For all intents and purposes, the Seward County Saints didn't have anything to play for Monday night at home as they took on the rival Garden City Broncbusters. The only thing was, someone forgot to tell them that. Seward came out with arguably their most passionate effort of the season, outlasting the Busters 77-68 on sophomore night in the Greenhouse to head to the Region VI Tournament on a high note.
Once again the Saints got off to a slow start Monday, falling behind Garden 7-0 to start the game, but rebounded nicely to work their way back into things by the midway point of the half to tie it up 12-12. It remained a back and forth affair for the next six minutes until Garden City pushed in front 27-22 with 2:03 left in the half. That's when Seward stepped on the gas again. The Saints got four straight points from reserve Jeromie Simmons and then a late bucket from Pierre Johnson to score the final six points of the half and take a 28-27 lead into the break.
An early three by Charles Beauregard in the second pushed the Saints lead to four, but the Busters answered with an 11-4 run of their own to erase the Seward advantage and take a 40-37 lead of their own. That's when Seward went to their big man down low and Martavious Wilson answered with five straight points in the paint to put the Saints back in front by one 46-45. The Saints, not known for their defense in 2017, held Garden City without a single field goal for the next 11 minutes through the middle of the period, extending their lead to as many as 13 to squelch any chances the Busters thought they had to come into the Greenhouse and claim a victory. Garden made it a seven point game late, but the Saints marched back and forth to the free throw line in the final moments and sunk enough at the charity stripe to finish off a 77-68 win in their final home game of the 2017 season.
It wasn't an exceptionally aesthetically pleasing game overall as there were 13 more free throws made than field goals while the two teams combined to go just 6 for 34 from three. Seward shot 40% overall and held Garden to just 33% on the night while the Saints seven man crew outrebounded the Busters 47-36. Beauregard led the way once again, pouring in 33 points and hitting 18 free throws to tie a single game school record. Johnson finished with 10 points on 3 of 7 shooting and pulled down a career high 15 rebounds from his point guard spot.
The Saints win their regular season finale to improve to 9-21 overall and finish the conference season 6-20. Garden City drops to 16-14 overall and ends the conference year 12-14.
Seward will be the #15 seed for the upcoming Region VI Tournament and will go on the road Thursday to take on the 2nd seeded Barton Cougars in the Kirkman Center in a 7:30 tip in the first round.