Dodge earns semi-final spot after defeating the Salthawks


Noah Sowers, 12, protects the ball from Salthawks player. Photo by: Ruby Quezada

Victoria Garcia, Editor-in-Chief

Dodge City’s first Tournament of Champions appearance came with a high intensity game against the Hutchinson Salthawks, in the end leading to an important first game victory during the 76th tournament.

Starting the game, John Johnson, 11, won the tip-off for the Demons, allowing Adrian Mendoza, 12, to score a three pointer within the first 10 seconds of the game. The Salthawks responded with a basket making the score 3-2. A couple minutes into the game, the Salthawks received a technical foul for a scoring violation. With two lead changes in the quarter, Dodge City finally pulled into the lead with one minute left in the quarter with a score of 12-11.

Coming into the second quarter the intense back and forth play continued, containing four lead changes and two tied scores, at 24 and 29 points. Five minutes into the game, the Red Demons gained momentum and began to secure their lead. With 50 seconds left, Bowen Smith, 12, made two consecutive three-point shots, driving the team to their final half-time score of 40-32. Leading scorers for the first half included, Adrian Mendoza, Cody Ibarra, and Noah Sowers, with 9, 9, and 12 points respectively.

Coming back into the second half, both teams seemed worn down, but still determined to give a good fight. The Demons maintained their lead, holding a steady 10+ point lead. Four minutes into the third quarter, there was another set of consecutive three-pointers, this time scored by Ibarra. At the end of the quarter the Demons led over the Salthawks, 62-48.

Dodge City came into the final quarter determined to win their first game. Halfway through, the Red Demons held a steady 20 point lead over the Salthawks, 72-52. As the clock came to a stop, the play carried on at a steady pace, until the final minute of the game, when both teams implemented a full team sub-out. This gave the Salthawks a refreshed burst of energy, scoring 12 points in 50 seconds. However, it was not enough to put them over the edge and the Dodge City Red Demons came out on top with a final score of 79-72. The final scoring stats put Sowers at the top, with a total 20 points scored, followed by Ibarra with 19, and Mendoza with 12.

The Red Demons will play tomorrow at 7:30 pm against the Junction City Blue Jays in a semi-final showdown.