Boys’ basketball rebounds after heartbreak

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From Left: Jr. Al Hurworth, Sr. Quelan Mestas and So. Martin Cuntz shoot hoops.

Isaiah Downing, Reporter

Durango High School remembers the heartbreaking loss in last year’s playoffs, in which the overtime game came down to a last second shot by Evergreen. Last year’s senior class held 11 varsity basketball players, who led the team to the second round of the state playoffs. After the loss of these star-seniors, the inexperienced team doesn’t know what’s next.   

“I expect us to heavily improve by the end of the season.  We may struggle at first, but practicing and playing together will make us way better and experienced” said leading senior Seth Johnson.

Seth played with the varsity team last year, and is excited to lead this young team.

“As a freshman, I expected to be in the shoes I am now. I knew I was going to be a leader, and would be one of the leading seniors” said Johnson.

Seth had a quick transition to his upcoming season after not receiving as much playing time as a junior.  He expects to play a big part in the team’s success.

“It feels cool to see how much better I’ve gotten, and how much work I’ve put in this summer and fall. It really feels amazing” said Johnson.

Alan Batiste, the varsity basketball head coach, has been coaching for 7 years at DHS.  After a planned retirement from coaching last year, Coach Batiste came back, and plans to stay.

‘“My goal is I’m here to stay, and my wife has encouraged that, I plan to ride it out; But I don’t have plans to go anywhere” said Batiste.  

Batiste remains confident about the upcoming season, despite the loss of some big play makers for the Demons.

“We just have to take it day by day, losing 11 seniors is a big hit for every team, but we just have to get better everyday in practice, and improve on our games while watching film” said Batiste.

It may be the start of an unsure season, but this isn’t Batiste’s first rodeo.

“My first year I had a team similar to this, a bunch of sophomores and juniors.  So it’s kind of like a restart of my first year, just trying to build it up” said Batiste  

The upcoming season for Demons Basketball is up in the air, but Seth Johnson and Coach Alan Batiste have confidence.