It may not have been pretty, but any way you look at it, the Dodge City Community College Conquistador women's basketball team did enough Saturday to pull its record above .500 after a 63-58 win over the Bethel College Threshers junior varsity.

    The win moves the Conqs to 4-3 on the season and was the final game of the Dodge House Lady Conq Classic. The second leg of back-to-back wins for the Conqs came a day after the team's best effort of the season Friday over Louisiana State University-Eunice, but Dodge City showed more perseverance than execution in Saturday's win over Bethel.


It may not have been pretty, but any way you look at it, the Dodge City Community College Conquistador women's basketball team did enough Saturday to pull its record above .500 after a 63-58 win over the Bethel College Threshers junior varsity.
    The win moves the Conqs to 4-3 on the season and was the final game of the Dodge House Lady Conq Classic. The second leg of back-to-back wins for the Conqs came a day after the team's best effort of the season Friday over Louisiana State University-Eunice, but Dodge City showed more perseverance than execution in Saturday's win over Bethel.
    "Execution was not the way we won the basketball game," said DCCC coach Steve High. His team scraped out Saturday's win despite turning the ball over 26 times.
    Conq freshman point guard Marcella Sedoc picked up her second personal foul with 16 minutes, seven seconds left in the first half. With Sedoc on the bench for much of the first half, Nekea Sims was forced to run the point for the Conqs.
    Sims came up with three key buckets in the first half to help keep the Conqs afloat.
    "Nekea is not a true point guard," High said. "But she did a good job of picking up the slack when Marcella was off the floor. She took care of the ball well for us."
    Sims finished with nine points on 3-of-4 shooting on the night. April Weaver led the Conqs with 24 points, 18 of which came in the second half. Weaver was 4-for-5 from 3-point range.
    "April was a big key for us in the second half," High said. "She overcame kind of a frustrating first half where they (Bethel) really identified her and wanted to take her away from us."
    The first half was a battle of attrition for both teams, as scoring opportunities were at a premium and both teams exhibited sloppy play at times. The Conqs turned the ball over 14 times in the half, and the Threshers slowed play down with 15 fouls.
    Bethel nursed a 3-point edge at intermission, up 26-23. The stalemate saw the Conqs connect on only 5-of-14 field goals, while the Threshers shot a paltry 30 percent from the field as well.
    "They've got some horses inside," said Bethel JV coach Brian Huxman. "When Askew got in some foul trouble, it certainly helped us in the first half. The basket was a little more open and we were able to do some things inside."
   
Second-half turnaround   
    Early in the second half, as Bethel came out in a 2-3 zone, the Conqs offense continued to stagnate. Dodge City settled for jumpers on several possessions and did not attack the zone early in the shot clock.
    The Conqs were called for two shot clock violations in the game. But back-to-back Samantha Askew buckets tied the game at 32 with 14:30 remaining.
    "Samantha and Robin are nice inside players and when we get going and we don't get them included in the offense, it's not very beneficial," High said.
    But the Conqs reaped benefit from both players in the second half. Askew scored all 10 of her points in the final 20 minutes, and Parker added 11 of her 14 in the half as well.
    Askew's score with 13:18 left gave the Conqs a 34-33 lead, and the offense began to show signs of life thereafter. Weaver hit consecutive 3-pointers on the next two possessions that gave Dodge City a 40-34 lead and capped a 10-0 run.
    "The second half compared to the first half we had a lot better shot selection," High said. "We exhibited a modicum of patience —not a lot — but enough that we allowed ourself to slow down and try to make it a halfcourt game."
    The Conqs weren't able to pull away though. Two Jordan Bangert layups pulled the Threshers to within one, 47-46, with 5:50 remaining.
    Free throws, which have been a bane of the Conqs' season thus far, would come into play. But the closest the Threshers got was 58-54 with 1:15 left.
    The Conqs converted on enough of their free throws to preserve the 63-58 win. They were 23-for-37 from the charity stripe during the game.
    "It's tough to lose a game like that," Huxman said. "We told our players it was a good, solid sustained effort through the game. We can't fault the effort our players gave, but sometimes you get called for fouls when you give effort like that and it took us too long to adjust to that."
    The Threshers committed 30 fouls in the game's 40 minutes. The Conqs will hit the hardwood again Friday in Pratt against the Fort Scott Greyhounds in the opener of the Pratt CC Classic.