If their first meeting was any indication, then tonight's rivalry games at Whalen Gymnasium on the Fort Lewis College campus are can't-miss games.
Then again, they typically always are.
Durango High split a pair of Southwestern League games at Montezuma-Cortez High School on Jan. 29. The rematches are tonight at 5:30 (girls varsity) and 7 p.m. (boys varsity), for the second consecutive season at Whalen Gym at FLC.
"I think it's a good thing," DHS girls basketball coach Mary Psenda said of the neutral site. "It gives the community a chance to get involved in this, as well. Usually, our gyms are so packed that people either couldn't get tickets or they just stayed away."
There were no pre-sales for tonight's games; all tickets will be sold at the door.
Durango fans will enter through the south doors on the west side of the gymnasium then be seated on the south side of the gym, opposite of the benches and scorer's table, while Montezuma-Cortez fans will enter through the north doors and be seated on the north side of the gym.
Doors will open at 5 p.m., a half-hour before the girls varsity revisit their rivalry.
Durango (13-9 overall, 3-6 SWL) won Game 1 in Cortez, 45-35.
"I thought that was probably one of the games where we started to play together as a team," Psenda said. "The second half of league play, although our record might now show it, we played more as a basketball team. The Cortez game ... that was really the starting point."
Montezuma-Cortez has lost four consecutive games and is last in league at 0-9 and 7-15 overall.
Durango is fourth in league, and possibly playing for a spot in the Class 5A State Tournament.
"I think so," said Psenda, who will know her postseason fate after the state tournament selection show Sunday in Aurora.
"It's starting to come together for us," Psenda said. "I just hope time doesn't run out on them."
The DHS boys varsity, which lost 43-40 at Montezuma-Cortez on Jan. 29, likely is playing out the string.
Durango is 5-12 overall and
2-7 in league, fifth place and two spots behind Montezuma-Cortez (14-5, 6-3).
"Five and 12? I would almost guarantee it," DHS boys basketball coach Tom Dunne said when asked if this was the Demons' final game of his rookie season.
"I've been blessed with a group of really great kids. Even (Wednesday), they were working their butts off. I've been fortunate to have those types of personalities and determination all season long," he said.
Psenda said the boys three-point loss at Cortez was disappointing because the Demons played a great game, but, again, she emphasized the unique opportunity for fans to watch the rivalry games unfold in person this time at the considerably larger Whalen Gym.
"It's really nice to get the community involved," she said.
"Cortez is always a big deal," Dunne said.
"I think the kids are looking forward to it."