Saints capture Region VI title, head to NJCAA tourney


Monica Gonzalez

The Seward County Community College men’s basketball team celebrates after winning the Region VI championship against Hutchinson. This was just the sixth time in program history for the men to win. They will automatically advance to the national tournament in Hutchinson on March 18-23.

Annette Meza, Copy Editor

The Seward Saints captured the Region VI title on March 6 against Hutchinson Community College with a score of 81-76. This makes the Saints sixth regional win in total, this one being the first since 2011-12.

Hutchinson started out quick and led most of the game on the strength of its three-point shooting. The Blue Dragons, who were 10-of-24 from beyond the arc for 41.7 percent, hit four, three pointers to start the game and take a 14-4 lead at the 16:15 mark.

The Saints battled back and eventually took the lead, 24-23, with 7:20 left in the first half. The Blue Dragons would hit another three near the end and held a 36-34 advantage at the half.

Hutchinson started the second half on a 14-7 run to take a 50-41 lead with 14:25 remaining. Seward would manage to whittle the lead the down and tie the game at 54 midway through, but Hutchinson went on another run and opened another nine-point lead at 65-56 with just over seven minutes left.

The Saints used a 17-7 run to take the lead for good at 73-72 with 2:00 left. The Blue Dragons closed to within two, but Reggie Miller scored five of his nine points in the final 24 seconds to ice the game for Seward.

James Rojas was the only Hutchinson player in double figures with 29 points. The Blue Dragons fell to 26-8 overall.

The win gives Seward an automatic bid to the National Junior College Athletic Association tournament.