The Duncan Banner
So much for a learning curve.
For a squad that returned only one starter, the Duncan Demons are looking way ahead of schedule this season, marking their second game with their second lopsided win, topping visiting Durant 70-35 on Friday.
“We played good. We outhustled them, like we always do, and we played nice defense,” said junior guard Isiah Ervin. “As long as we keep playing like a team, we’ll keep winning.”
The formula to victory was pretty much the same as it was in Tuesday’s 77-55 win over Elgin: play great defense, force turnovers and score in transition.
“We tell them, we want to put a lot of pressure on the ball,” Duncan coach Mikel Davison said. “It’s not so much that we want to steal the ball from you, it’s that we want to get you playing faster than you want to.”
The game certainly didn’t start out looking like an easy win for Duncan as Durant built an 8-4 lead in the first 2 1/2 minutes, but with a 15-0 run the Demons were off to the races.
“We got down and we started playing defense,” Davison said. “That’s all we’ve got. We’ve got to play hard and play together. If we don’t do that, it’s going to be a long night.”
Junior Je’Mario McCoy paced Duncan for the second straight game, totaling 18 points, five steals and four rebounds. Seniors Jack Braught recorded a double-double as he had 11 points and 11 rebounds, while senior Cade Baldwin had 11 points, four rebounds, three steals and two assists and Irvin had 11 points, seven rebounds and four steals. Sophomore Ben Peterson came off the bench to add nine points on a trio of 3-pointers.
The Demons dominated in every statistical category, committing 12 fewer turnovers and winning the rebounding battle 44-28.
“I just thought it was a really good team effort,” Davison said. “This team is a lot of fun to watch, but we’ve got a long ways to go.”
After breaking away with their 15-0 run in the first quarter, the Demons ended the period ahead 21-11 before stretching it to 34-21 by halftime. Durant cut it to an 11-point game early in the third quarter before Duncan slammed the door, breaking away to head into the fourth quarter with a 52-27 edge.
The level of competition will get significantly stronger for Duncan next week as it hosts archrival Ardmore on Tuesday. The Demons, though, will have plenty of confidence and momentum heading into that matchup.
“We’ve got a lot of confidence, and we’re hoping to win a state championship,” Irvin said proudly.