Durango had an eight-point lead with “about” 3˝ minutes to play in regulation, head coach Alan Batiste said.
Montezuma-Cortez rallied to force overtime at 53-53, though.
Although Batiste wasn’t happy with his typically stout defense allowing 25 points in overtime and the final minutes of the fourth quarter, he was happy with the Demons’ 69-66 victory Tuesday night in Cortez.
The win gave the Demons’ basketball programs a season sweep over their archrivals.
“Defense really wasn’t our forte, for both teams I don’t think,” Batiste said after his Demons allowed a season-high in points. “That was by far our worst defensive display.”
Batiste said it was the “tiny breakdowns” that hurt the Demons on D.
“Watching the ball. They hit some big shots; they were able to penetrate on us, and that leads to breakdowns on defense and wide-open shots,” he said.
The final minutes of regulation were back and forth.
Montezuma-Cortez made the front end of a one-and-one from the free throw line late in the game, and Durango had a chance to win it at the end of regulation.
DHS had the ball with 7 seconds left, but Montezuma-Cortez, with a foul to give, fouled near half court. With 3 seconds to play, DHS inbounded and got a foul call at the buzzer that this time would’ve sent the Demons to the free throw line.
“But we didn’t get that call,” Batiste said.
The foul eventually was ruled to be whistled after the final buzzer.
But on the back of their point guard, the Demons rallied to victory behind Willy Frownfelter’s 26 points.
“He had a great second half,” Batiste said. “And he hit some big free throws.
“That’s a big game to come out of against your rivals in a hostile environment” he said. “Now we just have to handle our business on Friday, and that will set up up for a share of the (Southwestern League) championship on Saturday.”
DHS (13-4, 6-2 SWL) will host Montrose at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Grand Junction at 1:30 a.m. Saturday; both games will be broadcast on KDGO 1240 AM.