NEWTON, KAN. — The Dodge City Red Demons were able to salvage a split on Tuesday night at Ravenscroft Gymnasium. The Lady Demons lost 53-40, while the guys got a big 79-76 win over the Railers.
The Red Demons got off to a slow start, while the Railers came out to a hot start in the girls game. Dodge City quickly fell behind 18-5 after the first quarter and it didn’t get any prettier in the second quarter. DesiRae Kernal for the Railers was a big threat for the Dodge City defense. The Red Demons had no answer for the post player that could also play a guard. She finished with a team-high 19 points and helped push the Railers to a 30-12 halftime lead.
Dodge City came out of the halftime break with a bit of enthusiasm and would get some big buckets from sophomore Kisa Unruh that kind of gave them the spark that was missing in the first half. The Red Demons outscored Newton 21-17 in the third quarter, but still trailed 47-33 heading into the final quarter.
The Red Demons pulled within 10, but couldn’t get any closer, as both teams struggled to score in the fourth quarter. The Red Demons actually outscored the Railers 7-6 in the final eight minutes, but had already had too big of a deficit to overcome. Unruh led the Red Demons with 19 points, 4 rebounds and 2 assists. She was the only DCHS player to score in double figures.
The Dodge City boys came out red-hot from behind the three-point line. The Red Demons knocked four consecutive three’s to start the game on a 12-0 run and forced a Newton timeout. The Railers would slowly find themselves in the game when junior Ty Berry took over for Newton. Berry would finish with a game-high 32 points.
The Red Demons used the perimeter shooting to guide them to a 23-20 lead after the first quarter of play. Both teams would go back and forth in the second quarter and the Red Demons would go onto take a 43-36 lead into halftime.
John Johnson started the third quarter with a three-pointer, so the Red Demons started the second half just as they did the first half. That three by Johnson would just be the start of another dominant quarter for the Red Demons. Dodge City led 62-45 to begin the fourth quarter, but that wouldn’t last long.
The Railers made an improbable comeback and took the lead late in the fourth quarter, but the Red Demons would get some big stops on the defensive side, as well as big shots on the offensive end. The second half alone saw five lead changes and 4 ties, as both teams went back and forth down the wire.
Adrian Mendoza buried a three-pointer to put the Red Demons up 76-74 with 20 seconds remaining. The Railers would answer back and tie things up at 76 apiece, but Noah Sowers would come up clutch. The senior finished with a team-high 19 points, but none were bigger than his jumper from the right side of the paint to put the Red Demons up 78-76 with three seconds to go. Cody Ibarra would then knock down 1-of-2 free throws to put the Demons up three with 2.3 seconds to go.
Newton’s Berry drove the ball down the right side of the court and heaved up a runner, but it would be off the mark and the Demons would hold on and defeat the Railers.
What’s Next? The Red Demons will host Maize on Friday evening at the Dodge City Field House. The Lady Red Demons and Red Demons both have a 1-1 record and will try to improve that against the Eagles. Both Maize teams are currently 2-0 and ranked in the state.
Coverage: Pregame coverage begins at 5:45 p.m. on 98.1 KSKZ-FM, westernkansasnews.com/Z98/ or on the Z98 Mobile App. The girls will tip-off at 6 p.m. followed by the boys. You can also watch the game on Demon Vision (dchssports.com/demonvision-live)