Durango High School’s boys basketball team took a one-point lead with three minutes to play Thursday. It wouldn’t last.
The brief advantage slipped away down the stretch, especially when the Demons couldn’t grab a rebound late on a missed free throw. That allowed Miyamura High School of Gallup, New Mexico, to stretch a two-point lead into a four-point advantage it would hold until the final whistle. Miyamura’s 49-45 win sent Durango (2-2) to a second consecutive loss. It was the opening game of Farmington’s Marv Sanders Invitational.
“We didn’t box out,” DHS head coach Alan Batiste said. “They missed a free throw and they got the rebound back, and we had to foul again. We went from down two to down four with 20 seconds to go.”
The Miyamura Patriots (3-0) played the game at its pace with a full-court press defense that limited Durango’s offense. The Demons trailed 14-4 after one quarter and 26-16 at halftime. Durango had a 4-0 lead before Miyamura’s 14-0 run.
DHS closed the gap in the third quarter and cut the deficit to 33-28.
Durango was led by Al Hurworth’s 15 points, and Cullen Robinette added 10 points, though he played with foul trouble. Batiste said Clay Seibel also dealt with foul trouble in the first half.
“It was the same brand of basketball we played against last week at Shiprock with them pressing us full court,” Batiste said. “We had to push the ball down the floor to the big guys. Hurworth played well and got easy buckets.”
Batiste said the team wasn’t able to find the intensity to climb back into the game and stay on top. He was pleased with the defense of Lance Kemp, who Batiste said largely shut down Miyamura’s Gabe Lee Jr.
Durango will face Aztec (2-2), which was blown out Thursday night in the marquee game against host Farmington.
“We have to focus on us on both ends of the floor,” Batiste said. “It’s about us finding an identity and what we want to be and what we represent as Durango Demons. We have to go out and play well. We don’t want to go on a three-game losing streak. I think we’ll bounce back.”