Demons wear tourney crown

Defense helps DHS boys prevail in Arizona

One weekend into the regular season, and Durango already has a championship.

The Durango High School boys basketball team topped Holbrook (Ariz.) 38-33 in the final after beating Snowflake (Ariz.) High School 49-36 on Saturday in the semifinals of the Tate’s Auto Group Shootout in Winslow, Ariz., giving the Demons a 4-0 start and something to brag about as the season rolls on.

“Defense definitely stepped up for us,” DHS head coach Alan Batiste said of the final. “We’ll win a game 4-2 if that’s the case.”

Ty Elliott led the way with 10 points, while Nick Hamlin had nine as both were selected to the all-tournament team.

DHS got a balanced offensive effort in the semifinal, with Elliott and Hamlin leading the way with 12 points. Isiah Mayberry chipped in 11, while Willy Frownfelter scored 10.

“We knew that coming into this season that Nick and Ty were going to take a bigger role this year when it came to the scoring ... and they have been,” Batiste said.

“Both are playing with tremendous confidence right now.”

The Demons beat Holbrook 46-32 on Thursday in the opening game of the tournament, then the Roadrunners worked their way back through the bracket to the finals to set up a rematch, which Durango used just enough offense to go with a strong defense.

“The defense stepped up, got its hands up, and got the job done,” Batiste said.

Durango next will visit Kirtland Central at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

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