GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado - Delta senior Skylyn Webb and her Lady Panthers teammates kept finding a way to hold the hard-charging Glenwood Springs Lady Demons at bay all night Friday.
In the final seconds, with the score tied and Glenwood hoping to send it to overtime, it was Webb who found the narrowest of lanes and used her lightning-quick speed to squeeze in the winning layup at the buzzer.
The 58-56 win kept Delta undefeated atop the 4A Western Slope League girls basketball standings at 11-0 (13-3 overall), and sent Glenwood to the locker room with another heartbreaking league loss.
"We knew that if we stop her, we have a chance to win," Glenwood coach Jacky Gaddis said of Webb, who finished the night with 29 points.
"We obviously didn't do it. She's just fantastic, and so fast, and there are not many teams that can stop her," Gaddis said.
The Lady Demons (10-5 overall, 6-4 league) proved again they can hang with the league's top teams, even if they keep coming out on the losing end.
"We haven't seen a team yet that we can't play against," Gaddis said. "We've just got to find a way to win these games."
Early foul trouble, turnovers and too many missed baskets, including several second-chance shots, kept Glenwood a step behind most of the game.
Senior Kenzie Nelson-Buehler sat on the bench with four fouls for most of the second quarter, before returning to the game and staying foul-free to become a major factor in the second half.
With her team down 28-23 going into the third quarter, Nelson-Buehler hit four straight free throws and scored two baskets underneath over the first few minutes of the half.
A second-chance shot by sophomore Jaime Crowley pulled the Lady Demons within one, 34-33, and a 3-pointer by junior Delaney Gaddis tied the game at 36-all with two minutes, 12 seconds to play in the frame.
The fourth quarter started much the same way, with Delta holding a razor-thin advantage. Every time Glenwood looked like it might take the lead, Delta managed to force a turnover and go on a mini run.
Glenwood's Maddie Spence picked up her fourth foul early in the fourth quarter, as did Delta's Erin Zunich.
"The fouls definitely changed our game a little, especially at crucial times," coach Gaddis said.
Down 54-50 with inside 1:30 to play in the game, the Lady Demons went for broke. After Delta was called for a carrying violation, Crowley pulled down an offensive rebound and put it back underneath to make it a two-point game.
Then, with inside a minute left, Delaney Gaddis stepped in front of a Delta pass for the steal and dumped it off to Jordan DeCrow who was fouled on the shot. She made both of her free throws to tie it 54-54 with 38 seconds to play.
Delta's Callie Gafford hit two free throws of her own a few seconds later to put the Lady Panthers back up by two. Then, DeCrow found Nelson-Buhler wide open underneath on the next play to tie it again with less than 10 seconds on the clock.
"That's when we go to our go-to player," Delta coach Matt Hamm said. "We looked for Skylyn on the in-bounds, and let her create."
"She's just a good player, she's fast and she knows what to do," Nelson-Buehler said of Webb. "It's nice to be able to keep up with a team like that, but we have to keep the momentum going when we find ourselves in a game like that."
Nelson-Buehler finished with 15 points for the Lady Demons, while junior Laura McDermott had 10 and Crowley added nine.
Gafford added 16 points to the winning effort for Delta.
The host Demons were within four points of Delta just before the half, but a 22-10 third quarter for the Panthers pretty much sealed the deal.
Glenwood (4-12 overall, 3-8 league) managed to outscore the visiting team 16-12 through the final eight minutes of play. But Delta stayed in control en route to the 65-50 win.
Glenwood Springs senior Grant Fegan had 25 points for the Demons, including six 3-pointers.
Three different Panther players came away with 14 points each, Mitchell Whiteside, Kenny Wood and Sergio Andrade.