GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado - A last-minute flurry of intense defense and some gutsy play by sophomore Brian Burbidge gave the Glenwood Springs High School boys a 52-49 comeback victory over Battle Mountain Tuesday.
Down by nine with two minutes, 50 seconds to play in the game, Demons coach Cory Hitchcock said he and his coaching staff were waiting for just the right time to put the shooters on the floor.
"I kept picking my coaches' brains, saying 'OK, when?' But we kept holding back," Hitchcock said. "It was a great effort as a staff to get the guys in there and get those shots when we did."
Senior Grant Fegan nailed a three-pointer with just under two minutes to play to make it 48-42. A putback underneath a short time later by fellow senior Gabe Yen cut it to four points.
After Fegan connected on a pair of free throws with half a minute left to make it 49-46, the host Demons' full-court press defense and Burbidge went to work.
A goaltending call against Battle Mountain on a lay-up by Burbidge pulled Glenwood to within one.
Then, Burbidge helped force a turnover on the Huskies' ensuing in-bounds. And it was Burbidge again who got the ball on the Demons' in-bounds play for another layup to give Glenwood the one-point lead.
Yen sealed the deal with another steal and lay-up.
"That was a great comeback, being seven or nine down, whatever it was there," Burbidge said. "It came down to making our shots when we had to, and we came together as a team to close it out. It feels pretty good."
The Huskies looked poised to close it out after the third quarter, when they staged their own comeback to erase a five-point halftime lead for the Demons.
In fact, the Huskies' Joe LyBarger was ready to end it right then and there when he dribbled out the clock at the end of the quarter, thinking it was the end of the game. The Huskies were up 40-33 at that point, after some aggressive defense of their own. Several key steals by LyBarger helped Battle Mountain pull away.
Glenwood improved to 3-6 overall, and scored a key 4A Western Slope League win.
"It was definitely an intense last minute and a half," Hitchcock said. "When you can compete with a team like that, you can compete with anyone."
Fegan led the Demons with 13 points, while Yen and junior Jared Gambrel chipped in nine apiece.
Alex Banegas was the leading score for the Huskies (5-4, 1-3 league) with 18 points. LyBarger finished with 11.
Meanwhile, the Glenwood Lady Demons breezed to an easy win over the visiting Lady Huskies, 62-12.
Glenwood held Battle Mountain scoreless in the second quarter to take a 26-4 halftime lead, and never looked back.
Senior Kenzie Nelson-Buehler paced the Lady Demons with 19 points, followed by junior Delaney Gaddis with 15.
Glenwood moved to 7-1 overall and 3-1 in the 4A WSL with the win.
"We knew we had to keep our intensity up coming off the [holiday] break, and try not to look beyond this game," Glenwood coach Jacky Gaddis said. "We have Delta coming up Friday, and that will be big test."
Battle Mountain's Taylor Davidson had four points, and Iridian Reyes knocked down a three-pointer with just under a minute to play in the third quarter.
The Lady Huskies fell to 1-8 and 1-3 with the loss.