The Dodge City Red Demons knew they were going up against a team with speed as well as a defensive-minded opponent in the Sunrise Christian Buffaloes.
The Red Demons shot well in the first half but couldn't penetrate the Buffaloes' defense or slow the visitors down after intermission in a 62-46 setback in Dodge City's first game back from the holiday break.
The Demons made only one field goal, gave up 12 points off turnovers and six more off second chances in the third quarter as Sunrise pushed a one-point halftime lead to 52-38 by the end of the stanza. Dodge City made only one field goal in the final period as well.
Sunrise finished the game shooting 25 of its 43 shots and the 62 points were the most given up by the Demons this season. The Buffaloes scored 28 points off turnovers and 13 more on second chances.
"They're good and there's no question about it," said DCHS boys basketball head coach Dennis Hamilton. "I told our kids afterwards that I've been doing this a long time and I don't think I've ever seen a high school team as high a caliber as this; but this is a hand-picked team.
"Nothing to take away from their kids because they are good and talented kids; but if you look at Wichita Heights and their four-peat and they would have had trouble against a talented team like this because they get players world wide."
Shaphan Gross led Dodge City (4-2) with 14 points and Matt Goedeken added 11 in the loss.
Sebastian Saiz recorded a double-double for Sunrise with 15 points and 10 rebounds. Other Buffaloes to score in double figures include Nathan Bain with 14, Janari Joessar 13 and Andre Sands with 10.
The two teams traded baskets for most of the opening stanza before Dodge City closed out the period with an 8-point run (including five points on three technical fouls with 4.7 seconds left on the clock). The Demons made six of their eight shots on the way to a 20-15 lead.
"That was kind of a bizarre situation," Hamilton said. "That gave us a little momentum and we hung in there and hung in there. I think it was the calm before the storm, which was the third quarter."
Sunrise was more aggressive in the second quarter, scoring eight points off Demons' turnovers and making seven of 11 shots in the stanza. A late run by Dodge City cut the deficit to 32-31 at intermission.
Both teams shot better than 50 percent from the floor in the first half. Dodge City was 10-of-18 (55.6 percent) and Sunrise was 12-of-21 (57.1 percent). Gross made five of his six shots and scored 13 points to lead the Demons. Sunrise had four players with seven or more points after 16 minutes.
The Demons' next game will be next Friday against Great Bend in the first Western Athletic Conference game. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
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