Blown leads the story; Dodge records twin killing

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Dodge City, KS (westernkansasnews.com)-The Great Bend Panthers haven’t done much right in 2015; after all they’re just 2-14. But during Friday night’s loss to Garden City, they may have drawn up the blueprint to corral Caleb Tramp and the boys. Dodge City committed copyright infringement on Tuesday and with good reason.

Pulling a page out of Chris Battain’s book, Red Demons Coach Dennis Hamilton used a box-and-one, a 3-2 zone and a straight-up man with a hard trap to control the tempo, holding the Buffaloes most lethal weapon scoreless in the second half en route to a 43-31 victory at the Dodge City Field House.

“We had no rhythm,” Garden City Head Coach Jacy Holloway said. “We couldn’t do anything offensively in the second half. It wasn’t a question of not getting shots; we just had trouble knocking them down.”

Especially after the break, where the Buffaloes were just 5-of-23 from the field, and Tramp was nowhere to be found. The senior was 0-for-6 shooting over the final two quarters and was pulled in the final minute with the game out of reach.

“We designed some plays for him (Tramp), but his shots weren’t falling,” Holloway said. “But it was more than that. It was our team turning the ball over. We needed to take care of the ball and make good passes; something we didn’t do.”

Garden City (11-7, 5-1) turned the ball over 16 times; the most since December 12 vs. Wichita Trinity. Nine of those came in the second half, fueling a 29-13 Dodge City run to close the game.

“Our defense played well in the first half but not in that third quarter,” Holloway said. “It seemed like every time we scored; they answered, and we couldn’t stop them.”

That wasn’t the case in the first 16 minutes, when Dodge City (9-8, 3-2) only took 14 shots and scored just 14 points. But in 28 years, if there’s one guy who knows how to make adjustments at the half, it’s Dennis Hamilton, the guy who looks more like Howie Mandel than he does a veteran skipper who wears those patented dress pants with the shiny white tennis shoes.

The man who’s made a living giving drawing up masterful defensive schemes pulled another gem out of his hat on Tuesday night. And it showed late in the second half, holding the Buffaloes scoreless for nearly a five-minute stretch. All the while his offense found its groove; most notably Dayton McGroarty who scored all seven of his points in the third quarter.

“We had the game plan, we just couldn’t hit anything,” Holloway said. “But there were plenty of things we did wrong.”

In the first half, Garden City minimized the miscues, jumping out to a 9-3 advantage. They took a four-point edge into the locker room.

But the momentum started to swing early in the third when Jackson Oldham erased the early deficit by tying the game at 22 with a foul-line jumper. On the ensuing possession, the senior drained a triple from the right wing, giving the Red Demons the lead for good.

“We still control our own destiny,” Holloway said. “But we have two tough games coming up to close the season, and it all starts with Hays at home on Friday.”

Oldahm finished with a game-high 15 points for Dodge City. McGroarty and Caden Walters each finished with seven points. Noah Williams pulled down a game-best eight rebounds.

Jared Koster Paced the Buffaloes with 10 points, but he was just 4-of-11 from the field, including 1-of-5 from 3-point land. Akil Love chipped in nine, and Tramp had seven.

Tip ins: Dodge City has now beaten Garden City 13 out of the last 16 times…Garden City shot under 40 percent for just the second time in their last nine games…Hamilton picked up his 401st career victory (his first came back in 1987 during  a 19-3 campaign)…The Buffaloes can still wrap up a share of their first conference title since 2002 with a win Friday night over Hays

Next up: vs. Hays-Friday, February 20-7:30 p.m. on 99.9 FM; westernkansasnews.com; mobile app: KWKR and tuneinradio app: KWKR

 

Reversal of fortunes; DCHS takes down Garden

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Garden City, KS (westernkansasnews.com)-On Friday night, Garden City Head Coach David Upton finally got his team over one massive barrier: Carrie Minton and the Great Bend Lady Panthers. On Tuesday night, his aim was do the same against Kelley Snodgrass and Dodge City, the same team that, since their upset win over the Buffaloes in the substate semifinals two years ago, had taken down the brown and white three out of the last four times they’ve played. Unfortunately that mission was derailed by a second quarter plagued with miscues.

Ashley Nelson scored 12 points on 4-of-5 shooting; Tia Bradshaw added 10 and the Lady Demons beat the Buffaloes for the fourth time in five tries 42-36 at the Dodge City Field House.

“We had way too many turnovers,” Upton said afterwards. “That second quarter killed us.”

During that period, the Buffaloes gave it away six times, including four in a row-watching their seven point lead erode. They led by just one at the break.

In the second half, Taylor Nichols gave Dodge the lead for good with a backdoor layup with 5:15 remaining in the third. Seconds later, Briana Bradshaw’s steal and 3-point play extended the advantage to four. It grew to as many as nine before Garden City pulled within two possessions late.

Snodgrass, like boys coach Dennis Hamilton, has become pretty adept at making adjustments on the fly. So when Jaymie Bernbeck scored four quick points in the first quarter, the third-year coach, who was part of that 1998 Cimarron girls’ state championship team, changed things up. Every time Bernbeck touched the ball, Dodge City (11-6, 5-0) sent two girls at her, making the senior give it up. The strategy worked in limiting Garden City’s best player to just one field goal over the final 24 minutes.

“Jaymie made all the right plays and all the right passes,” Upton said. “We just couldn’t hit shots.”

After shooting 44 percent in the first half, Garden City (10-8, 3-3) went ice cold in the final 16 minutes, misfiring on 16 of their 23 shots.

But it wasn’t like the Lady Demons were lighting it up; especially their leading scorer Jessie Harshberger, who was held to just six points on 2-of-12 shooting. In fact the junior missed nine of her first 10 shots from the floor. But that’s where the defense came in, making the win that much more impressive. In two victories over the Buffaloes the season, Dodge City has limited Garden City to 36 and 29 points respectively while holding them to just 32 percent shooting.

(Brianna) Bradshaw netted nine points for Dodge City who won their fourth straight game at home.

Jessica Carillo led the Buffaloes with 11 points off the bench. Tiffany Butler chipped in nine and recorded three steals.

Tip ins: Garden City sophomore guard Abbie Dart missed the game because of disciplinary issues

Next up: vs. Hays-Friday, February 20-5:15 p.m. pregame; 5:30 p.m. tip on AM 1030 KBUF; westernkansasnews.com; mobile app: KBUF and tuneinradio app: KBUF