Down low lowdown

Inability to get the ball inside costly for Central

Central’s Michael Price is sandwiched between Durango’s Isiah Mayberry, left, and Nick Hamlin as he drives to the basket Friday night in the Warriors’ 39-28 loss to the Demons.

They couldn’t get the ball down low to Trey Fair, and that was the downfall for the Central High School boys basketball team Friday in the Warriors’ 
39-28 loss to Durango.

“We’re just so much better when we get the ball down low,” Central coach Ryan Hayden said.

Central (5-9, 0-1 Southwestern League) shot 7 of 38 from the field, and Fair finished with four points in the league opener for both teams.

Still, despite Central putting up only two points in the first quarter — neither team scored until Durango’s Ty Elliott hit a free throw five minutes into the game — the Warriors in the fourth quarter went on a 7-0 run to pull within 30-25 with 3:46 remaining.

Preston Grandbouche, who finished with eight points, hit a 3-pointer during the run, and added another a minute later that left the Warriors down 31-28.

But a turnover that led to an Elliott layup in transition put Durango back up, 33-28, and the Warriors’ full-court press couldn’t elicit enough turnovers.

Elliott led Durango (8-2, 1-0) with 19 points and two 3-pointers.

“We just didn’t get the ball inside to Trey,” Grandbouche said. “I don’t know if Durango was doing a good job taking it away or we weren’t looking at him. I think we tried to do it alone instead of working together.”

Central also had a brief run in the second quarter when Frank DiThomas hit a pair of 3-pointers, the second of which tied the game at 10-10.

To end the first half, Fair tipped in a missed shot at the buzzer.

But after that? Central did not score for 10 minutes and 10 seconds.

“I don’t think we were ever confused (with their defense),” Hayden said. “They switched up a couple different zones with their man defense, which was easy to recognize. If anything, they didn’t let us get into a flow.”

Going forward, Hayden will look to post players Clay Squire and Mike Price to help take the load off Fair.

“(Fair) is a kid who has a lot of weight on his shoulders,” Hayden said, “because we really rely on him a lot in tough situations. They played him tough tonight, double-teaming him in the post, not letting him get many touches.”


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