The Dodge City Conquistadors mens basketball team fell to Otero Junior College Rattlers Saturday afternoon by a score of 86-83.

The loss came after the team opened the season with a 92-51 win over Northwest Kansas Technical College JV last Wednesday.

The combination moves them to 1-1 overall. They take on Bethany College JV at 7:30 p.m. tonight.

“We just gotta play harder and we gotta play better,” Conquistador head coach Steve Tucker said. “And we’ve gotta play unafraid and attack them.”

The team fell behind at halftime and trailed 40-36. In the second half though, they erased the deficit and led by as much as nine when they lead 55-46. The Conquistadors ended up losing, but Tucker said it wasn’t all bad.

“We showed signs,” Tucker said. “The game went about like I thought it would. We showed signs, and we’re gonna get better. We’ll learn from this. Down the line this game will be a blessing for us.”

Sophomore guard Tajae Anderson led the way for the Conquistadors in scoring with 20 points, and tied freshman forward Tamaje Blackwell for the team lead in rebounds with six.

Blackwell led the team in steals, with five.

Even though the final statistics didn’t reflect it, Tucker said freshman guard Justice Dixon played exceptionally well also.

“Justice Dixon played a tremendous basketball game tonight,” Tucker said. “I thought he was the one guy that did what we wanted to do defensively and I thought he did a good job of getting us moving, getting us playing, I thought his play was excellent tonight.”

Dodge City takes on Bethany College JV tonight in the Student Activity Center at Dodge City Community College tonight. The men play at 7:30, while the womens team tips off at 5:30.