The Dodge City Lady Demons had everything going their way in their Western Athletic Conference showdown against the Great Bend Lady Panthers at Allen Fieldhouse.
The Lady Demons, however, gave up two quick baskets in the final 15 seconds and didn't make a basket in the final nine minutes of the game as the Lady Panthers overcame a 10-point deficit to beat Dodge City 59-44.
Great Bend outscored the Lady Demons 26-5 in the final quarter with Morgan Harwood scoring eight points to lead the Lady Panthers into taking the lead away from Dodge City in the final four minutes of the game.
"We were very careless with the ball there at the end of the third quarter and, like we said to them at practice, you turn the ball over to them and it's two points for them," said DCHS girls basketball head coach Kelley Snodgrass. "We really focused this week about being patient when we played and not go for steals; but in the fourth quarter, we lost our minds both defensively and offensively.
"We didn't take care of the ball or value the possession and we didn't get any stops on defense."
Jessie Harshberger scored all eight of her points in the first half and tied as the leading scorer with Chandra Sain. Alexis Sanchez added seven in the loss for Dodge City (5-13, 1-5).
Harwood scored 19 points (14 after intermission) and grabbed nine rebounds to lead Great Bend (11-7, 4-2) and Tarynn Slueder added 10 in the victory.
Neither team took care of the ball in the first quarter with Dodge City turning the ball over 10 times, while Great Bend gave it up seven times in the opening stanza. The Lady Panthers scored seven of the first nine points, but the Lady Demons fought back to trail 11-7 after eight minutes.
The Lady Demons took control of the contest in the second quarter. Harshberger tied the game for Dodge City with a basket, then hit two free throws to put the Lady Demons ahead. A three-pointer by Sain helped Dodge City extend the lead to 26-20 by intermission.
Harshberger had five rebounds to go with her first half points to lead the Lady Demons, while Sain added five for Dodge City. The Lady Demons were 9-of-22 shooting in the first half. Although Dodge City committed 12 turnovers before intermission, only two were in the second stanza.
Great Bend was only 6-of-22 from the field and were outrebounded 20-11 before intermission.
The Lady Demons continued to apply the pressure in the third quarter, pushing the lead up to double digits a couple of times. A basket by Sanchez put Dodge City up 39-29 before the Lady Panthers started their run.
The Lady Demons' next game will be "Senior Night" at the DCHS Fieldhouse as they host Hays in another WAC battle. Tipoff is scheduled for 6 p.m.
NOTE — The Garden City Lady Buffaloes beat Hays 47-43 in the New Garden to claim the girls basketball league title.