Demons score 10 points in first half of loss to Panthers

The Dodge City Red Demons came out sluggish in their Western Athletic Conference contest against the Great Bend Panthers at the United Wireless Arena and their comeback came too late in a 49-43 setback.

Dodge City made only three baskets and 10 points in the first half as the Panthers pushed ahead by 14 points at halftime. The Red Demons were only 3-of-12 from the field and committed 11 turnovers (including nine Great Bend steals) before intermission.Great Bend scored 12 points off of Dodge City turnovers before intermission.

"We were just out of sync," said Dodge City head coach Dennis Hamilton. "I'll give our opponent a lot of credit. They had a 2-3 zone and we have four sets to run against it and we couldn't use any of them.

"It just seemed like we were thinking and not playing in the first half. We battled and fought, but we needed to be more aggressive to the basket."

Great Bend (3-5, 2-1) was 9-of-19 from the field before intermission and hit four of their six 3-point attempts to pull away.

Dodge City chipped away after the Panthers extended the lead to 18 early in the third quarter with a 10-run to cut the margin to 29-21, but Great Bend answered back with six of the final seven points to push the lead back up to 35-22 going into the final stanza.

The Red Demons continued to fight in the final quarter as they whittled the deficit down to four points late in the game, but Great Bend was able to answer on the rally to seal the victory.

"Our kids battled and we chipped away and battled in the second half," Hamilton said. "We'll get over this and be ready to play Newton Thursday night at the Tournament of Champions."

Matt Goedeken scored nine of his team-high 11 points in the second half and also grabbed seven rebounds in the contest. Shaphan Gross added 10 and Kelan Newton nine for Dodge City (4-3, 1-1).

Bryce Beck scored 16 points to lead Great Bend in scoring and Brock Ibarra added 15 for the Panthers' second straight conference victory.

The Red Demons' game against the Newton Railers in the Tournament of Champions is scheduled to start at 8:30 p.m. at United Wireless Arena. It will be the final of four first round games of the tournament that day.

GREAT BEND (49) – Chad Touslee 4, Brock Ibarra 15, Bryce Beck 16, Gabe Joiner 3, Ethan Henderson 8, Josh Lutz 3. Totals 17 9-12 49.

DODGE CITY (43) – Rashaan Taylor 2, Jackson Oldham 3, Shaphan Gross10, Austin Weiser 2, Kelan Newton 9, Jace Larson 6, Matt Goedeken 11. Totals 16 6-10 43.

Great Bend10141015 – 49

Dodge City461221 – 43

Three-point baskets – Great Bend 6 (Ibarra 5, Joiner 1), Dodge City 5 (Oldham 1, Gross 2, Goedeken 2). Records – Great Bend 3-5, Dodge City 4-3.