Clutch, final-minute free throws by Red Demon seniors Noah Sowers and Adrian Mendoza, and junior John Johnson, helped the Dodge City Red Demons boys basketball team pull out a narrow 69-67 victory over the Liberal Redskins Monday night.
A pair of free throws by Sowers tied the game at 64-64, then gave the Red Demons a lead at 65-64 with 52 seconds left in Monday night’s contest. The last of those proved to be the final time the lead changed as the Red Demons held of a fierce contest by the Redskins.
Overall, however, the night was about Johnson.
He had a tremendous night, recording a double-double with game-highs in points and rebounds.
His final statline showed 24 points, 13 rebounds and three assists in the win. He shot 10 of 12 from the free-throw line, the last of those coming in the crucial final minute.
Sowers finished with 15 points, as did Mendoza.
For Liberal, junior Israel Avalos finished with a team-high 16 points and 12 rebounds. Senior Jordan Mendoza and junior Syris Dunlap each had 13 for the Redskins.
Dodge City outscored Liberal 17-13 in the first quarter, but the Liberal returned the favor to a lesser extent in the second, outscoring the Red Demons 25-23, which sent the game into halftime with the score Dodge City 40, Liberal 38.
The teams each scored 29 points in the second half.
Dodge City outrebounded Liberal 43-28, and turned the ball over 15 times compared to the 17 turnovers Liberal committed. Liberal shot 48.9 percent from the field, while Dodge City shot 37.5 percent. Dodge City went 20 of 29 from the free-throw line, good for a shooting percentage of 69 percent, while Liberal went 18 of 29, good for 62.1 percent.
The Red Demons take on the Hays Indians Tuesday night inside the Dodge City High School Field House. The girls varsity game is scheduled for 6 p.m., with the boys game scheduled for 7:30.