The Seward County Saints won't be disappointed if they don't have to see the Neosho County Panthers again this season as for the second straight game against the Panthers, Seward was completely shut down on the offensive end Wednesday night, managing just 57 points in a 13 point loss to fall to last place once again in the Jayhawk Conference standings.
The Saints actually got off to a decent start against the Panthers, jumping out to a 5-2 early lead and held a 7-4 advantage three minutes in. But Seward wouldn't get another field goal for four minutes as Neosho erased the three point Saint lead and turned it into a five point lead of their own with 12:00 left in the half. The Saints defense kept them in the game, but their offense couldn't help them turn the corner. It was a four point Panther lead with 4:23 remaining in the half when Neosho went on an 11-2 run to close the period, taking a 35-22 lead into the locker room at half.
Seward worked their way back into the game early in the second half, going on a quick 5-0 run five minutes in to cut the Neosho lead to just four at 39-35. But the Saints couldn't sustain the momentum as Neosho scored the next nine straight points, all but ending Seward's thoughts of a comeback as they went up by 13. Seward never got back to within single digits again as the Panthers dribbled out the final moments of a 70-57 victory to send the Saints to the bus for what would be a long 5 ½ hour ride back to Liberal.
The Saints shot just 35% on the night and put up just 57 points, their lowest point total since November of 2012 when they won a 55-54 grinder over Odessa. Charles Beauregard led Seward with his second straight 21 point effort while Tre Kidd had 12, the other three Saint starters combined to go just 1 for 12 from the field.
The loss is a huge one for Seward who falls to 8-18 overall and 5-17 in conference play which puts them dead last in the 14 team Jayhawk Conference standings. Even worse for the Saints is the fact that with just four games left to go in the regular season, both Pratt and Neosho, the two teams a game in front of them in the conference standings, hold the tiebreaker over them. Neosho jumps out of the Jayhawk cellar at 9-17 overall and 6-16 in conference play where they are now tied with Pratt for 12th place.
Seward returns home to the Greenhouse Saturday night for an 8:05 tip with Independence on Homecoming night. Free tickets are available courtesy of our buyout sponsor Pizza Hut at their Liberal locations.