Durango ‘much better’ at the Holiday

DHS boys basketball swings into its break with a win and a 6-2 record

Don’t call it a losing streak, just a two-game slide.

Three games is a losing streak.

Durango defeated host Palisade 50-43 on Saturday on Day 2 of the Palisade Holiday Tournament, and for the first time in three years, the Demons’ boys basketball team will enter its winter break with a winning record – 6-2.

“We’ve got a little confidence going into the break,” said DHS head coach Alan Batiste, who said the Demons played “much better, thank goodness” than they did in Friday’s double overtime loss to Cheyenne South.

“The key was our defense. We went to a 2-3 zone to force them to shoot the ball, to force them to beat us from the outside. We wanted to stop their front court, because their front court was pretty good” from what Batiste and the Demons saw in Palisade’s victory Friday over Montezuma-Cortez.

Nick Hamlin led the Demons with a double-double – 14 points and 11 rebounds.

Freshman call-up Lukas Baken scored 13 points and again impressed his head coach from the guard position.

“Offensively, we did great,” Batiste said. “The boys were cutting hard through the lanes, getting good penetration, and we moved the ball well.”

Durango is off for four weeks. DHS will return to the court with a Southwestern League doubleheader against Grand Junction Central and Fruita Monument on Jan. 18 and Jan. 19, respectively, in the Grand Valley.