To turn two Southwestern League rivalry results around, the Demons will try to replicate one half of their last victory.
If the Durango High School boys basketball team can marry the offensive spirit that gave the Demons an overtime win over Montezuma-Cortez on Tuesday night with the defensive dominance thats landed them wins against most everyone else, Willy Frownfelter thinks they can turn their only two SWL losses into wins and a league title.
Just got to keep attacking, keep attacking, Frownfelter said of his teams regular-season-ending homestand, first against Montrose at 7:30 p.m. today, then Grand Junction at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at DHS.
Frownfelter would know: He scored 26 points in Tuesdays 69-66 win over Durangos archrival on the road one of the Demons best offensive performances of the season but also one of their worst defensively, head coach Alan Batiste said Tuesday.
The Demons have been stout on defense throughout the season, and its led them to a 13-4 overall record and a 6-2 mark in the SWL. Only Grand Junction is better at 5-1, while Montrose trails at 5-3.
Tuesdays defensive lapse involved a bunch of little, fixable things, Batiste said, so hes not worried. And after losing to Montrose 45-44 on a buzzer beater last month a night after getting beat up by Grand Junction 57-38, the Demons will be hungry for revenge.
Were going to play with confidence, Batiste said. The boys are playing with lots of confidence.
It just came down to scoring buckets: They scored buckets, and we didnt.
Thats because the Demons settled for jump shots in both road games, Frownfelter said, instead of looking down low to soften up defenses like they did against Montezuma-Cortez.
I tell the boys, Youre getting in the paint; thats the goal, Batiste said. Once you do that, everything opens up.
Once the baskets start flowing, Frownfelter said Durango will need to transfer offensive energy into its patented intense D, especially to hold Grand Junctions big man DJ Wells, who had a double-double and five blocks last game, in check.
Weve got to stick to defense, especially against Grand Junction, Frownfelter said. Weve got to control them. Weve got to play collective defense.
Weve got to finish our defensive stops, he said.
Frownfelter emphasized the need to rebound well.
With an awesome crowd feeding the Demons their energy and an SWL championship on the line, Batiste said his boys are ready to rise to the challenge.
(Tonight) is going to be wild, he said. Were going to come out and treat it like a Cortez game.
They know whats at stake.