The Duncan Banner
It’s said that good shooting can cure all ailments on the basketball court, and on Tuesday night, the Duncan Demons got a strong dose of the magic elixir.
Duncan opened the game with a barrage of jump shots and hit the clutch shots it needed to at the end, snapping a three-game losing streak with a 68-63 win over visiting Cache.
“We needed this one,” said junior guard DeAndre Vermaire. “Coming off a three-game losing streak, if we didn’t have this one tonight, people would have just said, ‘Oh, they’re not any good. They just beat two bad teams.’”
Cache, which came into the game perfect at 5-0 and ranked 13th in Class 4A, had a strong shooting night itself, battling back from an 10-point deficit in the third quarter to make it a one-point game with 26 seconds remaining. Duncan senior Jack Braught, though, knocked down a pair of free throws, the Bulldogs missed a potential game-tying 3-pointer and Duncan senior Cade Baldwin iced the victory with a pair of free throws with less than a second remaining.
It was a stark contrast to the Demons’ last home game, when they went 3-for-11 in the fourth quarter against Ardmore. The game went to overtime and eventually Duncan lost in triple overtime.
“Against Ardmore, we couldn’t make a free throw to save our life. We had six chances to put the game away and we couldn’t do it,” Vermaire said. “This is nice, to do it right this time.”
The Demons (3-3) came out strong, knocking down their first two 3-point attempts and jumping out to a 19-5 lead. They led 19-7 by the end of the first quarter and 34-28 by halftime.
Going into the fourth quarter, Cache had cut the margin to 45-41, but Duncan never let the Bulldogs pull even, let alone take a lead, pushing the margin to 55-45 and holing on for the win.
Braught led Duncan with 23 points and 20 rebounds, while Vermaire finished with 14 points and three assists. Junior Isiah Ervin had 13 points and five rebounds and Baldwin added 11 points and five rebounds.