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Durango girls start year with a pair of wins

Demons beat Bloomfield, Aztec
Riley Campbell of Durango High School turns a steal into a fast-break bucket Tuesday against Aztec. Campbell scored 18 points in the win. Cody Olivas/Durango Herald

The Durango High School girls basketball team picked up where it left off in 2021, beating Bloomfield 51-39 on Saturday and dominating Aztec 66-32 on Tuesday.

After the two wins, the Demons improved to 10-3 overall and extended its winning streak to five games.

“We came out and played better that game,” DHS head coach Tim Fitzpatrick said after Tuesday’s win. “We were a little rusty at the beginning (against Bloomfield), but played better in the second half.“

Against Aztec, the Demons created lots of turnovers to start the contest and turned most of them into points.

“We were able to get some steals and get some easy buckets,” Fitzpatrick said. “We’ll have to continue to do that to get some easy points.”

Mason Rowland of Durango High drives to the hoop Tuesday against Aztec. Despite barely playing in the second half, Rowland scored 21 points to lead DHS. Cody Olivas/Durango Herald

Mason Rowland stole several balls and turned them into fast-break points to start the game as DHS jumped out to a 15-0 lead. Aztec scored its first field goal in the last minute of the opening quarter, but Ellie White knocked down a pair of free throws to give DHS a 17-2 lead.

Reese Glover of Durango High School guards Aztec's McKenzie Klingler on Tuesday. Cody Olivas/Durango Herald

In the second, Sydney Flores knocked down a pair of 3-pointers for Durango. Riley Campbell took two steals coast-to-coast for baskets and she also turned two offensive rebounds into buckets, including a 3-pointer.

Campbell finished with 18 points in the game. “That was huge for us,” Fitzpatrick said.

The Demons took a 44-11 lead into halftime.

To start the third, Rowland knocked down a pair of free throws, Flores sunk a shot and then Rowland took a steal coast to coast for another basket, putting DHS up 51-11, before both players took a seat on the bench. DHS took a 61-23 lead into the fourth and held on to win 66-32.

Rowland finished with 21 points, including a contested reverse layup in the second quarter. Flores scored nine.

The Demons were without four players, but underclassmen stepped up in their absence.

“We’re missing four kids, so a bunch of ninth graders got a bunch of playing time, which is huge,” Fitzpatrick said.

Freshmen Mariah Maestas and Ellie White each scored four points for the Demons.

On Saturday, Rowland scored 25 points, going 10-for-10 from the free-throw line to lead DHS over Bloomfield. Flores scored 11, Campbell added six, Katelyn Sheppard scored four, and Adde Neiman, Ellie White and Mariah Maestas also chipped in baskets.

Rowland began Tuesday averaging 21.7 points per game, which is the fifth most of any girl, regardless of classification, in Colorado. She has scored more than 100 points more than four girls ahead of her as well since none of them have played more than seven games.

Durango will play at home again on Saturday when the team hosts Grand Junction for a 10:30 a.m. tipoff.

Ignacio girls beat Mancos; boys fall to Bluejays

The Ignacio High School girls and boys basketball teams also were in action Tuesday against league foe Mancos.

In the girls’ game, Mancos jumped out to an 8-0 lead, but Ignacio responded and led 9-8 after one quarter. Ignacio extended its lead to 24-15, but Mancos cut it to 24-20 at halftime. Four Mancos players fouled out in the second half, helping Ignacio win 66-51.

Avaleena Nanaeto led Ignacio with 15, which included a 3-pointer at the final buzzer. Laci Brunson added 13, Marissa Olguin scored 12, Harmony Reynolds scored 13, and Darlyn Mendoza-Lechuga added 12. Quincy Montoya led Mancos with 19, including 11 fourth-quarter points.Wayman Books scored 12, and Justina Bayles added 11.

In the boys’ game, Mancos beat Ignacio 63-40. MHS led 19-10 after the first, 35-22 at halftime and never looked back.

Gabe Tucson scored 15 to lead Ignacio. Eppie Quintana added 10, and Devante Montoya scored nine with a trio of 3-pointers.

Evan Sehnert and Connor Showalter both scored 16 for Mancos while Mason Goodwin and Edgar Hernandez both added 13.

Joel Priest contributed to this report