baskets during the competition, but in the end, fun was had by all and Lady Saints Volleyball player Jazlyn Smith came out on top.
The Battle of the Sexes Three Point Competition has become a fun and heated battle over the years and after the Lady Saints sunk a last second winner last year to take the title, this year it was the Saints with a 33 point showing that held up to win 33-24 over the ladies.
The Uniform Relay pitted youngsters from the stands against each other and after Brooks Kappelmann laced up his Saints size 14 sneakers and XXL jersey, he raced to the basket and made a layup to win the round.
Always a crowd favorite, the Slam Dunk Competition saw four high flying Saints go toe to toe against one another. Saints Bookstore Director Jerri Lynn Lyddon was joined by guest judges Kelby Tomlinson who plays for the San Francisco Giants, as well as the Saints latest National Champions, Tennis players Ondrej Nice and Carlos Anez who received their championship banner Thursday in front of the crowd. The four ultimately picked Jeromie Simmons as the winner after the sophomore caught some major air on his final two dunks to get perfect 40 scores and knock off incumbent Malik Brown 80-77.
The Saints Cheer and Dance team performed next to the delight of the crowd and after the Saints and Lady Saints were introduced to the crowd, they had a dance off of their own that the Lady Saints skunked the Saints in.
The Lady Saints and Saints wrapped up the night with scrimmages to give fans a sneak peek at next week's opening night and all went home with smiles.
Seward will officially open its 2016-2017 season on Tuesday as the Lady Saints take on Otero at 6:00 and the Saints battle Sunrise Christian at 8:00. Free tickets are available courtesy of our buyout sponsor Pepsi at Pizza Hut and Hutch's in Liberal.