The Dodge City Conquistadors men’s and women’s basketball teams both lost to Cloud County Wednesday night.
It started with the women's team, which fell 75-55.
It was close early. The Conquistadors and T-Birds exchanged leads throughout the first half. At halftime the Conqs only trailed by a score of 32-29, despite getting out-rebounded 27-20. The Conqs were also only 1 of 9 from 3-point range in the first half and only 6 of 13 from the free-throw-line.
“I thought in the first half we did some things well,” Conquistadors head coach Zach Loll said. “I was concerned about our rebounding though, I didn’t think we rebounded the ball as well as we needed to against this team. But we were still in the game.”
One perennial problem for the team, however, has been their third quarters Loll said, and that’s something they have talked about and know they need to work on.
“I think now it’s more of a mental block than it is just an ability-wise thing,” Loll said. “We’ve got the ability, we can play with people, but now we have to come out and we have to get that mental side and go out and execute and get that 15-minute break.”
The third quarter was where the wheels really fell off for the Conqs women’s team Wednesday night, and was where they got behind in a way they couldn’t recover from. Cloud County outscored Dodge City 29-12 in the third quarter.
Third quarters have become such a consistent challenge for the team that Loll said he thinks his team is in their own heads a little bit about it at this point.
“I definitely think now it’s a mind thing for us,” Loll said.
That’s especially true when the other team comes out, makes a couple of baskets and stretches the lead to seven or eight points, at which point it becomes “Here we go again,” Loll said.
“You’ve gotta get that defensive stop, and you’ve gotta come back and you’ve gotta get a basket,” Loll said.
Dodge City freshman guard Addison Rowley led the team in scoring with 11 points, and freshman guard Makaela Ewing had 10. Ewing led the team with nine rebounds, and Rowley led the team in assists, with three.
The Conqs did better in the fourth quarter, matching the T-Birds in scoring 14-14, but they couldn’t dig themselves out of the hole they had gotten into in the third.
“But you can’t be doing that after you’re down 17 (or) 20 going into the fourth quarter,” Loll said. “You can’t try to get it back, you’ve got to do that over the course of four quarters, 40 minutes.”
On the men’s side, the Conquistadors collapsed Wednesday night, falling 65-61 against the T-Birds.
The Conquistadors led at the half 34-30, and at one point in the second half led by as many as 14. That lead dissolved, however, in part due to two technical fouls by Conquistador players.
Statistically, the Conquistadors men’s team held with the T-Birds in most stats. They had less than half the 16 turnovers the T-Birds did, they had four more than the 24 points in the paint the T-Birds had, and while they had only about a third of the T-Birds’ second-chance points, they had 16 fast-break points to the T-Birds’ six.
The team had previously beaten No. 8 Hutchinson last Saturday.
Dodge City Community College’s men’s and women’s basketball teams will both be in action again Saturday, when they head to Pratt.
To contact the writer, email firstname.lastname@example.org