Saturday was a classic case of Murphy’s Law for the Demons from the second quarter on.
Just about anything that could go wrong did.
And they’ve got less than a week to fix it.
The Durango High School boys basketball team was outscored 18-3 in the second quarter and fell 64-42 to Ignacio on Saturday at DHS.
The first quarter provided the kind of entertainment likely expected headed into the contest, with IHS, ranked No. 2 in Class 2A, leading 4A Durango 17-13.
But then Durango went ice cold from the field, finishing the first half 6-of-26 and the game 16-of-52, the latter of which accounted for a 30.8 percentage from the field.
As Ignacio’s 21-3 run to end the half began to take hold, Durango (4-4) began to rush its shots, settling too often for perimeter jumpers off one or two passes instead of getting toward the basket. And the more they rushed, the more the Demons’ deficit grew.
During the second quarter, Durango made just one field goal. Between the second and third quarters, DHS had a field-goal drought of 5 minutes, 51 seconds.
“You still have to have the poise on offense and patience to get that good shot,” DHS head coach Alan Batiste said. “We were trying to do one pass, attack and take the first open shot. You miss three 3s in a row, you’ve got to get something going toward the bucket.”
As the missed shots began to pile up, the Bobcats were able to get out and run and score plenty in transition. And Durango’s press after halftime didn’t slow Ignacio (8-0) much, either, leading to more easy baskets than the typically stingy Demons are accustomed to allowing. Ignacio scored 14 or more points in each quarter.
“It’s just really a mindset. You’ve got to have the right mindset to want to play defense, to want to get up in there, you know?” said DHS senior guard Dane Mestas, son of Josette Chacon and Dane Mestas. “And really want to play defense and get them to speed up and play our tempo.”
Mestas scored 21 of the Demons’ 42 points, while nobody else on DHS scored more than five thanks to a lack of post touches or drives into the lane.
It proved to be quite the eye-opening experience for the Demons right at the transition point of their season. Durango will open conference play at home Friday against Grand Junction Central, leaving the Demons just a handful of practices to wash the sour taste of a blowout loss out of their mouths and fix the multitude of issues that allowed the loss to happen.
Whether the defeat turns out to be a blessing in disguise or the start of a slide is up to DHS.
“We’ve got to definitely go back and reevaluate some things,” Batiste said. “Personnel. Things we do on defense, things we do on offense. Just going to go back to square one and keep it simple going into league. Hopefully we come back ready Monday.”