The Duncan Banner
Duncan boys basketball coach Ben Scott tapped the marker board in the locker room following Friday’s game at Elgin.
“What I had written on the board was mental toughness,” he said. “That was the difference in the game.”
Duncan’s Dalton Dismuke showed mental toughness at the end of regulation. He was fouled at the buzzer with Elgin leading 49-47. Dismuke then made two free throws to force overtime.
The Owls had a chance to force a second overtime when Elgin’s Jordan Rodgers was fouled at the buzzer with Duncan ahead 55-53. He made his first free throw, but missed the second, giving Duncan (3-15) a 55-54 victory.
Scott was pleased that his players hit free throws when they needed to. But the Demons might not have needed overtime to win. They led 25-16 at halftime, but then missed shots and didn’t rebound well, allowing Elgin to tie it 34-34 at the end of the third quarter.
“We lost our edge in the third quarter,” Scott said. “When I called time out (early in the third), I told them they had to figure out how to do things right.”
It was the third straight game in which the Demons didn’t hit many open jumpers. Duncan made good on three jumpers Friday, but Scott said they need more than that.
Still, Scott was pleased the Demons got the victory.
“I’m glad we won because we needed it,” he said. “We deserved to win.”
Dismuke scored 24 points to lead the Demons with Nathan Clark adding 13.
The Demons have three games remaining in the regular season. After a road game Tuesday, Duncan will host Durant this Friday and Chickasha Feb. 24.
Duncan then will travel to Bishop McGuinness for a regional matchup. Scott said he knows the Demons will have a tough game, but it’s a matchup that fits his team’s style of play.
“The other top teams will speed the ball up and pressure us,” he said. “Bishop is more like Ada. They will do some half-court stuff but they play a slower game. That’s good because we do well when we slow it down and go inside to outside.”
The Demon girls lost to Elgin 62-28. Duncan (1-17) held an early 5-2 lead, but Elgin took advantage of turnovers and offensive rebounds to go up 20-7 to end the first quarter.
Demon coach Grant Givens liked how his players were physical on defense and forced the Owls to take shots they weren’t as good at hitting. But the Owls getting points on putbacks didn’t help.
“They weren’t a good three-point shooting team, but we didn’t rebound and we let them get those putbacks,” Givens said.
Givens said his players keep improving but just need consistency.
“We did run our press breaker well at times and, in the second half, we did a better job of blocking out,” he said. “But we need to get to where we execute for four quarters.”
He added, while the Demons are playing good defense, “you need to reward yourself on offense.”
After its final three regular-season games, Duncan will head to a regional matchup against Carl Albert, a team that has reached the state tournament the past nine years. Regardless, Givens expects his players to put their best game forward.
“We’ll have to be at our best and play physical ball,” he said.