Seward County beat Cloud County in Liberal by 14 last weekend. Cloud County beat Dodge City in Concordia by 32 Wednesday night. So… If my math is correct that means that #18 Seward County should have come out on top by around 46 points Sunday afternoon as they headed to Dodge to take on the Conqs. Well, should have and what actually happened didn’t agree Sunday as Dodge City controlled the game for nearly the entire 40 minutes as they took down the Saints 88-75 to put the first ‘L’ on the board for Seward in nearly two months.
After playing an overtime thriller in the Civic Center a year ago, the 3-3 Dodge City Conquistadors and the 5-0 Seward County Saints headed into battle Sunday afternoon ready for another good matchup with one other. Unfortunately for Saints fans the game was never in their favor as Dodge City stole the spotlight from the conference leaders for the night as they dominated the game in every facet to come away with their 9th home win of the season. Dodge City took control early, picking up an early lead that they would seemingly never relinquish. The Conqs took advantage of a somewhat sluggish first half Seward offense to take an 8 point lead at the half. The Dodge lead was build thanks in part to a terrible outside shooting half for the Saints as they went just 1 for 9 along with a 13/4 advantage on free throws shot in the first 20 minutes.
Seward battled back early in the second half and had the game within striking distance but foul trouble forced four of the Saints better players to the bench midway through as they attempted to get back in the game. Dodge would take advantage and behind strong efforts from Chuck Coley and Bruce Massey, would open up the lead into the upper teens before eventually taking home the 88-75 win. While the Seward offense was better in the second half, shooting 52%, the Saints defense was nearly non-existent, giving up an unheard of 52 second half points on 79% shooting from the Conqs.
For the game Seward shot 47% while giving up 60% to Dodge City. The Saints were outrebounded 34-19 including 12 offensive boards from the Conqs and Dodge outscored Seward 28-19 at the free-throw line. The Saints two leading scorers in the contest, Jon Tassin and Marky Nolen both fouled out of the contest as each went 7 for 12 from the field and combined for 39 points. Tony Smith and Latiq Agard, Seward’s top two leading scorer’s coming into the game averaging a combined 33 points and over 10 rebounds a game, totaled just 12 points and 3 rebounds in the loss in an unusual showing from two of the Saints more reliable players in the last two seasons. “We got beat in every phase of the game” a frustrated Bryan Zollinger said after the game. “Dodge City outplayed us at every position and they deserved to win” he continued.
The Loss drops Seward to 16-4 overall and 5-1 in the conference as well as snapping a 10 game win streak for the Saints. The win propelled Dodge to 16-5 on the season and 4-3 in the conference and moves their record on their home floor to 9-1 on the year. The Saints won’t have much time to dwell on their Sunday loss as they host defending Region VI Champion Garden City on Wednesday in the Greenhouse. The game will kick-start a 4 game in 7 day stretch for the Saints as they look to finish the first half of conference play and start the second half on a winning note. Wednesday’s buyout sponsor is the Sunflower Bank who will be distributing free tickets at their Liberal location as well as McDonald’s, Hutch’s, and the Best Market Supermarket. Wednesday will be Jon Tassin poster night, so make sure to grab your poster of Jon and have him sign it at halftime of the Lady Saints game outside the concession stand.