Dodge City, KS (westernkansasnews.com) Dodge City struggled nine days earlier losing 62-43 at top ranked Central Plains. That was the state’s top 2A team. The Red Demons performed better against the state’s top 5A team Maize and if it was not for talented guard Grant Bugbee the Red Demons likely would have pulled off the upset.
Bugbee hit 10 of 17 shots and 3 of 8 from 3 for 27 points as Maize came back to defeat Dodge City in the opener of the 73rd annual Tournament of Champions from United Wireless Arena 70-62.
Dodge City opened up the game on an 11-3 run and still had a 23-20 lead going into halftime, but stopping the Eagles offense can prove to be quite a chore. Maize scored 50 of their 70 points in the second half and hit 68 percent of their shots (17-25). Dodge City did well from the field hitting 48 percent of their second half shots, but they could not keep up with the Eagles.
When Maize grabbed the lead late in the third quarter, they started hitting their free throws to keep a safe distance away from Dodge City. Even Eagle Guard Dalyn Johnson who was only 50 percent from the stripe this year seemed to hit the big free throws when his team needed it the most.
For Dodge City they were led by Dayton McGroarty who was back to his old form after being held to just four points in Friday night’s loss at Liberal. He scored 18, Eric Reid had 11 points including two big three’s and Bryce Unruh added 10 thanks to a solid 6 of 7 from the free throw line.
Maize has been the spoiler in Dodge City’s opener at the TOC two of the last three years. The Eagles beat the Red Demons two years ago 40-38 to open the 2014 tournament. It was the only prior matchup between the two teams prior to Thursday night’s game.
DCHS Coach Dennis Hamilton Post-game comments
Dodge City (4-6) will attempt to break their three game losing streak this afternoon at 3:30 when they take on Leavensworth (1-8). Pre-game coverage on Z98 and westernkansasnews.com begins at 3:15. All other games at the TOC are available at Z98 mobile app.
Other Games at TOC
Wichita East 63, Hays 61
Hays had a 44-33 lead, but were outscored 23-13 in the final quarter and the number one ranked team in 6A escaped with a two point win thanks to Elijah Kelly’s straight on three pointer with six seconds left.
Manhattan 55, Hutch 35
Hutch kept the game around a 10 point deficit until a late run from the Indians. Christian Carmichael led Manahattan scoring 14 points.
Wichita Heights 68, Leavenworth 42
Heights hit an amazing 15-19 FT’s for 79 percent and Marquis McCray poured in 17 as the Falcons took care of Leavenworth.
Today’s schedule TOC
2pm Hays (8-2) vs. Hutch (1-8)
3:30 Dodge City (4-6) vs. Leavenworth (1-8)
7pm Manhattan (10-0) vs. Wichita East (7-3)
8:30 Maize (8-1) vs. Wichita Hts. (9-1)