DCCC Men's BB: Late Tip-In Secures Double-OT Conquistador Victory

Joe Penno
DCCC Sports Information Director

The Dodge City Community College men's basketball team and the Seward County Saints faced off in what could be considered a game of the year candidate in junior college basketball with the Conquistadors coming out on top 95-94 in double overtime Wednesday night.

A tightly contested first half saw the lead change hands seven times with neither team lead by more than five points.

After the score was tied five times in the half, the sixth came on an Erik Pratt three to help Seward knot the score at 39-39 heading into halftime.

Seward County controlled most of the second half, getting up by as much as seven with a 10-3 run to go up 63-56 with 9:24 to play in the game. Thanks to some inspired play by Oumar Koureissi, the Conquistadors proceeded to score 20 points over the next 7 minutes, with Koureissi scoring all six of his points in the process, and tied the contest at 76-76 with 2:04 remaining.

The Saints were up 77-76 after a Tyler Stallworth drive fell off the rim, forcing the Conquistadors to foul. Bee McCrary made 1-2 from the line to open the door just enough for Walyn Napper to tie the game at 78 with 14 second left.

McCary missed a pull up jump shot at the buzzer, leading to overtime.

The two teams traded the lead four times in the first overtime, but a Dhieu Deing steal leading to a Tyler Stallworth fast break to put the Conquistadors up 85-82 with 1:26 remaining had the visitors looking poised to close out the game.

After a defensive stop by both teams, the Saints' Erik Pratt made another one of his six threes to tie the game with 25 seconds left.

A Deing three at the buzzer fell off the back iron to take the game into a second overtime.

Once again, the teams traded the lead, this time five times in the period. A Samuel Henderson layup with 15-seconds left gave the Saints a one-point advantage, igniting the home crowd.

Down 94-93, Walyn Napper raced down the court to give the Conquistadors a shot at the rim. Center Mike Marsh put himself in the right spot at the right time as Napper's contested layup bounced off the iron and Marsh was able to tip the ball into the basket to secure a Conquistador victory.

"This was the type of game that really brings your team together, players and coaches alike," said head coach Jake Williams. "We had a refuse to lose mindset in every single huddle. Our players were not going to let us lose this game. We have experienced some tough finishes this year that we all wish we could have back, but credit to our guys because they weren't going to let it happen this time around. They made sure we finished this game in the win column and for that I'm really proud of them."

The Conquistadors put five guys in double-figures with a sixth on the cusp. Dhieu Deing led the charge with 17-points, including 4-11 from beyond the arc.

Walyn Napper added 12 points, five rebounds, and seven assists. Three reserves showed up big including a season high of 15 points from Quindarius Thomas, including 7-8 from the free throw line.

Marlow Gilmore added 12 points and nine rebounds, and Mike Marsh reached double-figures on his game winner to give him 11 points and 17 rebounds.

Tyler Stallworth played solid down the stretch as he provided nine points and nine rebounds.

The Saints saw four guys reach double-figures, including two 20-point performances. Erik Pratt led the way with 25 points, including a 6-14 mark from three. Kevon Cooper played a big role with his 21-point, nine rebound, five steal, and two block night. Recently back from injury, Bee McCrary added 18 points and Samuel Henderson came off the bench to chip in 15 points.

The win breaks a two-game losing skid for the Conquistadors, moving them to 10-6 on the year and 9-6 in KJCCC play, a full two games ahead of Garden City for second place. It also marks the first win the Conquistador program has had in Liberal since a 105-92 victory in the 2016-2017 season.

The loss drops Seward County to 5-8 on the season and in conference play, down to sixth.

Dodge City is back in action on Saturday, March 20 when both teams travel to Garden City, Kansas to take on rival Garden City Community College.

The women's game kicks off the afternoon at 2 p.m.

Seating will be limited but fans are welcome in Conestoga Arena. Tickets are free and can be claimed at https://gobroncbusters.com/tickets/Hometown_Ticketing.