RIFLE — Every time the Rifle High School girls basketball team made a push against fourth-ranked Glenwood Springs on Thursday night, the Demons pushed right back a little harder.
And thanks to that, someone will have to make a major push in the Class 4A Western Slope League standings to catch the league-leading Demons.
Jordan DeCrow finished with a game-high 22 points for Glenwood, and the Demons’ transition game quickly snuffed out every run the Bears put together on their way to a 70-50 victory in front of a packed house at the Rifle High gym.
“I think that we were getting into this lull where we were always trying to be patient with each of our possessions,” Glenwood coach Jacky Gaddis said. “Tonight, we just decided to go for it.”
That definitely worked for Glenwood (15-0 overall, 10-0 league play), which produced its largest point total of the season. And the transition game opened up the opportunity for everyone but one player in the lineup to score, with junior Madi Spence netting 17 points and senior Delaney Gaddis chipping in 12.
That kind of production came despite Glenwood playing in front of its biggest crowd this season. The longtime rivalry between Glenwood and Rifle has something to do with that, too.
“We came into the game with a couple of nerves, for sure,” DeCrow said. “I think that once we finally got into the flow of the game, we just settled down and simply played our game.”
Chante Church finished with 17 points and Kailee Cordova chipped in 12 for the Bears (5-7 overall, 5-3 league), whose loss ended a four-game wining streak. Rifle trailed for a majority of the game by double figures, but runs of four and six unanswered points kept the game seemingly in reach.
The Demons, however, never let any of Rifle’s runs go any longer than that, quickly beating the Bears down the floor to score plenty of fast-break, transition layups.
“We haven’t really played our best game yet, and Rifle is our biggest rival,” Glenwood junior Jamie Crowley said. “We were pumped up for this game anyway, but we definitely wanted to come out and show people how good of a team we actually are.”
The Demons showed that from the beginning.
Church pulled Rifle to within 17-11 with a layup at the end of the first quarter, but the Demons opened the second stanza with a 9-2 run that pushed their lead to 26-14 with 4 minutes, 34 seconds remaining before halftime. Rifle answered with a run — capped by a layup from Church — to pull within 29-22 at the 2:39 mark of the second quarter.
The Bears didn’t score for the rest of the half, though, and Crowley — nursing a possible stress fracture on her right foot — scored seven of the Demons’ final nine points of the half to put the Demons in control with a 38-22 halftime cushion.
Glenwood goes to Delta next Friday. Rifle continues league play Saturday at Steamboat Springs.
“I think that we were getting into this lull where we were always trying to be patient with each of our possessions,” said. “Tonight, we just decided to go for it.”
Glenwood coach Jacky Gaddis