PARK CITY, Kan. – For the third consecutive year, the Seward County women's basketball team will be in the Region VI Championship game after defeating Cowley 67-59 in the semifinals Tuesday evening.
It was an easy victory for the Lady Saints as they struggled to connect on their shots early in the game. Fortunately for Seward, their defense kept them in game. The two teams were tied after the first quarter at nine a piece.
Seward came out in the second quarter with a quick 7-0 run, but Cowley kept the Lady Saints from getting the game out of control, as they've done much of the season. The Tigers took a two-point lead with a 10-1 run. With three minutes to play, the Lady Saints got hot and went on a 11-1 run over the final minutes of the quarter to take a 35-24 lead in the break.
Cowley slowly cut back into the Seward lead to start the second half, bringing the game to within five points midway through the quarter. For the first time this postseason, the Lady Saints were outscored in a quarter, as the Tigers finished the quarter with a 17-13 scoring advantage. Seward still held a seven-point lead going into the final the quarter, 48-41.
It appeared Seward might be in trouble to start the final quarter of play. Cowley began on a 6-1 run to cut the Lady Saints to just two points. Silvia Veloso connected on a three from the right wing to end the run and give Seward some life. Vilma Covane extended their lead with a turnaround jumper with under two minutes to play to made it a seven-point game. That shot proved to be the nail in the coffin as Seward would keep their lead and win the game 67-59.
Seward shot 37.7 percent (26 of 69) from the field, but only 21.7 percent (5 of 23) from deep. The Lady Saints defense held the Tigers to 33.3 percent (24 of 72) from the field and just 13.3 percent (2 of 15) from behind the arc.
Mollie Mounsey finished with a monster game, scoring 24 points and coming away with eight boards. It didn't come from her typical shots eight. Just one of her nine makes were from behind the arc, the rest were in the post.
Silvia Veloso joined Mounsey in double figures, scoring 13 points on 6-of-10 shooting.
Seward will be heading to the Region VI Championship Game tomorrow night to take on the Independence Pirates at 5:00 p.m. in Park City at Hartman Arena. The Lady Saints will try to win their first Region VI Championship since 2007 and punch their ticket to the NJCAA National Tournament for the second straight year.