The Dodge City Red Demons girls basketball team opened its season with a win Friday night, beating the Junction City Bluejays 46-39.
Freshman Kisa Unruh had a game-high 12 points and a team-high five rebounds.
The Red Demons led 10-9 at the end of the first quarter, but in the second, Junction City went on a 9-0 run to take the lead 18-10. Dodge City trailed 25-23 at halftime.
“I think we were impatient early,” Red Demons head coach Kelley Snodgrass said. “We were trying to push, trying to push, credit their defense. They very scrappy and all over us and early on I don’t think handled it.”
The Red Demons talked about it during halftime though, Snodgrass said.
“(The girls) really came out and they were a little bit more aggressive,” Snodgrass said. “They went to the basket, we got to the free-throw line, which was huge, but overall, at the end of the day I’ll take the W and the growth that we saw.”
The Red Demons eventually closed the gap, and after a few lead changes, took the lead for the last time in the game when they went up 40-38 in the fourth quarter.
Snodgrass said she really liked the way the team found the open players and hit shots. The team also rebounded well, Snodgrass said. The Red Demons out-rebounded the Bluejays 27-21.
“That was huge, because (the Bluejays) rebound the heck out of the ball,” Snodgrass said. “So being able to do that was key. We had a good spark from Kisa Unruh, the freshman just came off the bench and did a lot of good things. My guards handled the pressure. I thought (junior guard Madison Armstrong)’s two 3’s really sparked us, but I could go up and down the list.”
The Red Demons only attempted four 3-pointers, hitting two of them. Armstrong shot both.
“That felt great, because that’s our first option to go in my shots and it was great,” Armstrong said.
Nothing really surprised her, she said, because the Red Demons knew Junction City would be a tough test. That didn’t mean there weren’t a few early-game jitters though.
“I kind of came out nervous just because it’s first game, but I knew my team had my back and I knew that being a junior and having the varsity experience that I’d come out and do my thing and then lift up everybody else that hadn’t been on the varsity floor,” Armstrong said.
The Red Demons (1-0) head to Manhattan, Kansas to take on the Manhattan Indians on Dec. 8. The girls game is scheduled to start at 5 p.m.