Red Demons clamp down in second half to pull away for win

There are times you can just listen to a song over and over and over and it never gets old.
It's the same way with the Dodge City Red Demons as they continue to use their defensive pressure and attack the boards on the both ends, like they did Tuesday night in the 50-35 victory over the rival-Garden City Buffaloes in the first Western Athletic Conference game for both and final game before the holiday break.
The Red Demons (4-1) shot better than 50 percent from the floor in the second half and outscored the Buffaloes 29-16 after intermission. Garden City was 3-of-22 from the field in the final quarter as they tried to speed up the game, but couldn't handle the Dodge City pressure defense.
"I think our kids have done a pretty good job feeding off of our defense," said DCHS head coach Dennis Hamilton. "It's an important part of the game and we don't want to build on the offensive side because what happens when you're not making baskets. I thought we were pretty solid defensively, especially in the second half.
"I know Garden is capable of shooting the ball so much better than they did (Tuesday night). It just didn't fall for them, but you have to give our kids credit."
Matt Goedeken led Dodge City in scoring with 13 points, while Jace Larson added 10 points and eight rebounds with both scoring six points in the final stanza. Tristan Nanninga led Garden City with seven points.
The Red Demons led 21-19 at halftime, but scored the first eight points of the third quarter to build a 10-point lead. Garden City (4-2) tried to speed the game up and was able to cut their deficit to five by the end of the stanza.
The final quarter saw the Demons allow only one field goal for the first six minutes of the second half as they steadily pushed the lead back up to double digits. Dodge City led by as many as 17 points late in the contest to go out on holiday break with some momentum.
The Demons scored the first six points of the contest before Garden City came back to cut the margin to 12-11 by the end of the opening quarter.
The Buffaloes scored the first basket of the second quarter for its only lead of the game before Dodge City went on a five-point run to regain the lead and held a 21-19 advantage by intermission.
Statistics in the first half were mostly even with the Demons' 3-1 advantage in free throws being the difference.
The Red Demons will not play again until Jan. 4 when they host Sunrise Academy at the DCHS Fieldhouse. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:45 p.m.
DODGE CITY (50) – Zach Norton 4, Sthaphan Gross 8, Austin Weiser 3, Jordan Doan 5 Kelan Newton 7, Jace Larson 10, Matt Goedeken 13. Totals 16 17-24 50.
GARDEN CITY (35) – Hunter Delgado 2, Tristan Nanninga 8, Bo Banner 7, Austin Terpstra 6, Emilio Parr 4, Akil Love 2, Caleb Tramp 6. Totals 15 3-5 35.
Dodge City 12 9 12 17 – 50
Garden City 11 8 9 7 – 35
Three-point baskets – Dodge City 1 (Doan 1), Garden City 2 (Nanninga 2). Records – Dodge City 4-1, Garden City 4-2.