Dodge City went into halftime up nine and had to have been feeling pretty confident. They were the winners of six straight, had a polished-looking 10-1 record and had fresh memories of a Thanksgiving weekend defeat of Labette by five.
However, the second half would take an unkind and ugly turn for the worst.
Labette would outscore the Conqs 53-33 in the second stanza to hand Dodge just their second loss of the season.
The Conqs shot considerably better than the home Cardinals, taking 11 less shots and making only one less basket. One area that cost Dodge dearly would be their shooting from the charity stripe, going 22 of 33 from the free throw line.
Despite the loss, the Conqs got standout efforts from Tramel White, Tyshon Pickett, Clarenece Willard and Greg Lee. They were once again without scoring threat R.J. McGhee.
White led all Dodge City scorers, pouring in 22 points, grabbing 11 rebounds and dishing out five assists. He was 10 for 12 from the free throw line and shot just under 50% from the field.
Pickett was the other Conq to hit the 20 point plateau, scoring that mark exactly after going 7 of 16. He added another double-double to his resume, polishing the glass for 10 rebounds and led the team with two blocked shots.
As for Willard, he was able to put in 18 points of his own, tying White for the team lead with five assists and led the team in steals with three.
Perhaps the surprise of the evening came from Greg Lee. The 5-foot-10 freshman from Jackson, Miss., had not seen much playing time this season, but came alive against Labette, sinking four three-point shots to account for his 12 points.
The Nov. 23 battle between these two squads at the Civic Center saw a contest with 71 total fouls and 86 free throw attempts. This one was a little more subdued, but still featured 49 fouls and 69 free throw shots.
Dodge will look to bounce back from their loss to Labette as they travel to Liberal this weekend to compete in the Pizza Hut Classic.
On Dec. 9, they will take on Northern Oklahoma-Tonkawa and on Dec. 10 they will battle with Quakerdale Prep before taking time off for the winter break. Both contests are scheduled for a 4 p.m. tipoff time.