The Dodge City Conquistadors found their shooting touch without their leading scorer just in time Wednesday night in recording a 63-54 victory over the Butler Grizzlies at The Power Plant.
It's the last time the two teams will meet as Jayhawk West foes in El Dorado (the two teams will play at United Wireless Arena to close out the regular season) after the Grizzlies will move next year to the Jayhawk East.
The Conqs made sure to overcome the not to let it bother them that their top scorer, sophomore small forward Vic Adams. Adams is recovering from a knee injury and didn't play.
Dodge City went on a 21-6 run late in the second half to improve their conference record to 4-4 and overall record to 12-10 going into the second half of the Jayhawk West season. The Conqs scored 24 points off of Butler turnovers in recording the win. Although Dodge City shot only 15-of-41 from the field, the offense stayed aggressive and capitalizing at the free throw line, making 31 of 41 for the game. The visitors also only committed three turnovers after halftime.
Delvon Rencher scored 17 points to lead the Conqs in scoring, while Aaron Tate had a double-double (12 points-10 rebounds) and Keith Crockett added 10. Greg Travis scored nine, A.J. Downing eight and Jacoby Green seven for Dodge City.
Shomari Triggs scored 12 points to lead Butler in scoring, while Sean Osler added nine in a losing cause.
The Grizzlies (16-6, 4-4) scored 10 of the first 12 points of the game before the Conqs came back with a 9-2 run to cut the margin down to one. Butler was able to push the lead back up to seven with 6 1/2 minutes left to go before intermission, but Dodge City closed out the half with a 15-6 run to lead 29-27 at intermission.
Rencher scored eight points in the first half to lead the Conqs. Neither team shot the ball well over the first 20 minutes: Dodge City was 9-of-24, while Butler was 9-of-25.
Both squads still had trouble shooting to start the second half as the game turned into a 33-all tie after five minute of play, before the host Grizzlies started finding their range to build a seven-point lead.
The Conqs made only one field goal during the 8 1/2-minute drought, but stayed within striking distance with free throws.
Dodge City was able to start getting their hot handwas able to use a 11-2 run to take a 48-46 lead with 5:23 remaining on a Jacoby Green lay-up and two free throws by Tate.
A Butler basket was answered with seven more points by the Conqs to regain the lead with 2:23 left in regulation. Dodge City made most of their free throws to solidify the win (six of eight at the end), while allowing only two more field goals.
The Conqs' next game will be Saturday against the nationally top-ranked Hutchinson Blue Dragons at 8 p.m. It will not be known until game time if Adams will be playing in the game or still resting his knee.
Dodge City lost to the Dragons in overtime in their first meeting of the season at United Wireless Arena.