The final game before the holiday break for the Dodge City Conquistadors had all the drama of a Halloween trick instead of a Christmas present.
The Conqs beat Missouri State-West Plains 66-65 in overtime, but the game brought out the highs and lows for both squads.
Dodge City started strong then went through a shooting slump for more than half the game. The Conqs then went on a scoring spree to tie the game and looked to have the game won late in regulation only for the Grizzlies to hit two 3-point baskets to send the game into overtime.
And in that extra frame, the Grizzlies finished with three players on the floor at the end of the game, but were ahead with 22.4 seconds left and shooting two free throws. Both attempts were missed and Vic Adams hit a lay-up seven seconds later that ended up being the game-winner for the Conqs (8-5).
"The guys didn't quit," said Dodge City head coach Kyle Campbell. "It was one of those crazy games, but it was a big win because we go into the break with some momentum and a tough schedule when we return."
The Grizzlies had six players dressed out at the start of the game due to both injury and disciplinary reasons. As the West Plains players were fouling out, it brought something Campbell thought he would never have to practice on and admits he was at a quandary.
"I have never been in a situation like that before I never thought of practicing for it," Campbell said. "I didn't do a good job for us defensively for the final five minutes because I honestly never thought it would come up."
Adams scored 25 points, including 12 points in the second half and six of the nine DCCC points in the overtime period. Keith Crockett scored 10 of his 16 points after intermission, while Greg Travis finished with 10 points. It was the second straight overtime victory for the Conqs at the Civic Center.
"Our guys showed some toughness down the stretch," Campbell said. "They have had two games in a row where the game has gone into overtime and they have reached down and brought another level to their game."
Arroyo Edwards scored 16 points to lead the Grizzlies in the game. Two other players had double-doubles for West Plains (10-4): Keaton Jackson (14 points-18 rebounds) and Malik London (11 points and 13 rebounds).
Dodge City scored the first 10 points of the game as West Plains missed its first eight shots after five minutes of play before the Grizzlies' defense clamped down and allowed only three Conq field goals for the rest of the half.
The Grizzlies went 13-of-20 after their initial cool shooting to help build a 28-22 lead at intermission; then didn't allow a Dodge City field goal in the first five minutes after intermission to lead by 13.
Page 2 of 2 - The Conqs got back in the game and used a 13-point run to tie the game midway through the stanza. The two teams exchanged the lead with neither team leading by more than four until Dodge City's Delvon Rencher hit a short shot to put the hosts up 54-49 with 1:20 left in regulation.
West Plains made one last dash in the final 10 seconds of regulation as Desmond Buerge hit a three-pointer; then after a free throw by Adams, Devaughntah Williams hit a three-pointer from NBA range at the buzzer to tie the game at 57-57 and force overtime.
The Grizzlies scored four points off of second chance shots to open the overtime period, but Dodge City was able to regain the lead at 63-61 with 1:26 remaining in the extra period as Jackson and Williams fouled out. West Plains kept coming with four players with two free throws by Edwards and a short jumper by London for a 65-63 margin with 48.5 seconds left.
Adams made on free throw for Dodge City to make the deficit to one point before the Grizzlies had a chance to at least send the game to a second overtime, but Buerge missed both free throws. Adams made his short jumper and the Conqs were able to keep West Plains from having a good look at a potential game-winning shot.
The Conqs will return to practice on the 27th in preparing for their next game, a road matchup at Northwest Tech.
WEST PLAINS (65) -- Williams 3-11 0-1 7, Jackson 4-5 6-6 14, Rogers 2-8 0-0 5, Edwards 6-17 4-5 16, London 3-4 5-6 11, Buerge 4-11 3-6 12. Totals 22-56 18-24 65.
DODGE CITY (66) -- Green 0-3 0-0 0, Carmen 0-4 0-0 0, Travis 2-7 5-6 10, Crockett 6-9 1-2 16, Rencher 3-13 3-5 9, Tate 2-4 2-4 6, Francis 0-3 0-0 0, Adams 8-19 6-12 25. Totals 21-65 17-29 66.
Halftime score -- West Plains 28, Dodge City 22. End of regulation -- 57-57. Three-point baskets -- West Plains 3-19 (Williams 1-2, Rogers 1-6, Edwards 0-4, Buerge 1-7), Dodge City 7-21 (Carmen 0-4, Travis 1-3, Crockett 3-4, Rencher 0-2, Adams 3-8). Rebounds -- West Plains 50 (Jackson 18), Dodge City 38 (Rencher 11). Assists -- West Plains 6 (Edwards 3), Dodge City 12 (Travis 5). Fouled out -- Williams, Jackson, Rogers, Rencher. Total fouls -- West Plains 21, Dodge City 18. Records -- West Plains 10-4, Dodge City 8-5.