LIBERAL, Kan. – In a marquee matchup between two of the top five defenses in the nation, the Seward County Saints came away with the upset of the year during the young season, defeating the No. 3 Coffeyville Red Ravens 69-65 in the Greenhouse on Saturday night. It's the first win over a ranked opponent since 2015.
A season ago, the Saints lost to the Region VI Champion Red Ravens three times by a combined 10 points. The sophomore class was determined to reverse that tide. During the early going, it appeared the Red Ravens held the edge, taking an 18-10 lead over the first nine minutes of play. The sophomore quickly closed the gap as Devin Bethely and Hegel Augustin made the score 19-16 at the media timeout.
Coming out of the media timeout, Marco Morency went on a tear, going on a 6-2 run by himself to give Seward a 22-21 lead. After the Red Ravens retook the lead for a brief moment, Reggie Miller and Augustin combined for seven points, pushing Seward's lead to four. The lead reach eight points before the Red Ravens caught their breath, but in the final two minutes, Coffeyville went on an 8-2 run to cut the Seward lead to two points at halftime by a score of 37-35.
Seward's season ended at the hands of Coffeyville a season ago, despite leading the Red Ravens at half time. Sautter's squad knew what they needed to get done to prevent that same outcome, opening the second half on a 6-0 run. Seward's lead would reach 10 points with 12 minutes to play after Miller found Morency under the basket for a layup. The Red Ravens cut the lead to three over the next three minutes as the Saints took a 55-52 lead into the final media timeout.
The Red Ravens kept cutting closer, even tying the game at 59, but every shot Coffeyville had, the Saints would have an answer. Two free throws gave Coffeyville the lead with under three minutes to play, but this Seward squad refused to give in, tying the game the next possession.
With under a minute to go, and the game still tied at 65, Reggie Miller made the drive of the year for the Saints, cutting into the stout Red Ravens defense to get to the basket and give them a 67-65 lead. After forcing a missed shot on the other end, the Saints got fouled and Hegel Augustin was sent to the charity stripe. The sophomore made both shots, giving Seward a four-point lead with 16 seconds to play. The lead held up as the Red Ravens failed to hit the mark on their final shot attempts and Seward came away with the 69-65 upset.
Seward shot 37.5 percent (24-for-64) from the field, but just 20 percent (4-for-20) from deep. However, the normally smooth Red Raven offense couldn't get in rhythm, connecting on just 23.1 percent (3-for-13) from behind the arc compared to their 42.9 percent average coming into the game.
Seward is now tied with Coffeyville atop the Jayhawk Conference and leads the Jayhawk West. They will have two weeks off before traveling to Mesa, Arizona to participate in the Fiesta Bowl Classic. Seward opens the classic against Snow College on December 27th. They will return to conference play on January 9th when they travel to Independence.