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Dodge City Daily Globe - Dodge City, KS
  • Demon squads back in action

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  • By John Curtis Dodge City Daily Globe The Dodge City High School basketball teams have spent most of the past two weeks training and putting new plays and schemes into their systems. The Red Demons and Lady Demons will get their first chance to show off what they worked on during the holiday break without much need of motivation as they host Garden City in the first Western Athletic Conference matchup of the season. The Lady Demons will begin action at 6 p.m., with the Red Demons following at 7:30 p.m. The Lady Demons are 2-2 going into tonight's game; the first meeting between the two teams since Dodge City upset the defending WAC champion Lady Buffaloes in the Class 6A sub-state tournament. The DCHS ladies have played hard in all four of their games, but shooting woes both during play and at the free throw line have kept them from having more success. "We shot 18-of-83 in our two losses and I feel that if we hit more shots, then we definitely could be 4-0," said Lady Demons' head coach Kelley Snodgrass. "The free throw line held us back as well. I feel it can only get better. We did play some tough opponents. "I think it's mental and the girls have to have confidence. I think we will be in better shape and conditioned; so we should be able to knock them down in the fourth quarter." Meanwhile, the Red Demons opened the season with a win, but injuries have forced the younger and varsity-inexperienced players to have to learn what is needed to succeed during the three-game losing streak. The four-time WAC champion Demons will also be looking for a little retribution as well after the Buffaloes beat Dodge City in the Class 6A sub-state final. "It's going to come slowly; but the bigger thing is getting some guys healthy," said Red Demons' head coach Dennis Hamilton. "We're going to have Jace Larson and Julian Sands back in the mix, and the young guys continue to get court time every day. It's going to help us get that senior leadership back out there. "We've had to lean on Austin Weiser pretty heavily and I think the return of the other seniors will help him be able to distribute the ball a little bit more." Both coaches know neither team is going to have an easy time against the Buffaloes for their return. Garden City is picked to repeat as league girls champions after losing only one player from last year's squad and both teams are 4-2 on the season; but their break was almost a week longer than Dodge City. "I complimented the girls on their defense and their rebounding," Snodgrass said. "We can force teams to make some turnovers, but we have to capitalize, execute on the offensive end. We have a lot of new faces without varsity experience, and I hope we can play with better continuity. "We still have to work on the fundamentals. We put some stuff in, both offensively and defensively, because we had time. I expect good things from the girls against a good opponent. We will have to play one of our better games; but I think our girls are ready physically and mentally, so we'll just have to go out there and compete." Hamilton said about the Red Demons: "We have to work on consistency. We're still working our offenses and defenses and special situations. We're a pretty good three-quarter team, but the last time I checked, you have to play four quarters. That is what we have strived for during the holiday break. "I don't think there are any words you have to say to get them ready to play a game like this. It's always a big game when Dodge and Garden get together. I think our kids will be ready to play physically and mentally. It's always a fun game, but it's going to depend on which team is more fundamentally sound."

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