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March 07th, 2021

lopez driveAlex Lopez gets by the Dodge City defense for a basket Friday in Dodge City. Lopez and the Redskins fell to 2-6 in a 76-65 loss. L&T photo/Earl WattBy EARL WATT

  •  Leader & Times

DODGE CITY — Dodge City scored a free throw before the clock ever started against Liberal Friday, and it was the first of 42 attempts by the Red Demons form the free throw line in a whistle-heavy game that ended in a 76-65 loss for the Redskins.

A warm-up technical was called against the Redskins, and the Red Demons made one of two free throws. The Redskins chased Dodge City the rest of the first half, and Logan Miller scored the final four points of the period for the Redskins who trailed 21-9.

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The Red Demons continued to stretch the lead in the second quarter, mainly at the free throw line, and a three by Cooper Scheck with 4:32 to play in the first half gave the Red Demons a 32-12 lead.

Liberal put together a 7-0 run sparked by two baskets from AJ Ramirez, and Embry Williams made a shot in the final seconds of the half to cut Dodge City’s lead form 20 to 12, 37-25.

Williams opened the second half with a three, and the Redskins continued to look for deep shots in the third quarter. Liberal made four threes in the period but only cut two points off the Red Demon lead and trailed 53-43.

Ramirez followed two Williams free throws with two baskets early in the fourth quarter, and the Redskins cut the lead to six, 55-49.

But the Red Demons came out of a time out and outscored the Redskins 9-2 over the next two minutes to push the lead to 64-51.

Dodge City protected the lead at the free throw line down the stretch, making 10 of 15 free throws in the final four minutes to knock off the Redskins, 76-65.

“I am proud of the kids for the fight and determination to overcome some of our shortcomings,” Liberal coach Trace Haskell said. “I am hoping they see where being aggressive on offense gets you to the free throw line, and things start clicking better.”

Liberal (2-6) will play Salina South (5-0) in the Salina Invitational Tournament Thursday.

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