May 24, 2024

Okoro’s Historic Night Propels Red Demons to First Win

DODGE CITY, KS. – The locker room was in disbelief, elated. The team’s ‘MVP chain’ around his neck, forward Tochi Okoro was stunned. The senior had no idea the feat he had accomplished.

Red Demons head coach Shane Traughber had said that this team was fighting for more than just moral victories. They got a lot more than that on Tuesday night.

The Dodge City Red Demons knocked off the Woodward (Ok.) Boomers in their first game back at The Fieldhouse, winning 65-53. Okoro set a program record with seven blocked shots in the victory.

“I didn’t know I had seven blocks until 0.0 hit the scoreboard,” Okoro said. “I was so shocked and surprised.”

Okoro’s presence was felt on both ends of the floor all night long. The senior recorded four blocks in the first half alone, denying high-percentage opportunities for Woodward forwards Connor Sunderland and Isaiah Washington. 

Okoro is up to 15 blocks in four games this season for the Red Demons.

“People like to pump fake me, so I stay grounded. When they go up, I go up,” Okoro said.

The senior also tapped in on the offensive side of the ball early. After snaring two offensive rebounds on one possession, Okoro would rise up over the defender for an and-one finish, flexing his arms to the passionate DCHS fans after giving the Red Demons the lead in the first quarter.

Dodge City (1-3) began to pull away late in the second half with their forward duo on the floor at the same time. The combination of seniors Okoro and Claudio Diaz cleaned up the glass brilliantly for the Demons, combining for 12 first-half rebounds. DCHS emerged with key second-chance opportunities to take a 30-21 lead at the break.

The third quarter saw Woodward really come back into the ball game. Washington had some good finishes inside of nice setups, while junior guard Connor Reid chipped in with four points in the quarter.

Dodge City had a key contribution from one of their juniors. Jaiden Springer, fresh after hitting two three-pointers in Dodge’s loss to Junction City, splashed two treys in the third quarter, going for eight points in the frame.

“He did a good job playing with pace, especially coming off picks,” Traughber said. “There’s a couple times we talk to him with making the right read, but tonight he did a good job.”

Springer led all scorers with a career-best 17 points in the victory.

The fourth quarter saw Woodward (2-4) flip the script from the free throw line. The Boomers went 0-for-6 at the charity stripe in the first three quarters, but wound up hitting six free throws to open up the quarter. WHS would even bring the game back down to just a one-point DCHS lead after a Reid corner three-pointer.

The final eight minutes belonged to Dodge City’s youngest starter, who played like a four-year letterman to close the game. Sophomore Ty Scheck hit six free throws in the last frame, including one off a fast break and-one to ignite The Fieldhouse crowd.

“He’s a kid that, when you watch him play, you wouldn’t know he’s a sophomore,” Traughber said. “He plays with a high basketball IQ, and he plays really, really hard.

Scheck would score 10 of his 11 points in the fourth quarter, including scoring the final points of the game in transition. The result marked Dodge’s third win over Woodward in three years, but more importantly, snapped DCHS’ three-game losing skid to open the year.

The Red Demons look to continue winning ways in Wichita on Wednesday against Northwest. Coverage begins on Z98 immediately following the girl’s final.