Wichita, KS (westernkansasnews.com) The Dodge City High School basketball team came in on a roll. Winning seven of their last eight games the Demons felt confident they could pull the upset over top ranked and state runner-up Lawrence in Thursday’s 6A state quarterfinal from Koch Arena.
The Demon coaching staff even used the example of 5A’s top seeded team Goddard Eisenhower a team that beat Dodge by two earlier in the season getting upset by eighth seeded KC Washington on Wednesday. The lead was set, but unfortunately Dodge could not follow in those footsteps Thursday losing 55-46 to top ranked Lawrence.
Dodge held in there for three quarters trailing 39-35, but in the end the senior duo of Justin Roberts and Price Morgan took over the game eliminating the Red Demons 55-46.
Dodge City played well early on and were able to take a 17-13 lead early in the second quarter on the strength of two threes, one from Chris Baker and the other from Eric Reid. Unfortunately Dodge City could not find the hot touch outside for the rest of the game going 1-11 in the second half, only getting a late three from Matt Karnes and the Demons could not make their first trip to state since 2012 last .
Roberts and Morgan of Lawrence combined for 40 of the team’s 55 points. Morgan went an incredible 8-9 from the field and excelled from the line hitting 6-7 free throws, while Roberts scored 18 on 6-14 shooting in the win. The two players also sparked a 13-2 run after Lawrence was down by four in the second quarter to help the Lions reestablish control of the game
Defensively the length of Lawrence made the difference Jackson Mallory had five steals and ripped away eight rebounds. The Lions also went afraid to take the ball strong in putting Dodge’s defense at times on their heels.
For six Dodge City seniors they played their final game in a Red Demon uniform. Dayton McGroarty went 8-11 from the field to finish with 18 points. Bryce Unruh was the only other senior to reach double figures, scoring 10.
Post-game Comments from Dodge City Head Coach Dennis Hamilton
The Demons end their season at 12-11, while top seeded Lawrence moves on to Friday’s state semi-final with a mark of 21-2.