The Dodge City High post players have been working on being more physical in their play going into their fourth game and they showed their new aggressiveness Friday night in a 54-43 victory over the Eisenhower Tigers
Matt Goedeken scored 16, Shaphan Gross 15 and Jace Larson 11 – many on second chance opportunities – after the coaches talked about the low post players showing a little more fire on the court. Larson had a double-double with 10 rebounds as well.
"He's always talking to me about being tougher and being more physical every single practice," Gross said. "I just take that to heart and try to control it and get more physical as I can to help my team out."
Dodge City scored 18 points off of second chance points in the game, and the trio also helped shut down an Eisenhower squad that came in averaging 76 points a game after four contests. Instead of the normal 3-2 zone, the Red Demons (3-1) used a 2-3 zone to have the post players available to extend out to help guard on the outside shots.
Dodge City scored 20 points off of Eisenhower turnovers; the visitors from Goddard were only 5-of-17 from 3-point range and Trevon Evans (who had been averaging 37 points a game for the Tigers) scored 16 on the night.
"I thought our kids did a great job," said DCHS boys head coach Dennis Hamilton. "Our kids were able to cover them on the outside and they didn't shoot a great percentage from outside the arch. Jace getting a double-double and six assists was a big night.
"We put an emphasis of posting up and being more demanding of the ball. I thought our kids for the most part had a good practice to game carryover."
The two teams traded the lead seven times in the first quarter before Dodge City was able to score the last five points of the stanza to build a 13-9 lead, then clamped down on defense to extend the lead to 27-12 with three minutes remaining before intermission.
Eisenhower was able to cut the margin down to 29-17 by intermission. Dodge City was 12-of-31 from the field and was able to score 11 points off of eight offensive rebounds (nine points in the second quarter). The Tigers were only 6-of-17 from the field in the first half and committed 11 turnovers the Demons turned into 10 more points before halftime.
Gross had 11 points and five rebounds in the first half to lead the Dodge City charge.
The Tigers were able to cut the margin down to six points midway through the fourth quarter, but never really threatened an extended comeback to try to win the game.
The Red Demons' next game is Tuesday night in a conference matchup against Garden City. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:45 p.m.
"It doesn't matter if the teams are unbeaten or 0-5 apiece; this is our rivalry game and we're going to go all out to win it," Hamilton said.
EISENHOWER (43) – Trevon Evans 16, Baily Strunk 7, Brennan Stemple 10, James Salmon 2, Matt Morris 8. Totals 15 8-11 43.
DODGE CITY (54) – Jackson Oldham 2, Shaphan Gross 15, Austin Weiner 3, Jordan Doan 3, Kelan Newton 4, Jace Larson 11, Matt Goedeken 16. Totals 21 11-17 54.
Eisenhower 9 8 13 13 – 43
Dodge City 13 16 9 16 – 54
Three-point baskets – Eisenhower 5 (Evans 1, Strunk 2, Stemple 2), Dodge City 1 (Doan 1). Records – Eisenhower 4-1, Dodge City 3-1.