The Dodge City Red Demons girls basketball team beat the Eisenhower Tigers 47-36 Friday night.
They fell behind early, but with just under 1:50 left in the first quarter, the Demons took the lead 6-5 and never looked back, leading at the end of the first quarter 9-5, 19-12 at halftime and 37-28 at the end of the third.
“We talked about starting strong, staying strong and finishing strong and I felt like they put three good quarters together,” Dodge City head coach Kelley Snodgrass said.
Offensively, the team did OK in the third quarter, but defensively the team could have done better she said.
The Lady Demons outrebounded the Lady Tigers 39-31, which included beating the Tigers on the offensive boards 19-12 in the game.
“Overall we did a really good job on the offensive glass but I don’t know that we boxed-out as well we needed defensively,” Snodgrass said. “They got some second-chance points that they shouldn’t have.”
Eisenhower’s Macy Omli led all scorers with 21 points in the game.
Dodge City freshman Kisa Unruh led the Red Demons with a team-high 13 points, while junior Ezinne Okoro led the Demons with seven rebounds.
It was the third time this season Unruh has scored in double digits. She’s one of two freshmen who has seen playing time on the varsity team for the Red Demons so far this season.
Her success so far, she said, has come in part because of the help of her older teammates, such as junior Madison Armstrong and sophomore Chidera Okoro.
“(Playing on varsity) was very nerve-wracking at first, and my teammates have helped me through the process,” Unruh said. “Madison has shown me what to do, Chidera has been at my side the whole time, (and) the coaches have pushed me to be my best.”
Dodge City’s bench was a factor as well, outscoring Eisenhower’s 20-4.
“That second-five really came in and gave us a spark,” Snodgrass said.
Early on, Snodgrass substituted all five starters for five bench players. Multiple times, either all five starters or four of those in the game came out.
“That second group really had a good practice yesterday and worked well together so we had kind of planned on that,” Snodgrass said. “They had earned that opportunity.”
With the win, the Lady Demons will enter Christmas break either with a 4-1 record or a 3-2 record depending on if they beat Guymon next Tuesday. Either way, they’ll have a winning record at that point.
“I think it’s a big confidence booster,” Snodgrass said. “We are young varsity-experiencewise, so to go into Christmas break being on the winning side, I think it’ll fuel them to work harder. We do have a tough test, obviously we go to Newton and then we’re gonna start (Western Athletic Conference) play so we’ll have to do some really good things over Christmas break but I’m very pleased with what we’ve done this far."
Boys team falls to Eisenhower 88-76
The Red Demons boys basketball team fell to the Tigers Friday night after a back-and-forth battle that included 10 lead changes.
Eisenhower’s Jeffery Wake had a game-high 33 points for the Tigers.
For the Red Demons, junior Noah Sowers led the way with 29 points on 10 of 16 shooting from the field and 6 of 7 shooting from the free-throw line. Sowers also made 3 of 5 from 3-point territory.
Senior Dawson Williams led the Red Demons in rebounding with a team-high eight boards.
“I thought we played our tails off,” Red Demons head coach Tony Starnes said. “(Eisenhower was) an exceptionally-good team we were playing against and we like playing good people just because that prepares us for later but they’re really well-coached, really good players.”
Through much of the game, the Red Demons boys held their own, Starnes said, often matching Eisenhower point-for-point. Near the end, however, they got in their own way a little bit though, he said.
Still, despite the loss, Starnes said the effort the players are giving is helping the team come along.
The Red Demons basketball teams finish out their December slate when they host the Guymon Tigers Tuesday. The girls game is scheduled to start at 6 p.m., while the boys is scheduled to tip off at 7:30.