After a lackluster first half, it didn’t take Marcus Falley or his Durango basketball teammates long to make a second-half statement Thursday.
The Trailblazers scored the first six points of the third period to take their first lead, and Falley scored 20 points after halftime as Durango claimed a 67-59 road win over Spring Valley.
“In the locker room (at halftime), Coach was yelling at us and telling us to go hard,” Falley said. “So we just went out there and played hard and played as a team and got a win.”
Falley’s 3-pointer with 4:21 left in the third quarter broke a 37-37 tie, and Durango wouldn’t trail again.
Falley finished with 26 points, seven rebounds and five assists.
“We needed that,” Durango coach DeShawn Henry said. “He’s a great player, so we need to be able to lean on him at times like this.”
Falley had seven points in the first 2:21 of the fourth quarter as Durango started the period on a 9-0 run.
“Everybody looks at me as a leader because I’m a senior, so I’m trying to get everybody pumped,” Falley said. “Once everybody got pumped, nobody could stop us.”
Durango struggled from the free-throw line, making 10 of 21 attempts. But Spring Valley made only 4 of 16 foul shots.
The teams combined to miss eight free throws in the final minute.
“We practice free throws every day; we’re just not shooting well,” Henry said. “We shoot about 150 free throws every day. I think it’s just lack of focus.”
Chrishawn Hopkins had 10 points and Kris Bennett had 12 rebounds and three blocked shots for Durango.
Spring Valley’s Justin Omogun had 16 points, 14 rebounds and three blocked shots. He had eight points and seven rebounds in the first quarter to help the Grizzlies take an 18-10 lead.
Spring Valley had 10 second-chance points in the first half but just two after halftime.
The win moved Durango to 2-1 in the Southwest League. Spring Valley fell to 1-3.
“It’s a big win because it’s early on in the season, so if you’re going to be a playoff team, you need to get some wins early,” Henry said.