Dodge City, Kan. (westernkansasnews.com)–Both area teams were able to notch wins on the opening day of the 70th Dodge City Tournament of Champions on Thursday at the United Wireless Arena. Scott City was able to knock off Derby in a battle of ranked teams 58-45 in the 875th-ever TOC game, while the Red Demons fended off a pesky Railer squad 44-33.
Scott City and Derby went back and forth for the first 10 minutes of the ballgame. Seven lead changes and nine ties was soon a thing of the past, when the Beavers closed out the first half on a 12-2 run in the final five minutes of the first half to take a 31-21 lead at the break. In the second half, Scott City was able to spread their lead out to 44-26 with 3:08 remaining in the third quarter, when the Panthers started to chip away at the deficit. Heading into the fourth quarter, the Beavers held a 46-32 advantage, and increased their lead to 51-34 with 5:46 remaining. Derby would make a push a couple times, scoring seven straight and four straight and pulled to within 54-45 with 2:05 remaining. Scott City would put the final nail in the coffin with four free throws down the stretch and win their 31st straight game. Three Beavers were in double figures, led by Brett O’Neil, who tied a season-high with 19 points, and Drew Kite added 17. Tyler Hess, who averaged under four points a game, had a season-high 13 points for Scott City (8-0). Derby (8-3) was paced by Jeremy Dunham’s 12 points, while Taylor Scheiber added 11, as he played in his first game since before the Christmas Break. Scott City faces Wichita Heights at 7 pm Friday night.
Dodge City got off to an 8-0 start, and never looked back, as they were able advance on to the semi-finals to take on Shawnee Mission South with a 44-33 win over Newton. The Red Demons shot 43% from the field for the game and were 5-of-10 from three-point range. Dodge City lead 21-11 at the break and extended their lead out to 33-15 midway through the third frame, before the Railers were able to cut the deficit to nine. Leading the scoring for the Red Demons Staphan Gross and Jace Larson with 11 points each, while Newton had Grant Walker leading them with eight points. The Railers will take on Wichita South at 3:45 Friday afternoon.
In the early session, Wichita North may have trailed early, but they were able to pound the Buhler Crusaders, leading 25-7 after one quarter, 37-18 at the break, en route to a 67-32 thumping. The Redskins cruised to their ninth victory of the season, as Connor Frankamp finished with 38 points, which is tied for the sixth best individual scoring performance in TOC history. He was 6-0f-12 from the three-point line, and hit 16-of 25 from the floor. Buhler was led by Brandon Keeler with nine points. Wichita North takes on Scott City in a battle of unbeatens at 7 pm, while Buhler faces Derby at 2 pm Friday.
The second game of the day saw the Raiders of Shawnee Mission South waste no time of dispensing Wichita South, leading from start to finish in a 68-30 blow out of the Titans. Shawnee Mission South’s biggest lead came at 60-19 in the fourth quarter, as the top team in Class 5A remains unbeaten on the season. All 12 players who entered the game for the Raiders scored at least two points, and only had one player score in double figures. DeAngelo Bruster led all scorers off the bench with 16 points, while Wichita South got eight points from Kyle Bowers. SMS plays Dodge City at 8:45, while Wichita South faces Newton at 3:45.