GLENWOOD SPRINGS — Playing its best game of the season helped put the Golden High School girls basketball team in a position to win on Friday night. Playing with poise down the stretch helped the Glenwood Springs Demons advance in the Class 4A state tournament.
Delaney Gaddis finished with a game-high 20 points for second-seeded Glenwood, which rallied from an early eight-point deficit for a 48-44 victory in the tournament’s second round at Spencer-Chave Gymnasium.
“It doesn’t matter with these girls how quick we get down or how quick we get up,” Glenwood coach Jacky Gaddis said. “They just come back, no matter what.”
And thanks to that comeback, the Demons (23-1 overall), the No. 2 seed in the Tracy Hill Region, will get to come back to their home gym for one last home game. There they’ll play Palmer Ridge (21-3), a 57-37 winner over Weld Central, a second-round game played earlier in the day. Game time is slated for 11 a.m. today, with the winner advancing to the tournament’s Great 8 in Denver.
Jordan DeCrow added 10 points and Madi Spence and Hailey Armstrong each chipped in eight points for Glenwood, who played a back-and fourth game with Golden — also nicknamed the Demons — from the halfway point of the second quarter until almost the end of the game. It wasn’t until Delaney Gaddis’ three-point play with 21.5 seconds remaining gave Glenwood a 35-33 lead that Glenwood took the lead for good.
“The key today is that we weren’t afraid,” Gaddis said. “We were all determined to play a better second half.”
Jessica King finished with a team-high 16 points and Haley Blodgett added 10 for Golden (13-11), who controlled the scoreboard most of the first half. They even had a chance to win it trailing by a point with just under a minute remaining — nearly forcing a turnover when Glenwood went into a stall in the final minute with a one-point lead — but Glenwood pulled away on foul shots after Golden was forced to foul.
“One play,” lamented Golden coach Shea Scarlett after the game “I have no doubt that had it gone our way, if [King] hadn’t stepped on the ball, we would have won that game.
“But the thing is that we played our best game of the season tonight,” the Golden coach continued. “I knew that’s what it would take for us to win this game.”
It didn’t look like it would take that much at the beginning.
After Gaddis gave Glenwood the initial lead with a first-quarter layup, Golden went on a 10-0 run to lead 10-2 after aleft-baseline jumper from the 6-foot-3 Blodgett. Glenwood rallied and traded leads with Golden throughout the second quarter, but a turn-around jumper from King with 15 seconds left before halftime gave Golden a 25-23 lead.
A three-point play from King with 30 seconds left in the third put Golden up 33-32, but Gaddis answered with a three-point play of her own to gave Glenwood the lead for good. That’s when Armstrong stepped up big, hitting a pair of putbacks at the beginning of the fourth quarter to make i a two-possession game at 39-35 with 4:17 left.
“Those were so huge,” coach Gaddis said.
Layups from King and Blodgett, however, pulled Golden within 43-42 with 1:33 remaining. Glenwood took a timeout and began to run some clock on offense, but King batted the ball away on an errant pass. King fell on the ball during the scramble that brought possession back to Glenwood, though, and Gaddis, DeCrow and Spence combined to go 6 for 8 at the foul line in the final minute to close it out.”
“We know today is going to be a tough game,” Delaney Gaddis said. “We’ll have to play 10 times better ... no ... 200 times better tomorrow though.”