Carr steers Canyon Springs

With his team leading by 11 points with 1 minute, 44 seconds to play, Canyon Springs boys basketball coach Freddie Banks tried to steal a rest for star point guard Shaquile Carr.

The move nearly backfired.

Durango got as close as four points before Carr returned to the floor, but the Pioneers held on for a 74-68 home victory on Tuesday.

“I felt like I had to get him a rest and let the other guys show what they can do when they’re in the game,” Banks said. “And then they started coming back because we started throwing the ball away and doing some things that they’re not capable of doing. That made me put Shaq back in the game to handle the ball for us.”

Carr, who finished with a game-high 27 points, hit two free throws to put Canyon Springs (2-2) up 67-56 and then exited the game with 1:44 to play.

Durango (1-1) went on a 10-3 run, capped by two free throws by Chris Mellor with 48.5 seconds to play that cut the Canyon Springs lead to 70-66.

Banks brought Carr back at that point, and even though the Pioneers were just 4-for-8 from the foul line in the final 46.4 seconds, they held on for the win.

“I thought we had the game under control because I thought they were going to be coming out fouling us and things like that,” Banks said. “I just thought I could get (Carr) a rest, but unfortunately they didn’t get the job done, so I had to bring him back in.”

Canyon Springs’ Chris Nelson hit a free throw to make it 71-66 with 46.4 seconds to play, but Durango got a good look from Alex Tarkanian in the right corner. The sophomore’s 3-pointer rimmed out, and Mellor was called for traveling after the Trailblazers grabbed the rebound, and that was as close as they would get.

Tim Straghter, a 6-foot-6-inch reserve post player, had a big second half for Canyon Springs. He scored 16 of his 18 points after halftime and also finished with six rebounds.

“Straghter, he looked pretty good tonight and did some rebounding and some key things tonight,” Banks said.

The Pioneers also got a lift inside from 6-4 junior Jerryon Sueing, who finished with 12 rebounds, 10 of them in the first half.

“Jerryon Sueing, he always plays hard,” Banks said. “He plays hard every time he gets on the court.”

But Banks still would like to see his team work the ball inside more often.

“We wait on Shaq to make his move, and it’s just slowing everybody down,” Banks said. “When he does make his move, he creates a lot of things for us. But that outside-in, I don’t like that. I want to go inside-out.”

Nelson added 13 points for Canyon Springs.

Paris Estrada had 21 points to lead Durango. Dartangan Rollins had 18 points and nine rebounds, and Tyler Watts had 16 points and seven boards for the Trailblazers, who got 12 rebounds from Branden Stemley.

“We can build on this,” Banks said. “This is a building for us, and hopefully this will carry over for the next couple of games.”

Contact prep sports editor Damon Seiters at or 702-380-4587. Follow @DamonSeiters on Twitter.

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