The Shawnee Mission South Raiders used a 24-12 second quarter, and a 24-19 third to take control and beat the Dodge City Red Demons 77-63 Saturday in the third-place game of the 2019 Tournament of Champions.
Dodge City finished fourth.
“They’re just good,” Red Demon head coach Tony Starnes said. “They’ve got kids along the perimeter that are just really good players, along with their big guy. That’s why they were seeded No. 1 coming into the Tournament, so we knew it was going to be a struggle.”
Despite the loss, the chance to play good competition like the Raiders was beneficial for the Red Demons.
“You just don’t get better unless you play people like this and you’re in that environment and you’re required to play at a certain level, and at a certain intensity level, and so on,” Starnes said. “I was just really was proud of our guys for stepping up.”
There was also more to be learned from the game than just basketball.
“It’s hard as a young person, (or even) as an adult, gracious, but it’s hard as a young person to be able to see the forest,” Starnes said. “Because the tree is ‘I just really played crazy-hard right there, but I’m not getting much out of it.’ So we’re trying to get them to see the big picture for how this is going to help us improve, but just really the big picture in life. That’s just kind of the way life goes. But in the long run if you keep giving that effort, it’s going to turn out good for you.”
Shawnee Mission South massively outshot Dodge City percentage-wise in the first quarter, hitting 55.6 percent of their shots from the field, while Dodge City hit just 30 percent of theirs, but only led 13-11 on the scoreboard.
In the second quarter, the Raiders opened up the lead to 14 points as they continued to shoot well and force the Red Demons not to, as the Raiders finished the first half shooting 54.5 percent while the Red Demons shot 33.3 percent.
The Raiders led 37-23 at halftime, in large part because of their 7-0 advantage in second-chance points through the first half, and a 17-9 rebound advantage. Their shooting never deteriorated much, as they finished the game having shot 54.2 percent from the field and 35.3 percent from 3-point range. Dodge City shot 38 percent from the field and 34.8 percent from the 3-point territory.
Dodge City fought hard, but turnovers, rebounds and second-chance points were too much for the Red Demons to overcome, particularly without having shot the ball well Saturday.
The Raiders’ defense was another element that helped keep the Red Demons at bay and allowed the Raiders’ lead to swell to over 20. They led 61-42 at the end of the third quarter.
They finished having outrebounded the Red Demons 36-26, and won despite having turned the ball over 16 times compared to the 14 times the Red Demons did. The Raiders’ ball movement was also strong, and they finished having outassisted their Red Demon counterparts 18-12.
Raiders senior Skyler Rhoads capped off his TOC performances with a game-highs of both 24 points and 16 rebounds against the Red Demons. Fellow-senior Jake Potthoff had 14 points, and senior Rio Bingley had 13 points for the Raiders.
Red Demon senior Noah Sowers continued his great performances this season, leading the team with 18 points and eight rebounds. Senior Adrian Mendoza and junior John Johnson each had 13. Senior Rameses Vela and Sowers tied each other and two Raiders for game-highs of four assists each.
Final Tournament of Champions placings:
1. Bishop Carroll
2. Junction City
3. Shawnee Mission South
4. Dodge City
8. Wichita North