The Dodge City Conquistadors men’s and women’s basketball teams both fell to the Seward Saints Wednesday in the Dodge City Student Activity Center.
In the women’s game, the Conquistadors opened the night against the No. 13 ranked Saints with a hit-and-miss kind of performance, falling to Seward 88-53.
It started mostly miss, with the Conquistadors tying the game at 2-2 before the Saints went on a 14-0 run to lead 16-2.
Head coach Zach Loll called a timeout and worked to make adjustments.
After that, the Conqs went on a 7-0 run to cut into the lead.
“They came out in a triangle in two and kind of disrupted us, but (I) took the quick timeout, tried to make the adjustment, talked to the girls (about) what we needed to do,” Loll said. “We settled in and I thought we did a good job of attacking that and getting some good shots.”
Late in the second quarter, the Conqs cut the lead to four, narrowing their deficit to 30-26.
After a Seward timeout with 1:41 left in the second quarter, the Saints jumped back at the Conqs, going on a 7-0 run to take a 42-29 lead into halftime.
For the Conqs, however, the trouble wasn’t over. In fact, it was about to begin.
“It was the second half,” Loll said. “The second half we come in the third quarter, we’re not ready to go, (we) tried to switch up defenses, we don’t communicate on the floor with one another, and we gave up I think 6-9 points there, like three 3’s there in consecutive trips and you can’t do that against a team like Seward because they’re gonna make you pay.”
In the third quarter, Seward scored to make the score 44-29, then 45-29 before two free throws by Dodge City freshman guard Addison Rowley gave the Conqs their first points of the second half.
From there, however, Seward broke away, going on an 11-2 run to go up 56-34. They ended up outscoring the Conqs 28-10 in the third quarter, and entered the fourth with a 70-39 lead.
“The girls have gotta take ownership in the team and have some pride in being out on the floor and being college basketball players,” Loll said. “It’s just not ‘show up and go through the motions.’ They’ve got to take ownership and hold each other accountable to make this team better.”
The team did do some good things defensively, and generally handled defensive-pressure well, including when the Saints started to pressure more at the start of Conqs possessions.
“But it’s detail things, and things that some people don’t see,” Loll said. “We don’t do a good job on some closeouts, we let ‘em come back middle, give up some baskets, and we don’t want to give up the middle, and we let them come into there.”
Allowing those six or eight points was significant.
“That’s the difference,” Loll said. “That’s a detail that makes a difference that we don’t give up points on that.”
Getting back and getting on defense, and getting into the right defense was another small but important detail Loll said.
It wasn’t big things that doomed the Conqs’ bid for an upset Wednesday night.
“It’s taking care of details on both ends of the floor,” Loll said.
On the men’s side, the Conquistadors battled with the 10-5 Seward men’s team.
They trailed early 14-7, but went on an 9-2 run to tie the game at 16-16 early in the first half. From there, neither team led by more than four in the first half until the Saints made two straight baskets to take a 30-26 lead into halftime.
The battle raged on in the second half. Seward came out and took a 37-28 lead early, then expanded it to 40-28. The Conqs nibbled away at the Saints’ lead though, and with 3:54 left cut the lead to just three, with the score 59-56.
After a timeout the team’s continued to exchange shots, one team getting a 3-pointer here, another getting a layup and an and-1 there until with 1:09 left in regulation, the Saints led 66-61.
Two Seward free throws made it 68-61.
That was as close as the score ever got again. The Conquistadors eventually fell by a final score of 70-64.
Up Next: Dodge City hits the road to take on Hutchinson Saturday in Hutchinson, Kansas before returning home to take on Cloud County next Wednesday.