The Liberal Redskins took a 4-2 lead with 6:11 left in the first quarter of the girls game Monday night.
It was the only lead change of the game after Dodge City had taken a 2-0 lead in the game’s opening minute on a basket by junior Chidera Okoro.
Liberal’s basket was the game’s only lead change. The Redskins never gave the lead up again, outscoring the Red Demons 14-4 in the first quarter, 35-15 in the first half, 12-9 in the third quarter and 13-8 in the fourth on the way to a dominant 60-32 victory.
Sophomore Kisa Unruh was the only Red Demon to have more than 6 points Monday night. She had a team-high 10. Okoro and freshman Camree Johnson had 6 points each.
In all, it was a tough night shooting for the Red Demons. Nowhere was that more evident than in the first half, when they shot just 3 of 16 from the field (18.8 percent). Overall, they ended up with a shooting percentage from the field of just 21.6 percent, and went 0 of 9 from 3-point range.
The Redskins shot 50 percent from the field in the game, but that was after they cooled off following halftime. They shot 61.9 percent in the 1st half.
Even the free-throw line wasn’t the usual, relative sanctuary for the Red Demons. There, they were outshot 68.2 percent to 45.7 percent (they went 16 of 35 from the line, the Redskins went 15 of 22).
“Obviously we couldn’t throw it in the ocean tonight, and then we even get to the free-throw line in hopes to get some momentum and we couldn’t make ‘em there either,” Red Demon head coach Kelley Snodgrass said. “There’s going to be nights like that. I’m just disappointed that it fueled our energy and our effort on defense. We shouldn’t have given up 60 points, but obviously when things don’t go your way it’s going to take the air out of your sails.”
Otherwise, it wasn’t a terribly different game for the two teams. The Red Demons didn’t have any blocks compared to the five by the Redskins, but they had seven steals to six by the Redskins. Liberal outrebounded Dodge City, but not by much (34-29). Liberal had 3 second-chance points, while Dodge City had 2.
In the end Liberal was just too much for Dodge City on a night in which they clinched the Western Athletic Conference title outright.
“Liberal’s a great team, I mean they’re undefeated for a reason,” Snodgrass said. “We competed well with them at their place, and we were looking forward to getting our second chance at home, but things didn’t go our way.”
Dodge City, however, won’t get much time to think about it, and for the young Lady Demons team, maybe that’s a good thing.
“It’s always good to get back out and take your frustration out on somebody else,” Snodgrass said. “You don’t want to go to practice and have to beat up each other after a tough loss like this. They’ll come out ready to compete tomorrow, we know it’s a must-win for sub-state, and obviously we kind of gave it away up at their place, so hopefully they’ll come back fired up and ready to go.”
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.