DHS: Sum of all parts

Demons’ boys basketball is rolling as a collective unit

There isnít exactly one player that comes into focus when you analyze the Durango Demonsí boys basketball team. ďAny given night, we have a different guy,Ē DHS head coach Alan Batiste said. ďBut thatís the plus side Ė you donít have to look to one guy to always get us out of a jam.Ē Enlarge photo

Jerry McBride/Durango Herald file photo

There isnít exactly one player that comes into focus when you analyze the Durango Demonsí boys basketball team. ďAny given night, we have a different guy,Ē DHS head coach Alan Batiste said. ďBut thatís the plus side Ė you donít have to look to one guy to always get us out of a jam.Ē

This Durango team is less Heat, more Nuggets.

Itís not a crack on Durango High Schoolís ability on the basketball court; itís a statement about the way the Demons are built.

Thereís no LeBron James, no 20-plus point scorer to turn to on a nightly basis, which wouldnít be a bad thing. But the Demons (10-4) are less a one-man band and more a sum of their parts.

Yes, Ty Elliott is Durangoís leading scorer. Yes, Nick Hamlin is the Demonsí go-to guy inside and their best rebounder.

But seemingly every time out, someone thrusts themselves from stage left into the spotlight. It could be freshman Lucas Baken, who came up from junior varsity and scored in double figures in his first two varsity games.

It could be Trent Andrews, who picked up the rebounding and defensive slack in a recent win over Montezuma-Cortez with Hamlin fighting foul trouble. It could be just about anyone.

ďItís good, because other teams canít really scout us that well because they donít really know whatís coming,Ē said Andrews, son of Alan and Nancy Andrews.

The sum-of-its-parts mentality is one head coach Alan Batiste has been working to instill since he took over two seasons ago, learning more about his program and his players as he goes.

ďAny given night, we have a different guy,Ē Batiste said. ďBut thatís the plus side Ė you donít have to look to one guy to always get us out of a jam.Ē

That collectiveness, that basketball socialism of sorts, takes pressure off individuals to play beyond themselves, where players who once felt the sting after miscues now feel theyíve got teammates capable of picking up the slack.

Itís an ethos Batiste wants to extend beyond just the offensive end. Rebounding, defense Ė everybodyís got something they can bring to the table, despite their talent level. Yes, offense gets the headlines, but everyone playing a role in a well-orchestrated production picks up the wins.

ďWe have an impact player every single time we play, whether itís rebounds or passing or just handling the ball in late-game situations,Ē Batiste said.

rowens@ durangoherald.com