The Dodge City Lady Demons basketball team fell to the Nickerson Lady Panthers Friday night by a final score of 45-35.
With 1:12 left in the second quarter, the Lady Panthers took a 16-13 lead.
They didn’t stop scoring for nearly a quarter, going on a 15-2 run only interrupted by a pair of Dodge City free throws until freshman Lauren Gleason hit a 3-pointer with 2:24 left in the third.
The Lady Demons shot 24 percent from the field including 0-9 from three point territory in the first half, and 22 percent in the game, including a total of 4-28 from 3-point territory.
“When you shoot as low of a percentage that we did you’re not going to win very many games, obviously,” Lady Demon head coach Kelley Snodgrass said. “I thought that we live-and-die by the 3 a little bit, which is something we gotta get away from. Chidera (Okoro) (is) playing really good right now. We didn’t get her the touches that she needed.”
Sophomore Chidera Okoro led the Red Demons with 11 points and eight rebounds, both of which were team-highs.
Nickerson sophomore Madison Ontjes had a game-high 14 points, and sophomore Morgan Stout had a double-double with 13 points and a game-high 10 rebounds.
Each team had 22 turnovers, but Nickerson had three blocked-shots to Dodge City’s one, and 13 steals to Dodge City’s 10.
“When they don’t press us there’s no need for that many turnovers,” Snodgrass said.
On the boys side, the Red Demons scored the first five points of the game off the hands of junior Noah Sowers on the way to a crushing 84-66 win over the Nickerson Panthers.
The Panthers and Red Demons each scored 60 points over the last three quarters, but that first one was what made the difference Friday night.
“That’s kind of been a deal all year long with us is trying to figure out how to play 32 minutes,” Nickerson head coach Curtis Field said. “I think that we can play different styles, and we were even for (the) second quarter, third quarter (and) fourth quarter, we just (were) down 18 after the first quarter, that’s what it ended up.”
Dodge City head coach Tony Starnes said his team played really well and really quick to start the game, but let up a little bit as they started to feel a little too good about themselves.
“That’s what we’ve got to do,” Starnes said. “We’ve got to be able to play like we’re 10 down regardless of what the score is. Once again, that’s kind of a learned mentality versus ‘feel good about yourself and pat yourself on the back while they’re scoring.’”
Red Demon senior Hunter Heath had a game-high 21 points and a team-high seven rebounds. Senior Dawson Williams, Kaden Riekenberg and junior Noah Sowers all tied for a game-high four steals, and four Red Demons ended the game in double-digit scoring, including sophomore John Johnson who shot 5 of 5 from the field and 4-5 from the free-throw line for 16 points.
Panthers junior Tanner Schrag had 20 points, while senior Trevor Frederick had a game-high 13 assists. Nickerson sophomore Connor MacDonald had a game-high 11 rebounds.
The Red Demons forced the Panthers into 33 turnovers but only committed eight themselves. They also limited the Panthers to three steals while getting 22 of their own.
Starnes said the his team was real active on defense Friday night and had a lot of energy.
That said, Starnes said he really liked the Nickerson team.
“We couldn’t get away from ‘em,” Starnes said. “As in, we really couldn’t separate a ton from ‘em just because they were just really tough and played really hard and obviously well-coached and I like their group.”
The Red Demons are next in action on the road against Garden City Tuesday.
The Panthers are next in action when they host Pratt that same night.