Garden City at Dodge City-Tuesday, January 7-pregame 5:45 p.m.; tipoff 6 p.m.
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Dodge City, Kan (westernkansasnews.com)-Don’t tell these two towns this is only a regular season game. For argument’s sake, it really doesn’t matter.
The first of two, regular-season meetings between the Buffaloes and the Demons takes place in Dodge Tuesday night with the winner having a head start to the conference title.
“This game is about the kids,” Dodge City boys coach Dennis Hamilton said. “It’s something they’ll remember 25 years from now.”
Hamilton has been around long enough to know the history between these two schools. After all, he’s entering his 27th season on the Demon bench. In fact, he’s seen the Buffs more than 60 times; regular season and postseason.
“It’s a great rivalry; that’s for sure,” the veteran head man said. “I want to win this as much as Jacy (Holloway) does.
Hamilton’s counterpart sent the Demons packing with an upset win in the sub state finals last season-advancing the Buffs to the state tournament for the first time since 2007.
“There’s not another feeling like it,” senior Austin Terpstra said following the emotional win in March. “This was our goal all season long.”
Well Terpstra and the likes of Bo Banner are gone. But the coach and the young guns remain the same. Their goals for 2013: Beat Dodge; win WAC; go to state. Period!
For the girls, there’s no looking back at what could have been in 2013. A school-record 17 wins and the program’s first-ever WAC title yielded a first-round exit at Substate.
“We’re not focusing on February,” Coach David Upton said. “We’re focusing on everything that we accomplished, and the now.”
Upton’s team started slow this season, but bounced back with three straight wins to close the first half of the season. But throw all the numbers out; it’s Garden and Dodge.
“It’s a big game,” senior Jacksenie Tornero said. “We want to beat them.”