The Dodge City Red Demons girls basketball team lost to the Derby Panthers Friday night.
The loss means their 2017-18 season is over.
It was a tough all-around night for the Lady Demons, who trailed from the outset. Their first score came when freshman Kisa Unruh scored on a running layup with 1:32 left in the first.
The Panthers led 22-0 up to that point.
Point-off-turnovers were one of the biggest elements in Derby’s win. Dodge City finished with 27 turnovers, while Derby had 16, but Derby outscored Dodge City 35-9 off those.
“Obviously they have a lot of length,” Lady Demon head coach Kelley Snodgrass said. “Their guards are very quick and anticipate well, and then they’ve got (6’6 junior Kennedy Brown) protecting the rim.”
The Panthers took a 26-2 lead into the second quarter, a 51-6 lead into halftime, and a 66-15 lead into the fourth quarter before winning 71-17.
“Derby’s an excellent team, well-coached, and they’re gonna do good things in the state tournament,” Snodgrass said. “They shot the ball very well tonight, and we didn’t. We didn’t handle the pressure and we couldn’t get anything going offensively.”
Panthers junior Tor’e Alford led all scorers with a team-high 17 points on 6 of 6 shooting from the field, including 5 of 5 from 3-point territory. Fellow-junior Kennedy Brown had a double-double with 10 points and a game-high 11 rebounds.
For Dodge City, sophomore Chidera Okoro had a team-high six points. The Lady demons were aggressive going to the rim on offense, but the Panthers anticipated well throughout the night, blocking seven Red Demon shots.
“You work on shot-fake, up-and-under’s, but you still can’t simulate what you’re gonna see here in practice,” Snodgrass said. “I feel like we tried to still feed it inside.”
Senior Brianna Buller ended her Red Demon basketball career with three points and tied junior Ezinne Okoro for a team-high five rebounds in Friday’s game.
She was one of two seniors graduating from the team this season. Alexis Ontiberos was the other. She battled injury throughout the season, playing in only a few games this year.
“I can’t say enough about Bri and Lexi,” Snodgrass said. “Obviously they were plagued with some injury and some illness this year, so I don’t think it went the way they wanted, but those are two of the hardest workers I’ve ever coached. They’re gonna be very successful in life just because of their work-ethic and their leadership and positivity for these young girls. We will definitely miss them next year.”