Duncan first-year coach Dave McGuire watches his team play during a preseason scrimmage.

Duncan boys basketball coach Dave McGuire wants to get things moving in the right direction quickly in his first season.

McGuire, who grew up in Waurika, said he wants the Demons’ play to reflect the characteristics of the Duncan community.

“We are not the most athletic team in Class 5A,” McGuire said. “Therefore, for us to succeed, we have to be smarter, we have to be more physical and we have to work harder.”

Duncan will try to play from the inside out, using the presence of 6-foot-6 senior Dalton Dismuke and 6-foot-2 junior Nathan Clark.

“Those two, you’ll see us build around that,” McGuire said.

McGuire has been impressed by Duncan’s group of guards, including junior Aaron Haley, senior Scott Cooper, junior Collin Klingensmith and junior Justin Morris.

The coach said the quality of the Demons’ defense will dictate their season.

“Throughout the scrimmages, we have constantly gotten better in our defense and it has been stellar,” McGuire said. “We’ve got to continue building on that if we’re going to be successful.”

Heading into his second season as Lady Demons head coach, Grant Givens knows Duncan has to get better at dealing with the press.

While Duncan returns its scoring leader, junior Delaney Mitchell, Givens said the team doesn’t have a “true” point guard. He said Mitchell is more than capable of handling the job, but the Lady Demons must use a team effort to overcome pressure this year.

“Our big thing will be getting the ball up the floor by system, not by just one person taking it,” Givens said. “We’ve got to be better at handling pressure. Teams press you until you prove you can handle it.”

Givens expects large contributions from junior guard Paityn Bower. Sophomore Falon Howell plays an important role inside for the Lady Demons, while junior Colene Wilson provides defense and rebounding.

Givens said Jordan Byrd, the team’s lone senior, will also be a significant role player for Duncan.

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