For the first time in nearly two months, a healthy Spencer Franklin took the court for the Seward County Saints Wednesday night in Concordia. However, a game high 19 point return for Franklin wasn't enough as Seward yielded 49 second half points in an 85-69 loss to Cloud County, the Saints fifth straight defeat.
Seward jumped out to a quick start and held Cloud off the board for the first three minutes of action to take a 5-0 lead on the T-Birds. Cloud got the next six to take their first lead of the night but a three from Kevin Sims off the bench gave Seward the lead back by two at the 12:36 mark of the first half. Later in the period the Saints took a six point lead as Tre Kidd connected from the wing for three to make it 19-13 and Seward continued to hold a two possession lead to the 7:00 mark at 24-19. Cloud closed the gap and took a lead of their own with 4:44 to go in the half, but Seward finished the period strong, getting a three from Spencer Franklin with under a minute to go to take the momentum and the lead into the break at 38-36.
Cloud tied the score up early in the second half, but a three point play from Charles Beauregard put the Saints back in front 43-40 2:17 into things. From there it was all downhill for Seward. Cloud went on a an 8-0 run to erase the Saints lead and take a 48-43 lead of their own before stretching the lead to seven at the second half media timeout. The T-Birds went up 10 for the first time on the night with 8:40 remaining and stepped on the Saints throats with a 9-0 run moments later to take their biggest lead of the night at 72-55. The Saints never threatened again as the T-Birds put it in the book 85-69 to sweep the season series with Seward and send the Saints to their 13th Jayhawk Conference loss of the year.
Franklin led Seward with a game high 19 points in the loss while Kidd continued to blossom with extended playing time, putting up a career high 15 for the Saints. The Saints shot just 40% from the field and were manhandled on the glass 36-23 in the defeat.
Seward loses their fifth straight to fall all the way to 6-14 on the year while watching their Jayhawk Conference record drop to 3-13. Cloud continues a renaissance season, improving to 14-6 while picking up their 10th win of the conference season in 16 tries.
The Saints continue a tough stretch on Saturday when they travel to Great Bend to take on the Barton Cougars in a 7:30 tip from the Kirkman Center.