For first-year coach Sonny Duran, this season has been one of playing new kids. Duran has to because Dexter has graduated 14 seniors off of a team that went to the state playoffs two years in a row. So far, it’s been a rough season for the Demons, and coming into the game with Lordsburg, the Demons wanted to get a win and have a shot at defending their championship.
“We’re not really young,” Dexter coach Sonny Duran said. “We are really inexperienced from our players down to our coaching staff. All of these athletes have been playing junior varsity in the last two to three years. We’re just young at this level, we’re getting better, slowly but surely.”
Dexter, (3-12), took advantage of a Lorsdburg team that had trouble controlling the ball and their emotions. A key player for the Mavericks was called for a fourth foul and said something to the referee. He was hit with a technical foul and his loss was enough to give Dexter a 40-37 win over Lorsdburg Tuesday night in the John Reid Dexter Invitational Boys Basketball Tournament at Lewis Arena.
“When it comes to a tournament like this,” Mavericks’ coach DJ Saucedo said, “I don’t expect any calls. I don’t ever blame referees for the outcome of the game. I tell my kids that we had more mistakes that had nothing to do with the referees. I set my starting point-guard because he missed practice, and today we took a step back. It looks like the beginning of the season for us.”
Dexter overcame woeful shooting in the late first quarter to the early second quarter. Dexter managed to bounce back and go into the halftime tied at 18-18. One of the big players for Dexter was the hustling on the boards by junior Tyler Brisco, who added nine points on hustle.
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He came up with big rebounds on both ends of the floor. He also had help from his teammate Jorge Carrasco, who scored a team-high 12 points and might be the quickest guard in 3A this season. He was able to penetrate to the basket and score or pass to an open teammate.
On defense, the Demons had trouble keeping up with sophomore guard Quincy Connor. He was able to get to the rim and pull up for a jumper in the middle of the lane as he led Lordsburg in scoring. Connor scored 17 points and hit a jumper to tie the game at 35-35 with 5:24 left in the game.
Both teams tried to give the game away as it turned into a fouling contest. Dexter went into a stall with 1:38 left in the game, but a Demon player was called for charging with 25 seconds left in the game, giving the ball back to Lordsburg.
The Mavericks had a chance to tie or win the game but ended up throwing away the ball. Dexter’s press was key in the waning moments of the game. One of the big players in the game for Dexter was freshman Joshua Duran. He scored seven points while playing good defense.
“We missed a lot of free throws the last quarter,” Duran said. “It should have never been that close. Our kids found a way to win and that’s all that matters. We are trying to build momentum up for district — that’s what matters for us.”
In other games at the tournament, Jal defeated Hagerman, 57-43.
Dexter will play Jal at 6:15 p.m. today at Lewis Arena.
Sports editor J.T. Keith can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 304, or firstname.lastname@example.org.