The Dodge City Red Demons boys basketball team opened day three of the 2018 Tournament of Champions apparently intent on shooting the roof off the place.
The Red Demons finished the tournament in seventh place with an 80-69 win over the Leavenworth Pioneers Saturday. They made 12 3-pointers in the victory, matching a single-game tournament-high set by Hays in the day-one opener.
Dodge City hit 12 of 30 in their performance, while Hays hit 12 of 38 their effort Thursday.
Available statistics are unclear on how many shots it took Hays to make their 12th 3-pointer compared to how many it took Dodge City to make theirs, but based on the numbers that are available, Dodge City hit 40 percent of their 3's, while Hays hit 31.6 percent of theirs.
"That's kind of how we play mostly," Red Demons assistant coach Micah Womacks said. "We know we're gonna shoot a lot of 'em, we hope that we can make a lot of 'em too."
Red Demon junior Noah Sowers had game-highs in both points and assists, with 30 and eight respectively. His eight assists, which Manhattan senior Nate Awbrey also had, were tied for the most by a player the last day of the tournament.
Sowers’ 30 points were the most by any player on any team the last two days of it, bested in the entire tournament by only Maize junior Caleb Grill, who had 38 against Dodge City on day one. Grill also won the tournament’s free-throw contest on Saturday.
Red Demon senior Hunter Heath also had a great game, recording a double-double with 20 points and a game-high 12 rebounds.
Those rebounds helped the Demons dominate the glass. They pulled down 41 rebounds compared to 27 by the Pioneers.
That was particularly true offensively. The Red Demons had 21 offensive rebounds to the Pioneers' six. Strong offensive rebounding also allowed the Red Demons to get 16 second-chance points to just four by the Pioneers.
Saturday's win was the first time the Red Demons have won a Tournament of Champions game since Jan. 22, 2016, when the team also beat Leavenworth, that time on day two of the tournament. They went 0-3 in last year's.
The win also moves the Red Demons to 6-5 overall. They are 1-0 in conference play, and are next in action on the road Friday, when the team takes on conference-foe Great Bend in Great Bend, Kansas.
Nine games remain on the Red Demons regular-season schedule. This year's TOC gave Dodge City the chance to face some really good competition, Womacks said.
"There wasn't a team in this tournament, I'd like to throw us into that mix too, that wasn't very good," Womacks said. "I think all eight teams were very good teams, and for us to compete and then get a win here was really big for us moving forward."
Last year's team was a different group of players led by a different coach, but Saturday's effort, Womacks said, was a strong ending to the tournament for the Red Demons.
"I think that these kids, (in) this game today actually came out and played with some fire, where they did not have that the first two games Thursday and Friday," Womacks said.
Friday's game is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. in Great Bend.