Demons go out on wrong end of style

No. 7 Pueblo East tops Demons in Round 1 of the state tournament

The Durango High School girls basketball team ended its season in style – just not the style the Demons would’ve liked.

The 10th-seeded Demons lost 50-47 to No. 7 Pueblo East in the opening round of the CHSAA Class 4A State Girls Basketball Championships in Pueblo in what DHS head coach Nancy Smith called a “fantastic game.”

“The girls just played their hearts out,” Smith said. “It’s painful for them to lose one close like that, but it absolutely was not because of a lack of effort on their part.”

Smith said the game was tied with about two minutes left before a few Durango turnovers turned into a small lead for the Eagles.

From there, Pueblo East “just held us off,” Smith said, then added a couple of free throws for the final margin.

Molly Barnes led the Demons with 13 points, Emily McCue added 11 points, eight rebounds and three steals, and Katie Wiegert scored eight.

Shanelle Bogus pulled down six rebounds for DHS.

“Got a little bit from everybody,” Smith said.

Durango trailed by one point at the half before taking a slight lead in the third quarter, in no small part because of Dominique Ward’s defensive effort against Pueblo’s best scorer.

Durango ends the season with a 13-10 record, eight wins better than last season’s five-win finish.

Smith said the Demons made progress over the course of the season – one in which they set out to send a message to the rest of Colorado and transform themselves into “the most annoying team in the state.”

“And they have successfully achieved that goal,” said Smith, whose Demons finished 4-6 in the Southwestern League. “We want people to come to Durango and just hate playing us.

“We went out improving and getting better and showing the world that you can’t discount Durango basketball.”