Heading into the Durango game, Montrose boys basketball coach Ryan Voehringer tasked his players to play lockdown defense after allowing a season-high 68 points to Fruita on Feb. 4.
The Indians responded to their coach’s challenge.
Montrose (16-4; 4-1 in Southwestern League) allowed only 15 points in the first three quarters, which included two in the third frame, before most of the reserves were subbed early in the fourth period as the Indians defeated the Demons, 42-28, Saturday at home.
“In our last couple of games, we’ve been pretty lax on our defense,” said guard Sean Alex, who had tied for the game-high in points with Luke Hutto with 12.
“Coach preached defense all week. We knew we had to get it done on that end. And that’s what we did.”
Voehringer was pleased with the defensive effort. Although the offense wasn’t on point against Durango, the Montrose coach said he’ll take a great defensive performance compared to an offensive one.
“Defense travels,” he said. “If we can play defense every night and shots aren’t going in, we can still stay in games.”
Montrose’s next highest scoring players were Trey Reese and Jordan Jennings with six. The former of the two also had a team-high nine rebounds while the latter connected on two 3-pointers.
The Indians never trailed in the ballgame.
Montrose allowed only two Durango field goals in the first period as the home team led, 12-5, after one.
The Indians built onto their advantage in the second quarter. They managed their first double-digit lead in the period, which the hosts never gave up.
Montrose led, 28-13, at halftime.
The Indians put away the game in the third quarter. After both teams traded buckets, Montrose closed out the period with a 7-0 run, giving the Indians their biggest lead of the game at 37-15.
Durango did go on to outscore Montrose, 13-5; the game was out of reach at that point.
“It was a good turnaround win for us,” Voehringer said. “We’ve still got to clean some stuff up for Central on Friday.”
The near one-week break between games also gives the Montrose players some much needed time to rest, Voehringer said. A few athletes are nursing a few small injuries, including sixth man Ashden Oberg.
Oberg got injured in the second half of Saturday’s game and didn’t return.
“We could use some rest,” Voehringer said. “A lot of those guys have logged a lot of minutes.”
The Indians will host the Warriors at 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 14.