The Dodge City Lady Conquistadors had a hard time getting through the holiday break as they have had to redefine its identity with two of its top scorers in November and December not with the team.
And while the Lady Conq coaches search for new ways the current players can help the program win games, it doesn't help to find that identity when they faced No. 2-nationally ranked Hutchinson in their conference opener Saturday night at United Wireless Arena.
The Lady Dragons showed why they are ranked high as they dominated every facet of their 102-48 victory over Dodge City.
One of the top scorers from the non-conference schedule, former DCHS star Kesha Buckner, is expected to be back in February. But the game dynamics for the Lady Conqs (6-9) had to change with Buckner's injury and the departure of post player Samantha Herrera.
One Dodge City player who has seen her role greatly changed is guard Jameeshia Armstrong. The point guard has had to turn into a shooting guard, finding openings in opposing defenses. Armstrong led the Lady Conqs in scoring with 20 points (the second straight game she led the team in that category and the only DCCC player in double figures).
"We're trying to find players different roles right now and that's part of the issue, but we have to continue to work and get better because we have games we have to be ready to go for," said DCCC head coach Lucas McDonald. "I think we're a little better than what we showed tonight. We have to put this one behind us, but we have to have focus and effort.
"Hopefully, we'll get some good news on Buckner, who goes back to the doctor in a couple of weeks. She brings so much to the table, not just basketball-wise but also in leadership
Hutchinson was 40-of-75 from the field (53.3 percent), including 8-of-16 from 3-point range with six players scoring in double figures for the Lady Dragons (15-0). The visitors also outrebounded Dodge City 60-17 (including 20-0 on the offensive boards) and 26-9 in assists. The largest margin was 94-39 midway through the second half.
Jasmine Patterson scored 24 points and grabbed nine boards to lead Hutchinson. Other players to score in double figures were Briana Sparks (14, eight boards), Chrisstasia Walker (13, nine boards, 10 assists), Aja Sorrells (12), Jenvon Ta Hill (12) and Jamie Patrick (10).