The Dodge City Conquistadors women’s basketball team came back from 11 down at the end of the first half, then came back from five down multiple times in the fourth, beating the Northwest Kansas Technical College Mavericks by a score of 63-56 Thursday night.
The win ended a five-game losing streak for the Conquistadors, sending them into the Christmas break with a win and a 5-7 record overall.
“It was a good feeling,” freshman guard Addison Rowley said. “We needed to get a win, we hadn’t gotten a win in a while and we were going into Christmas break so we all knew we needed to come out and play to get the win. So it’s a pretty good feeling.”
Rowley had a team-high 14 points for the Conquistadors. Freshman forward Makaela Ewing had 11 and freshman guard Francheska Aguino had 10. Freshman forward Ashley Nelson led the team in rebounds with nine.
Northwest Kansas Tech sophomore guard Tran Brown had a game-high 23 points for the Mavericks.
The was one the Conqs had to earn.
The Mavericks led most of the first half which included a 21-16 lead after the first quarter and a 34-23 lead going into halftime.
The Conqs shot 32 percent from the field in the first half but made only 1 of 12 from 3-point territory. The Mavericks shot 38.9 percent from the field but hit 3 of 8 from beyond the arc.
The Mavs also out-rebounded the Conqs 22-19 in that span.
Head coach Zach Loll was visibly furious during a first-half timeout. The end of the half didn’t mean he was happy at halftime.
“Coach was pretty mad because we weren’t performing our best, so a lot of us were like ‘We’ve got it. Like just calm down and play the game that we know how to play,’” Rowley said.
Loll wouldn’t say exactly what he told the girls at halftime, but said he noticed how some of the players stepped up as leaders in the locker room.
“They responded to it and came out and we had some people step up in the locker room that were ready to take responsibility for it,” Loll said. “I commend them for what they came out and did the second half, and all the credit goes to them.”
That response came in the form of a very strong third quarter for the Conqs.
They started the second half with a 13-4 run that culminated with a 3-pointer by Rowley to narrow the deficit 38-35. Then, after a Mavericks timeout, another 3 by Rowley tied the game at 38-38 with 1:38 left in the third quarter.
Dodge City ended up outscoring Northwest Kansas Tech 18-6 in the third quarter, and took a 41-40 lead into the fourth.
The drama didn’t end there though.
In the fourth quarter, the Mavericks took a 44-43 lead and led by as many as five points twice in the fourth quarter.
Again, it became Dodge City’s turn to make a comeback, which they did, taking the lead 55-53 near the end of the fourth quarter.
In the end, free throws helped the Conqs seal the game as the Mavericks were forced to foul.
Freshman guard Allie Baker shot 4 of 4 from the free-throw line, Aguino hit 4 of 6, freshman guard Alec Fitts hit 5 of 8 and Rowley hit 6 of 7 including, key ones near the end to suppress a final attempt by the Mavericks to tie the game.
Overall, the Conqs hit 74.2 percent from the free-throw line, hitting 23 of 31 shots from there.
Loll said he was happy with that.
As the team heads into Christmas break, Rowley said this win could help set the team up for success going forward.
“It’s a good feeling because I think that’s gonna get our momentum going and help us win more games coming out of break,” Rowley said. “So we need that. We haven’t won very many games right now, and so that’ll just get the ball rolling for us.”
The Conquistadors women’s basketball team doesn’t play again until 2018. They return to action Jan. 3, 2018 when they take on Allen Community College.
Dodge City next returns to action in Dodge City, Kansas when the team hosts Independence Community College Jan. 6, 2018.
For some clips from the fourth quarter of this game, follow this link: