Liberal, KS (westernkansasnews.com) The Dodge City-Liberal basketball games on Friday night reminded many Red Demon fans of a line from “A Tale of Two Cities”, it was the best of times and the worst of times. Dodge City experienced both. The Lady Red Demons won the girls game 52-36, while the boys blew a 13 point halftime lead in losing to Liberal 47-42.
Sharing the basketball was a key to the win for Dodge City in game one. The Lady Demons finished with 16 assists to Liberal’s six. Tia Bradshaw and Jessie Harshberger each dished out five assists and Bailey Shelor poured in a season high 16 points on 7 of 12 shooting.
Defensively Dodge City limited Liberal to just one player in double figures. Jada Mickens scored 11, but Diamond Bailey their other big star was shutdown to 0-7 from the field in scratching for all four of her points from the line.
The win gives Dodge City (6-3, 2-0 WAC) an opportunity to go 3-0 in conference before their long break between Tuesday night’s game with Hays and the Newton Tournament of Champions. Liberal dropped their record (6-3, 2-1 WAC) and now trail Dodge City by a half game for the conference lead.
Dodge City Girls Coach Kelley Snodgrass Comments
The boys game started out well for Dodge City. The Red Demon held the Redskins to 2/14 shooting during the first quarter. In retrospect, Dodge’s offense could not take advantage in building up an even bigger lead and that in looking back could have been their undoing.
Leading 26-13 at half, Liberal opened up kicking their performance into another gear jumping out to a 20-4 advantage in the third quarter and taking a 3 point lead to the fourth at 33-30. In front of a raucous crowd Liberal outscored Dodge (4-5, 1-1 WAC) by two to win 47-42. The Redskins have won back to back games in their rivalry with the Red Demons after losing 12 straight. Liberal’s 57-56 win in last season’s finale denied Dodge City a share of the conference crown.
For the game, Liberal (7-2, 2-1 WAC) found their touch in the second half and considering their slow start from the field went 39 percent at 18 of 46, but 13/24 for 54 percent in the second half. Dodge did not do to badly for themselves in shooting 44 percent at 19/43, but never found the touch from the outside in going 2/12. The Red Demons also only went to the line 6 times and their infrequent trips affected their timing hitting only two free throws.
In a game that did not feature a lot of scoring, Liberal did a nice job of spreading the wealth. Six different players scored at least five points led by Deladris Green’s 10, Cade Hinkle adding nine with all of his points coming on threes. Caden Walters of Dodge City finished one rebound shy of a double-double with 14 points and nine rebounds. He was the only Red Demon that finished scoring in double figures.
Dodge City Boys Coach Dennis Hamilton Post-game Comments
It does not get any easier for the Dodge City boys. This week they have TOC and will open up the tournament with top ranked Maize. It will be the second top ranked team Dodge City will play this season. 2A’s top rated team Central Plains beat Dodge City 62-43 on Tuesday.
All information on broadcast times for the entire TOC will be posted Tuesday on westernkansasnews.com. All game will be on the internet with Dodge City contests airing on Z98 and westernkansasnews.com.