Wichita, KS (westernkansasnews.com) The Dodge City Lady Red Demon basketball team came into Wednesday’s 6A State Quarterfinal having reached State for the first time since 2010. Their opponent was Olathe South a team reaching their 12th straight State Tournament and with the second best ranking in the polls just behind three time defending state champion Wichita South.
Denied last year in a nine point loss to Washburn Rural, Olathe South returned with the goal of getting pass the opening game. Despite a slow start the Falcons made their living from the line reaching the stripe 28 times and hitting 20 of their free throws to beat Dodge City 50-32 snapping the Red Demons nine game winning streak and ending their season at 17-6.
Olathe South (21-1) began the game going on a 7-0 run before the Red Demons came back to rattle off six in a row to close within one before two Makayla Gooch free throws to end the quarter. Those free throws sparked a 15-4 run ending the half and putting the Falcons up 22-10 at the break.
Dodge won the third quarter 10-7, but had a couple of opportunities to pull within six and failed, the Demons would never get closer than eight the rest of the way and Olathe South dominated the fourth outscoring Dodge 21-12 hitting six of their final seven shots from the field and nine of their last 10 free throws.
The Red Demons never were able to get star player Jessie Harshberger on track. The senior who has verbally committed to go to Southeast Missouri State went 2-12 from the field and ended her career scoring eight points and grabbing four rebounds. Bailey Shelor poured in a late three to finish with 8 points. Tia Bradshaw looked sharp in scoring seven and hauling in 8 rebounds, four of them offensive boards.
Two Falcons reached double figures in the win. Denjane Roebuck went 5-8 in field goals for 14 points, two above her average per game. Kacey Kennett a signee with Fort Hays State made 9-11 free throws keeping in line with her 79 percent mark from the line pushing her to a 15 point, 3 steal game.
For the contest Olathe South overcame a sluggish 3-9 start from the field to hit 15-32 for 47 percent, despite missing all four of their three point attempts. The Lady Demons ended going 31 percent from the field at 10-32. Dodge did have some success from outside going 2-3 in 3 attempts after missing all seven long distance shots in the first half.
Post-game Comments from Dodge City Coach Kelley Snodgrass
One other note Dodge City may have lost on the scoreboard, but there was a good following of Red Demon fans that came out to Koch Arena. The students were loud throughout the game and the band played during breaks and the national anthem adding a homecourt element for the Dodge City players. The boys basketball team rooted on the girls just 24 hours before their opening round game against top seeded Lawrence.