The Dodge City Conquistadors never trailed in their home opener Thursday night, beating the Sisseton Wahpeton College Mustangs 122-89.
Sophomores Jyrus Freels and Kevin Howard were dominant, sophomore Justice Dixon drew attention and dished out passes throughout, and freshman guard UniQue Mency was just one of the many new contributors who helped the Conqs put up their most points since before 2014-15.
The team had scored 118 last season against Bethany College JV back on Nov. 6, 2017, but had only broken 100 one other time last year.
“We definitely have more firepower,” Conquistador head coach Steve Tucker said. “We’re a little bit inconsistent with it, we’ve got to get more consistent with the shot, but we’ve got some explosive people who can really hit shots, and I thought that was evident tonight, whether it was UniQue, whether it was Mason Senigaur, whether it was Jet (Taylor), whether it was Justice.”
Thursday night, the Conqs got output from everyone.
“Even our bigs hit some big shots,” Tucker said. “Jyrus stepped out and hit a 3, Joe Petrakis can step out, Mike Burns can step out, (Kevin) Howard hit two big ones right there that got us going.”
The Mustangs tied it at 62-62 in the second half, but that was when Howard did his thing.
“I think Howard really turned it on when they tied it at 62,” Tucker said. “He got us back and made some big shots, got us back up 69-62 and we kind of went from there.”
Tucker said the team originally was going to play a junior varsity team but instead played Sisseton, which was going to be nearby playing in a tournament in Colby.
“I thought they were a good team, and we were able to be a good team tonight, which I thought really helped us,” Tucker said.
The Conquistadors jumped out to a 7-0 lead to start the game. Sisseton Wahpeton got within two, cutting the lead to 11-9, but the Conqs were able to keep the Mustangs at arms reach throughout the first half. Sophomore Jet Taylor had a massive dunk then hit a free-throw after getting fouled to give the Conqs an 18-11 lead early.
In the second half, the Conqs came out cold initially, but eventually Dodge City was able to pull away.
The Conqs host Bethany College JV Monday at 7:30 p.m. in the Dodge City Community College Student Activity Center.