INDEPENDENCE, Kan. – As the season winds down, and teams jostle for a higher seed in the playoffs, the Seward County men's basketball team came away with an important victory over the Independence Pirates, winning 67-60 in Independence.
It was a slow first quarter as the teams combined for just 12 points through the first eight minutes of play. The Pirates jumped out to 6-0 run, but the Saints answered with three dunks to tie the game at six. At the media timeout, Hegel Augustin made two free throws to give the Saints an 11-10 lead with nine minutes to play in the quarter.
With the game tied at 15, Independence went on a 7-0 run to take a 22-15 lead. Isiah Small closed the game to three points with a three-pointer from the left wing with 50 seconds left, but a three before the half ended gave the Pirates a 31-25 lead at the break.
Despite outshooting the Pirates by almost 10 percent in the first half, the Saints trailed by six. Seward hit just 1-of-6 from deep, while the Pirates went 4-of-9 from behind the arc.
Down at the break, it never rattled the Saints, as Ke'Sean Davis came out of the break and hit three points. Down four points with 13 minutes to play, Mohamed Selmi got a hook shot to fall to bring the game to two at 44-42. Moments later, Small missed two free throws to potentially tie the game. The Pirates used the misses to their advantage, connecting on a three to take a five-point, 47-42 lead.
The Saints weren't phased, however, going on a 9-0 run to take a 51-47 lead. Terrell Alfred hit a corner three that gave the Saints a lead that they didn't relinquish. Seward was able to connect on their free throws down the stretch to put the game away, winning 67-60 and pulling within one game of the Pirates for the No. 7 seed in the Region VI Playoffs.
Following a few games of lackluster defense, the Saints got back to what they're known for, holding the Pirates to just 33 percent (18-55) from the floor and just 27 percent (6 of 22) from deep.
The Saints will be back in action on Wednesday, February 21 to take on the Colby Trojans at 8:00 p.m. in the Greenhouse. The game will be free for all fans thanks to our sponsor Community Bank. Free tickets can be picked up at Community Bank.