The Dodge City Red Demons went up against a hyped-up Great Bend Panthers squad who were celebrating their Winter Homecoming. After an initial run by the Panthers, the Red Demons stopped their opponents cold for most of the first half to spoil the festivities with a 60-44 victory in Western Athletic Conference action. "We didn't get off to the type of starts we wanted in the first and third quarters, but we regrouped and made some things happen," said DCHS boys basketball head coach Dennis Hamilton. "Our kids didn't panic and we just continued to grind and came out with a good win on the road in the conference. It was their Homecoming and this is a tough place to play." The Red Demons (4-3, 2-0) shot 23-of-38 to record their third win in a row before the Tournament of Champions next week. Seniors Julian Sands and Austin Weiser scored 11 points with 10 Dodge City players scoring in the win. The Panthers scored seven of the first nine points of the game as they were fired up to celebrate their special evening, but the Demons came back with their defense with a three-point basket by Jackson Oldham giving Dodge City a 12-9 lead after one quarter. Dodge City continued to use their defense and traps to force Panther turnovers and turn them into Demon points. The Red Demons led by 19 late in the second quarter before a late three-pointer pushed the margin to 30-14 at intermission. The Demons shot 13-of-22 from the field in the first half — including making four of their eight 3-point attempts — with the team recording 10 assists. Eight players scored for DCHS in the first half, and Dodge City also had a 15-8 lead in rebounding over the Panthers. Great Bend made only four of its 17 shots before intermission. "We thought we could speed things up and cause a few turnovers and had a really good second quarter," Hamilton said. "We needed to shift gears and continued to play. Our kids do a good job in doing that." Dodge City continued to be successful with their patient offense in the third quarter. The Demons took only six official shots in the quarter, but made five of them to keep the margin at 16 with a 46-30 lead going into the final quarter. Dodge City finished the second half making 10 of its 16 shots, while Great Bend also shot well (10-of-19) after intermission. The Red Demons won't play again until next week's Tournament of Champions, when they face the Maize Eagles in the first round at 8:30 p.m. Thursday. Dodge City won't return to WAC action again until they host Hays on Jan. 31 at DCHS Fieldhouse. DODGE CITY (60) — Julian Sands 11, Eric Reid 4, Dayton McGroarty 2, Bryce Unruh 4, Austin Weiser 11, Jackson Oldham 6, Caden Walters 6, Jace Larson 6, Noah Williams 8, Tayton Cunningham 2. Totals 23 9-14 60. GREAT BEND (44) — Trey Ibarra 3, Kody Crosby 11, Bryce Beck 9, Dillon Reiser 15, Wyatt Bryant 2, Nick Warren 4. Totals 14 9-11 44. Dodge City 12 18 16 14 — 60 Great Bend 9 5 16 14 — 44 Three-point baskets — Dodge City 5 (Sands 1, Weiser 1, Oldham 2, Walters 1), Great Bend 7 (Ibarra 1, Crosby 1, Reiser 5). Records — Dodge City 4-3 (2-0), Great Bend 2-6 (0-3).