February 8, 2023

Demons push No. 4 Derby to brink, but fall late 58-53 in Tournament of Champions

DODGE CITY–Jack Ulwelling nailed a corner-pocket three with two minutes remaining to unlock a tie and put No. 4 Derby in front for good, and Dodge City’s upset came up short 58-53 Thursday in the opening round of the Tournament of Champions at United Wireless Arena.

Ulwelling’s three was one of three triples on the night en route to a team-high 14 points to lead the panthers to an escape in the first round.

The contest featured 12 ties and 15 lead changes, and though the Demons led by six late in the fourth quarter, an 8-0 burst by Derby was the difference, and Dodge City couldn’t pull off the shocker.

22 Demon turnovers gave way to 25 Derby points, the bulk of which came in the second half when the Panthers made a defensive strategy change and ramped up the intensity and ball pressure.

Dodge City was led by Jaiden Springer’s career-high 17 points on 3-of-4 from distance and 5-for-9 from the field. Daelyn Unzueta chipped in 10 points.

The Red Demons fall to 4-6 with the loss and return to action Friday when they take on Bishop Carroll in the loser’s bracket of the Tournament of Champions. Tipoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. CT.