By BRETT MARSHALL

bmarshall@gctelegram.com

DODGE CITY It might not have been the type of victory Scott City coach Glenn O'Neil or his unbeaten Beavers had hoped for, but the 62-47 semifinal victory Friday night over Class 6A Derby in the 68th Annual Dodge City Tournament of Champions served its purpose.

That was to put themselves in position to have a great week and as a result, they find themselves poised to tipoff in the championship game tonight against Dodge City at 7 p.m.

In the process, the Beavers kept their record spotless at 10-0 and now hope to become the first small-class school from southwest Kansas to claim the prestigious TOC trophy since Holcomb accomplished the feat in 1987.

In addition, the Beavers presented O'Neil with his 400th career victory against just 198 losses, and awarded him the game ball afterward.

"The only one that counts is tonight and I just wanted us to compete and we did," O'Neil said. "I thought we did a good job defensively to not allow them to make any threes (the Panthers were 0-for-17 from behind the arc). They really hurt Ulysses (on Thursday) with the three's."

Senior Ron Baker and sophomore Brett O'Neil were the offensive catalysts for the Beavers, combining for 35 points. Still, their 62 points was the lowest output of the season for the usually high-octane Beavers' offense.

"We didn't shoot too well from outside," said O'Neil, the coach's son who finished with 15 points. "We're shooting the ball a little flat and the rims here seem tight so we're just going to have to adjust some and get them higher tomorrow."

The Beavers did manage to finish at 50 percent from the field (20-of-40) after a shaky start when they were only 4-of-14 in the first quarter.

"We just never really got in a groove tonight," O'Neil said. "We weren't running our transition like we usually do. For some reason we have a hard time closing a game, but winning is all that matters."

The younger O'Neil said he recalled his dad's 300th win when his 3rd/4th grade team presented him with a cake. He thought perhaps the 400th was more meaningful.

"What 400 means is that I've had a lot of good kids come through our program over the years," O'Neil said. "It (game ball) goes up on a rack and my wife will have to dust it."

Scott City led just 10-6 at the end of the first quarter and then expanded it slowly to 30-22 at halftime. A 7-2 run toward the end of the third quarter provided the Beavers with a seemingly comfortable lead at 43-29 heading to the fourth.

But Derby put together its best run of the night, slicing the deficit to seven points, 51-44, with just 2:40 remaining. The Beavers would cash in 11-of-12 free throws down the stretch to clinch their victory.

With one game left in the tournament, O'Neil is looking to cap of what he would call a great week.

"One win in a tournament is so-so," O'Neil said. "Two wins is a good week and three is a great one. Now that we're there, we want to have a great week."

For the younger O'Neil, he just wants his team to represent southwest Kansas well.

"This is one for the smaller schools," Brett O'Neil said. "We really don't care who we play, we just want to go out and play well."

Baker finished the night with 20 points, hitting 7-of-13 from the field and 5-of-6 at the free throw line. For Derby (4-5), Cameron Cornelius finished with 18 points and Jabril Richardson added 10.

TOC Notes: Holcomb was the last southwest Kansas team, other than host Dodge City, to win the prestigious tournament. The Longhorns, coached then by David Novack, won the TOC in 1987, the year following their Class 2A state championship of 1986.

Colby, now in the Great West Activities Conference with Scott City, Ulysses, Hugoton, Holcomb and Goodland, won the tournament in 1985. Liberal, a member of the Western Athletic Conference with Garden City, Hays, Great Bend and Dodge City, won the tourney in 1947. Dodge City shares the record for most titles, with 13.

Each year, the TOC conducts a free throw contest. Sean Jantz of South Gray won the charity contest in 2007 when the Rebels competed in the event. Bruce Jantz won the same competition in 1981 while playing for Montezuma, one of the two schools (the other being Copeland) that is now South Gray.

Syracuse holds the dubious record of fewest points by a team in the championship game when the Bulldogs scored 20 in a loss to Dodge City in 1944, the first year of the event.

Holcomb's Jordan Wilcox won the Most Inspirational Player award in 2009 when the Longhorns finished fourth. Todd Van Cleave of Holcomb also won the award in 1987. Gayle Redd of Sublette captured the honor in 1961.

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Derby-- 6 16 7 18 -- 47

Scott City 10 20 13 19 -- 62

Derby Sparks 1-2 5-6 7, Roman 3-8 0-0 6, Granger 1-2 0-0 2, Steadman 1-12 0-0 2, Schieber 0-2 2-2 2, Richardson 4-8 2-3 10, Dunham 0-2 0-0 0, Chambers 0-1 0-0 0, Cornelius 7-15 4-6 18. Totals 17-52 13-17 47.

Scott City O'Neil 2-8 11-14 15, Turner 0-3 2-4 2, Baker 7-13 5-6 20, Robinson 3-6 2-3 8, Hess 4-5 0-1 8, Meyer 1-2 0-0 2, Kite 3-3 1-1 7. Totals 20-40 21-29 62.

3-point goals Derby 0-17 (Sparks 0-1, Roman 0-2, Steadman 0-9, Schieber 0-1, Richardson 0-1, Dunham 0-2, Cornelius 0-1), Scott City 1-8 (O'Neil 0-3, Baker 1-4, Robinson 0-1). Rebounds Derby 30 (Cornelius 7), Scott City 34 (Baker 7, Kite 7). Turnovers Derby 16, Scott City 13. Assists Derby 8 (Cornelius 2), Scott City 15 (O'Neil 8). Fouls Derby 24, Scott City 15. Fouled out Derby (Roman).

Wichita West 57, Ulysses 55

In a consolation bracket game, the Ulysses Tigers lost a heartbreaker to the Pioneers of Wichita West when Arnez Jones hit a 10-foot bank shot at the buzzer to produce the dramatic two-point victory over the Tigers.

Ulysses (5-5) will now face Newton (2-9) in today's seventh place game at noon.

West took a 15-13 lead after one quarter and was in front 30-26 at halftime.

An 18-12 scoring surge for the Tigers allowed them to take a 44-42 lead into the final quarter.

Josh Jarnagin's 15 points led the Ulysses offensive attack and Garrett Kissell added 12. For West, Jay Bradley scored 17 points and Dorian Flournoy added 11.

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Ulysses 13 13 18 11 -- 55

Wichita West 15 15 12 15 -- 57

Ulysses (55) Newell 1-3 0-4 3, Langston 2-7 3-4 8, Kissell 1-7 10-10 12, Simpson 0-1 0-0 0, Zerr 3-10 4-7 12, Jarnagin 6-10 2-6 15, Oliver 2-8 1-4 5. Totals 15-46 20-35 55.

Wichita West (57) J. Bradley 6-15 2-5 17, Flournoy 3-9 5-6 11, Banks 3-5 2-3 8, Jones 4-10 0-0 9, Thomas 2-3 0-0 4, D. Bradley 0-1 0-0 0, Kelly 2-5 1-5 5, Griffin 0-3 1-2 1, Mboob 0-2 2-2 2. Totals 20-53 13-23 57.

3-point goals Ulysses 5-14 (Newell 1-2, Langston 1-6, Zerr 2-5, Jarnagin 1-1), W. West 4-20 (J. Bradley 3-8, Flournoy 0-4, Banks 0-1, Jones 1-6, Kelly 0-1). Rebounds Ulysses 38 (Jarnagin 8), W. West 39 (Thomas 6). Turnovers Ulysses 17, W. West 16. Steals Ulysses 7, W. West 11. Fouls Ulysses 20, W. West 29. Fouled out none.

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Friday's Results

Consolation Bracket

Wichita West 57, Ulysses 55

Buhler 67, Newton 35

Championship Bracket

Semifinals

Scott City 62, Derby 47

Dodge City , Wichita South

Today's Schedule

Championship

7 p.m. Scott City vs.

Third Place

5 p.m. Derby vs

Fourth Place

1:45 p.m. Buhler vs. Wichita West

Seventh Place

Noon Ulysses vs. Newton