Hays, KS (westernkansasnews.com) The Dodge City High School Basketball teams had a goal in mind on Tuesday night at Hays. The girls looked to seal the deal and win their second consecutive championship, while the boys wanted to keep alive and play Thursday night’s game with Liberal for all the marbles.
The Lady Red Demons held Hays to 18 percent shooting from the field and limited the Lady Indians to 4 points in the first half in winning the WAC title for the second straight year 38-18. With a win Thursday night Dodge will have swept all eight games in WAC for the second straight year. Their conference winning streak stands at 17 straight.
Senior Bailey Shelor led the team in scoring for the second straight game with 10, Jessie Harshberger added nine points and seven rebounds as Dodge picked up for a slow start to control the second half. Dodge City improves to 14-5 and win their sixth in a row.
Kaylyn Maple had seven rebounds in the win for Dodge City. Haley George matched that with seven rebounds for Hays, but could not get into a shooting rhythm missing all seven of her shots and finishing with two points. The Red Demons dominated defensively blocking six shots in the win.
DCHS Girls Coach Kelley Snodgrass Post-game Interview
On to the boys game where Hays came in ranked fifth in 4A and had won both previous bouts with Dodge City this year by 16 and 3 points. The Red Demons made the third time a charm gutting out a 70-64 win at Hays.
In the early going it looked like things would repeat themselves, but then the Red Demons rattled off 10 in a row to take a 18-15 lead after trailing 15-8 to begin the second quarter. It was in the third that Dodge City really put the pedal to the metal.
The Demons exploded for 27 points in the third quarter led by precision passing and the ability to hit the boards (37-27, sixth straight game Dodge led their opponent off the glass). Four players scored in double figures: Bryce Unruh finished with 17, Noah Williams had 15 points, five rebounds and five block shots including a big one on a layup attempt with one minute left that would have brought Hays to within four points.
For the game Dodge City hit 57 percent of their shots while Hays was limited to 36 percent. The Indians Isaiah Nunnery on senior night went out in style going an amazing 9-18 from beyond the arc for 32 points (nine more than his previous career high), precisely the amount he needed to move into 12th on the schools all-time scoring list.
Nunnery nearly led the comeback all the way from 16 down, but Caden Walters hit all four of his free throws on back to back trips to the line late and the Red Demons did just enough to close out the win despite several turnovers on their own end in the final minutes.
Dodge City has won five games in a row since taking number one McPherson to double overtime, while Hays wraps up a five game stretch where they went 3-2 in battling three ranked teams.
DCHS Boys Coach Dennis Hamilton Post-game Interview
Liberal’s loss 57-54 to Garden puts Liberal, Hays and Dodge in a three way tie going into the final game at (5-2). The winner of the Dodge City-Liberal game wins the conference crown and if Hays wins at Great Bend the Indians will share the conference championship.
Pre-game coverage of Thursday night’s game between Liberal and Dodge City begins at 5:45. Girls tip at 6 and the guys start at 7:30.