DCCC Women's BB: Conqs fall short in valiant effort

Joe Penno
DCCC Sports Information Director

The Dodge City Conquistador women's basketball program traveled to Liberal, Kansas to take on the Seward County Saints Wednesday night, falling 67-60 in a tightly contested game.

A far cry from the 86-54 victory Seward took when they came to Dodge City, the Conquistadors came out of the gate proving they weren't going to roll over.

Fueled by an 7-0 run, the Conquistadors ended the 1st quarter with a 21-11 lead. However, off the strength of a full court press, the Saints' defense clamped down and held Dodge City to just six 2nd quarter points as they cut the halftime deficit to four at 27-23.

A Seward County team averaging 84.7 points per game played true to their style in the 2nd half with quarters of 20 points and 24 points, respectively.

The Conquistadors continued to hang around despite a 20-11 3rd quarter Seward advantage to put the Saints up five at 43-38.

Using a 15-4 run from the 4:45 mark in the 3rd quarter to the 9:33 mark in the 4th, the Saints were able to extend their lead up to nine, their biggest lead of the game, thanks to a Sydney Wetlaufer three-pointer to make the score 47-39. A quick 8-0 Conquistador spurt capped by a Keimora Banks floater put the Conqs within one, 47-46, with 6:55 to play in the game.

After extending their lead back up to eight, the Conquistadors found themselves down one at 61-60 with 1:06 to play after Banks found Emery Maze for a left wing three-pointer. It was another Wetlaufer three that proved to be the dagger as she found herself open at the top of the key to put the Saints up four.

An Emery Maze three on the other end wouldn't fall and the Saints made their free throws, leading to a 67-60 Seward County victory when the final buzzer sounded.

"We had a valiant effort tonight, the kind of effort we have been looking for all year," said head coach Zach Loll. "We did a number of things that don't show up in a box score. Our energy was excellent and our communication was on point. We aren't happy with the outcome, but we can use it to propel us into Saturday's matchup with Garden City."

The Conquistadors were led by Maze's 18-point, five rebound effort as the only Conq in double-figures.

Celebria Peacock added eight points and five rebounds, including 2-2 from beyond the arc. The Conquistadors outrebounded the Saints 57-52 thanks to Madison Gissendanner collecting 11 rebounds to go with two steals and a block.

For Seward County, it was 28 points off of 33 Dodge City turnovers that proved to be the difference for them as they were able to overcome a 25.3% (20-79) mark from the field and a 13.6% (6-44) performance from three. Offensively they were led by Sierra Morrow's 19-point, eight rebounds, and four block performance.

Three other Saints scored in double-figures including Sierra Lynch (12 points, six rebounds), Sydney Wetlaufer (11 points, six rebounds), and Zhane Thompson (10 points, six rebounds).

With the loss, the Conquistadors fall to 4-13 on the season and 3-13 in KJCCC play while Seward County moves to 11-4 on both the season and in conference play.

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.