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Shots were falling, players were smiling, fans were cheering. The losing streak was all but over.
Then a cold front moved in.
The Duncan Demons, who haven’t won since Dec. 28, had a 13-point lead coming into the fourth quarter Friday night, but with just two points in the final frame, Altus came roaring back to spoil Duncan’s senior night with a 65-52 win.
“They spread the floor and came after us and we ended up turning the ball over,” Duncan coach Mikel Davison said. “We played well for three quarters, then we just turned the ball over too much.”
Duncan led 32-26 at halftime and 50-37 by the end of the third quarter, before scoring their final bucket of the game with 5:39 left on the clock. With a trio of 3-pointers in a span of just over two minutes, and perfect free throw shooting, the Bulldogs took the lead with 3:02 left (Altus’ first lead since 2-0) and quickly began stretching it.
What had been the joy of a commanding win on senior night turned into panic for the Demons, who desperately fired up 3-pointers but found no luck, going 0-for-9 from beyond the arc in the fourth quarter.
The Bulldogs, meanwhile, continued to pour it on, insuring their victory and Duncan’s 13th consecutive loss.
As the final buzzer sounded, Duncan’s Jack Braught — one of three seniors on the team — was frozen at midcourt, hands clasping his head as he tried to come to terms with what had just happened in his final game in Duncan’s gymnasium.
Braught finished with 10 points, seven rebounds, while fellow senior Carter David had 10 points and four rebounds. Junior DeAndre Vermaire had eight points, three rebounds and four steals, junior JeMario McCoy had eight points and three rebounds, steals and assists and freshman Nathan Clark added six points, six rebounds and three steals. Senior Cade Baldwin and junior Isiah Ervin had four points apiece and sophomore Ben Peterson chipped in with two points.
The Demons (5-16) have just two games left (at Ada on Tuesday and at Durant on Friday) to end the losing streak and get on track for the region tournament.
“We’re just going to have to play hard and get ready,” Davison said. “We’ve just got to keep getting better.”