The Dodge City Red Demons had their most productive defensive effort in terms of points Tuesday night with a 43-27 victory over the Ulysses Tigers at the DCHS Fieldhouse.
But it was the handling of the offense that was a positive and could be a big help for the Red Demons as they start the latter stages of the regular season and the postseason. No Red Demon player scored in double figures, but five players scored at least six points in the victory.
“We’ve always wanted to make it more of a reliance on a team instead of one person, so that person doesn’t have to feel like they have to score so many points, but to have the rest of the team do some of the work,” said DCHS senior Matt Goedeken, who led the team in scoring with nine points. “(DCHS) coach (Dennis Hamilton) always mentions before games that one person can’t carry this team, but that it takes the whole team for us to win. I think we showed that tonight.”
Jace Larson and Austin Weiser added eight points, Jackson Oldham seven and Shaphan Gross six in helping the Red Demons (8-6) pick up their third win in four games.
Hamilton was pleased with the way the Demons handled their offense for the night with many people contributing to the win.
“It’s nice when everyone can contribute,” Hamilton said. “Different people lifted us up different times in the game. Anytime you can spread it like that, it makes going to practice a little bit easier.”
The Demons continued to be strong on defense and rebounding. The Tigers made only three field goalsin the first half and one in the final quarter. Dodge City also outrebounded Ulysses 30-14 in the game.
“We have found something we can hang our hats on is the ability to defend,” Hamilton said. “Our kids are starting to buy in and that will keep us in games and to win games. We’re getting better rebounding and the statistics show that. We’re making steps.”
Kyler Barlow and Tate Annis scored six points apiece to lead Ulysses (7-10).
The two teams battled even for most of the first quarter before the Demons used a 9-2 run in the final three minutes to build a 15-8 lead. Weiser scored six points in the stanza with a 3-point basket and an old-fashioned 3-point play during the run. Dodge City scored seven points on second chances and six more off Ulysses turnovers.
Dodge City continued to take advantage of second chances and Ulysses turnovers in the second quarter. The Demons scored 15 points off turnovers and 12 more on second chances to build a 28-14 halftime lead on the Tigers. Goedeken had seven points for the Demons in the second quarter.
The Tigers were able to whittle the deficit down to eight late in the third quarter before Dodge City scored the final five points of the stanza to push the margin back to 35-22 going into the final period. Gross had two field goals in the quarter and Oldham hit a three-pointer just before the buzzer.
Dodge City closed out the fourth quarter by increasing their lead to as much as 19 points in the period.
The Demons’ next game will be against another Great West League opponent. Dodge City will face the Colby Trojans in a contest Thursday night at the DCHS Fieldhouse. Tip-off is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.