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Vidakovich column: Demons lucky to have coaches Heisel, Moser

I’ll take you back for just a bit to an early spring Friday evening in 1988. The Glenwood Demons were facing off with Alamosa in a state 3A semifinal contest at the Denver Coliseum. The winner would advance to a Saturday state championship date at the old McNichol’s Sports Arena against Weld Central. The losers would pack their bags for home.

I was the assistant coach to Bob Chavez at the time, and this ’88 Demon group was as talented and deep as any I had ever witnessed at Glenwood High. We had solid big guys, and we had speed, quickness and good shooters. All the ingredients were in the basketball recipe to cook up a fourth state title for Coach Chavez.

To save words and space, I’ll condense this game into the final two, fateful minutes. The game was as tight as a perfectly woven Boy Scout knot as time wound down and neither team would give an inch. It had been an epic battle of two very good schoolboy squads, and it was a shame that one would have to lose.

Unfortunately, it was us who came up on the downside of the scoreboard.

Our big man, and arguably one of the best basketball players ever at Glenwood High School, Fred Heisel, had just been whistled with the fifth and final foul of his career. As Big Fred walked slowly off the court and away from a stellar and decorated four-year varsity stint for the Demons, his shoulders were slumped and his face was ashen. Even though we still had several talented boys on the front line in Rodney Sorensen, Donny Vandevander and Brent Donovan, we all knew that without Heisel to patrol the painted area, our hopes had taken a severe hit.

Alamosa would win that night, but go on to lose to Weld Central in a low-scoring affair the next night. The worst part of it, though, was saying goodbye to a senior class that had been a pleasure to be around and to coach throughout their high school years.

Heisel would go on to play at the next level for Mesa College and Regis College. Coach Chavez would retire the next year following the 1989 season.

The Demons were lucky to have Heisel back in the late 1980s, and they are lucky now to have him as coach. I have been fortunate to be associated with him since he was a boy at Glenwood Elementary.

In his two-year stint as Demon coach, Heisel has instilled a confidence in his team that is a pleasure to watch. That is something that cannot be coached, but it can be nurtured. Heisel has done that.

The Demons follow the old school principles of playing hard, playing smart and playing together. Heisel has the kids operating at both a high skill and high intensity level that leads to success on and off the court. These Demons could make some noise not just in the Western Slope League but at the state level. Only time will tell.

They certainly have the right man to guide them, no matter what happens in the win and loss column.

I may be partial to Heisel since he has been my buddy for many years, but there is another coach who is patrolling the sideline for Glenwood in the game just prior to the boys taking the court who is doing a nice job, as well.

Rhonda Moser has her girls team at the top of the Western Slope League right now, and the Lady Demons show no signs of letting up as tournament time in late February draws near.

The former Basalt Longhorn, Rhonda Crowley (Moser) spent several years as a Demon assistant under the successful teams of then head coach Jackie Gaddis. This is Moser’s fifth year in charge of the program, and she has the Demons once again at the top of the league. After some early growing pains, Glenwood has occupied the league penthouse under Moser for quite some time.

Rhonda knows the game, and she loves her players. That is evident in how she coaches and how she interacts with them. You won’t find a harder worker than Moser, and her complete dedication to the Demon program and her players is impressive. She once told me that her main focus is to make sure her players go on in life to be successful young women. With Moser showing the way, the Demons girls can hardly go wrong.

Kudos to Caro

There is a young man in Rifle who I would also like to mention. His name is Eric Caro, and he is in his second season guiding the Rifle Lady Bears basketball team. Though the record doesn’t quite indicate it right now, Caro will get things turned around much sooner than later.

I got to know Eric when he worked at the Glenwood Middle School as a teacher and coach. He coached almost all of the boys and girls that you now see being so successful for the high school Demons. Caro has an enthusiasm for life and a natural charisma that draws young people to him. I always root for his team and try to follow the Rifle scores whenever I can. Caro will keep working hard at Rifle, and it will all play out in the end for his Bears.

There are so many good coaches in this area that I could take up an entire newspaper with stories about them. For instance, I know Tony Gross up there in Carbondale will get the Rams going in short order. You can’t find better people than Gross and his predecessor Larry Williams.

There must be something wrong with me these days, though, because I find myself rooting for Rams and Bears on most occasions because of the great kids and the people who guide them.

Demons aren’t supposed to do that. Are they?

Mike Vidakovich is a Glenwood Springs native, coach and regular Post Independent sports contributor.

Prep wrestling roundup: Glenwood grapplers Krauth, Wilson place at Berthoud tournament

Wrestling at the Diny Pickert Invitational in Berthoud on Saturday, the Glenwood Springs Demons finished 12th in the 16-team field and placed two individuals in the top-4 of their respective weight classifications.

In the 182-pound class, Glenwood’s Amos Wilson improved to 31-3 on the season, finishing fourth against some of the top wrestlers in the state.

According to results posted to CHSAA’s trackwrestling.com, after receiving a bye in the opening round, Wilson won by fall in 1:25 over Alex Robles of Centaurus, before being bested by Isaac Renas (20-6) of Vista Peak in 2:21 in the semifinals.

Wilson took down Ezekiel Taylor of Vista Peak in 1:29, before dropping the third-place match to Brian Paxton of Fort Morgan in a 5-2 decision.

Erik Krauth also placed fourth in the 138-pound class to improve to 23-10 on the season, but had to cede the third-place match by medical forfeit.

Krauth defeated Cassidy Park of Weld Central by fall in 1 minute, 8 seconds, then lost a 6-4 decision to Talyn Massie of Berthoud in the quarterfinal.

In the consolation round, Krauth defeated Evan Torres of Berthoud by major decision, 11-3, then won a 6-4 decision over Matt Pecina of Fort Morgan, before forfeiting the third-place match to Massie.

In other Glenwood results, Kodiak Kellogg (5-6) won his championship-round match at 126 pounds by fall over Satchel Hart of Niwot in 2:35, but finished out of the top five; and Elo Garcia (8-9) scored a 12-6 decision over Kai Saito of Littleton, but also finished out of the medals.

Grand Valley, Coal Ridge at Paonia tourney

Competing at the two-day Screaming Eagle wrestling tournament Friday and Saturday at Paonia, the Grand Valley Cardinals finished sixth out of 23 teams and Coal Ridge was 17th.

Basalt’s Ruben Samuelson (27-0), who is a student at Roaring Fork High School in Carbondale, was the area’s only individual champion. He won the 170-pound class, sweeping the championship round with match victories over Gavin Baker (Dolores) by fall in 1:20; Dawson David (Palisade) by fall in 25 seconds; Kaleb Rehm (John Mall) by fall in 2:25; and, in the title match, over Dusty Emig (Cedaredge) by fall in 1:55.

Grand Valley’s Conrad Demann (4-1) placed second in the 152-pound class, including a marathon semifinal win over Kody Logan of Soroco by fall in 5:36, before losing the title match in 3:19 to Paonia’s Zeb Etter.

In the 220-pound class, Coal Ridge’s Kaden Lord (19-7) was second, defeating Cordell Garriott of North Park by 3-0 decision in the semifinals, before falling to Levi Peterson of Paonia in 58 seconds.

Other Grand Valley medalists included: Cristian Barragan (12-11), third, 170 pounds; Hayden Grice (24-10), third, 285 pounds; Hector De la Cruz (17-7), fourth, 126 pounds; Teagan Jacobs (17-12), 106 pounds; Isaiah Tigert (16-4), fifth, 145 pounds; and Brayden Harper (7-14), fifth, 182 pounds.

Also placing sixth for Coal Ridge was Jared Richel (19-17) at 138 pounds.

jstroud@postindependent.com

Glenwood hockey hangs tough with Chaparral in 3-3 tie

The Glenwood Springs boys hockey team followed up its big Peak League win at Battle Mountain Thursday with a tough showing against one of the top Front Range teams, ending in a 3-3 tie in overtime against Chaparral on the home ice Friday night.

Both teams scored in each of the three periods, but neither could find the net in the 5-minute overtime period, as the Demons and visiting Wolverines settled for a tie at the Glenwood Springs Community Center ice rink.

“Statistically speaking, we knew this would be our biggest challenge of the year up to this point,” head Glenwood coach Tim Cota said. “Chaparral is a solid hockey team and considered one of the better teams in the state. We knew we had to step up our play without the puck, meaning keeping Chap contained as best we could by picking up our checks and backchecking our tails off.

“What we thought we could see as an advantage for us was our size, physically pounding forechecking, and the home crowd,” Cota said.

After the Wolverines scored the first goal a little over 8 minutes in, Demons senior Ryan Kotz scored on a shorthanded play. Colter Strautman had the assist, and then gave Glenwood the lead in the second period with a goal just before 12 minutes had ticked off the clock. Kotz returned the favor with the assist.

Chaparral’s Landen Shay made it 2-2 a few minutes later.

“We killed off a key 5-on-3 power play in the second period after we took the lead, and made some adjustments on the penalty kill from earlier looks and our boys executed it perfectly,” Cota said.

The third period saw goals from Chaparral’s Brennan Valencia 5:46 in, and Glenwood’s Strautman answered 9 minutes later for the deadlock.

“That was another momentum swing in our favor, as we owned the 5 minute overtime,” Cota said. “We had great puck possession time in the OT frame, but Chap didn’t break.

“Haddy (goalie Hunter Hadsock) was a wall in the net, and these past two games he’s been seeing the puck as beach balls.”

Both teams combined for 92 shots on net in the shooting fest, and Hadsock was given player of the game honors for his 53 saves.

“If we want to be a top-10 team we knew we had to prove to ourselves we can skate with top-10 teams,” Demons senior captain Jacob Fowler said after the win. “That was our attitude tonight. Take our play to them, let them know who we are.”

jstroud@postindependent.com

Glenwood boys lead league play after win over Steamboat

It was a statement game featuring the two best boys basketball teams in the 4A Western Slope League on Saturday afternoon at the Chavez-Spencer Gymnasium in Glenwood Springs. And, just like in the old western shootouts, it was the Glenwood Demons who had spoken the loudest when all the dust had settled with a key 58-44 win over the Steamboat Springs Sailors.

The Demons more than hung tough with a tall and talented Sailors squad, as Glenwood used strategic position under the basket and a tenacious attack on the glass to limit Steamboat to one shot on many possessions.

“Basketball is a pretty simple game,” Demons coach Fred Heisel said following the big win. “You want to get good shots and you want to get more shots than your opponent. You can only do that if you clear the boards.”

The Demons not only cleared the boards, they also cleared the confident looks off the faces of the plucky Sailors early on by racing to a 20-12 advantage midway through the second period after a 10-all deadlock at the end of the first quarter.

Sailors senior guard Ethan Pyles hit a couple of 3-pointers to give Steamboat some momentum, but Glenwood seniors Will Narvaez, Patrick Young and Mitchell Burt all converted baskets as the Demons and Sailors traded body blows.

The ever-present Young ignited the Glenwood charge to the lead with a spinning baseline layup to put the Demons up 12-10. Senior guard John Iuele scored on two breakaway layups following Steamboat turnovers and senior post A.J. Adams came flying out of nowhere to grab a big rebound and get a score as the Demons took an advantage that the Sailors were never able to seriously challenge.

The Demons stayed the course by outscoring Steamboat 18-11 in the third stanza. Young hit a 3-pointer and Iuele found sophomore Reid Swanson open for a short jumper to put Glenwood up 29-19.

Connor Hansen would hit two long 3-pointers for Steamboat to make things interesting, but Narvaez scored falling away and Burt tallied a 3-pointer to make it 38-24 in favor of the home team.

Burt hit another jumper, this time from the baseline to put the Demons up 41-27 early in the fourth quarter. Steamboat was not able make a serious run at the lead from that point, as Glenwood spread the court with Iuele, Young, and Burt taking charge of the ball-handling duties for the conference-leading and No. 4 state-ranked Demons.

Young and Burt each netted 15 points to lead Glenwood. Iuele and Narvaez chipped in with 11 and 7 points respectively. Coach Heisel also singled out Narvaez and Adams as being a key to the victory with their work in the rebounding department.

Glenwood (12-3, 4-0 WSL) will take to the road on Friday night to face the Battle Mountain Huskies in another WSL game.

Girls: Glenwood 52, Steamboat 21

Senior post player Qwynn Massie scored 16 points and matched that number in the rebounding category as the Glenwood Demons overcame a sluggish start to up their unblemished record to 4-0 in the Western Slope League with a 52-21 win at home against the Steamboat Sailors in a Saturday afternoon basketball matinee.

Massie dropped in seven of Glenwood’s nine first-quarter points in a game that saw the score deadlocked at zero until 3:45 was left in the opening period. The Demons would shift gears a bit to take a 23-13 lead at intermission and give themselves some breathing room against a scrappy Steamboat squad.

“Steamboat was super patient and they managed to slow us down a bit in the first half,” Glenwood head coach Rhonda Moser said. “We adjusted at halftime and then came out and stayed after things. We’ve talked to the kids that it’s about winning all four quarters, not just the first or the second.”

Glenwood took a 35-15 lead after three quarters of play, and when sophomore Kenzie Winder hit a 3-pointer from the left side of the court, the Demons had doubled up the score on the Sailors at 42-21 with 3:32 left in the game.

Besides Massie’s big night, Glenwood got nine points from freshman Joslyn Spires and eight rebounds from junior Graci Dietrich. Guards Maddie Moser and Ella Johnson each contributed five assists for the Demons.

The Glenwood girls (12-3, 4-0 WSL) also take the court again on Friday night in Edwards, joining the boys in facing the Battle Mountain Huskies.

Roaring Fork boys finally find elusive win

The Roaring Fork boys basketball team applied tough defense and used its size to control the boards en route to just its second win of the season, 44-39, over the visiting Olathe Pirates in Carbondale Friday night.

The win came against the only team the Rams (2-11, 1-2 3A Western Slope League) have managed to defeat this season, but, boy, did it feel good to finally add a notch to the “W” column. Roaring Fork also defeated Olathe 45-37 before the holiday break.

“I’m so happy for the boys,” Roaring Fork coach Tony Gross said. “They come to practice every week and work tails off, and they don’t feel sorry for themselves. They come and they work hard, and they like playing with each other. I’m just proud of them.”

The Rams opened fast, jumping out to a 13-7 lead at the end of the first quarter, and maintaining the 22-20 edge at halftime. Olathe forced several turnovers to open the second half, and grabbed a one-point lead, 25-24, midway through the third quarter.

But Roaring Fork responded behind the speed and pin-point outside shooting of junior guard Graham Pietch, who led all scorers on the night with 23 points.

Olathe pulled to within two points again late in the fourth quarter, but Pietch and senior Jaime Vega were true from the free-throw line down the stretch to seal the win.

“We’ve got some winable games coming up, but we’ve still got to play better than we did tonight,” Gross said. “Our defense was much better tonight than it’s been, and our rebounding was better. But we still turned the ball over too much.”

GIRLS — Roaring Fork 49, Olathe 36

The Roaring Fork girls looked to have things well in control against the Pirates, building a 24-10 lead at the half and opening a 23-point lead early in the third period.

But Olathe found a way to put the clamps down with an aggressive full-court press that rattled the host Rams, who saw their big lead dwindle to 11 points.

“We need to control the tempo and pace of the game all the time, and we’re playing fast, so it’s something they’re still learning,” Roaring Fork coach Juan Quintero said. “They just need to know when not to rush.

“Whether it’s a win or a loss, we just try to learn from it and improve,” he said. “It was a good learning experience.”

Balanced scoring helped the Rams’ cause, as eight players got on the scoreboard, led by Caroline Wisroth with 10, Emily Broadhurst and Isabella Hernandez with nine each, and Maya Lindgren with eight.

The Rams improved to 8-5 overall and 2-1 in the WSL to stay in the hunt for a league title.

Other scores from Friday night:

Girls — Delta 64, Coal Ridge 42; Rifle 49, Eagle Valley 29

Boys — Coal Ridge 59, Delta 55; Grand Valley 65, Moffat County 40

Glenwood hockey nips Battle Mountain, 3-2, on late penalty goal

Glenwood Springs’ Coulter Strautman scored on the power play with 39.8 seconds left in regulation to lift the Demons over Battle Mountain hockey, 3-2, Thursday night at the Eagle Pool & Ice Rink.

Glenwood was on the power play after Huskies goalie Logan Gremmer got whistled for a slash on the Demons’ Sean Mooney with 1:47 left.

As the buzzer went off, Mooney helpfully clapped his stick to the ice at the top of one of the circles not far from Gremmer.

With the win, the Demons improve to 7-2 overall and 3-2 in the Peak League. The Huskies drop to 4-7-1 overall and 2-2 in the league.

A goal from Glenwood’s Dylan Webster goal staked the Demons to a 1-0 lead on the power play early in the first period.

The Huskies started to crank with a booming shot from the point from Alex Parliament. Somewhere in a mass of Huskies’ and Demons’ bodies was Dillon Flaagan who redirected with his stick for the equalizer.  

Webster scored again in the early ticks of the second period, but Parliament was quick to answer with another goal to make it 2-2.

“We did a fairly good job of ham and egging it all night long, when one of us made a mistake someone was their to cover … we need that,” Demons senior Sean Mooney said after the win.

Added coach Tim Cota, “We were extremely proud of our group for being patient, fighting through some adversity and getting that all important power play goal at the end of the game, two power play goals on the night …100%, that will win you the close games.” 

The Demons are right back on the ice Friday at home with a non-league matchup against Chaparrel at the Glenwood Springs Community Center rink. Game time is 7:45 p.m.


The Glenwood Post Independent’s John Stroud contributed to this report.

Glenwood soccer standout Celia Scruton signs to play with Evergreen State in Washington

When it came to where she wanted to continue her burgeoning soccer career, Glenwood Springs senior captain Celia Scruton knew exactly what she was looking for.

It had to feel like home, and it had to have a family environment: two things that played large roles in her rapid development in the Demons’ program.

She believes she’s found that at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington. Scruton signed her national letter of intent during the holiday break in December to join the Geoducks under the tutelage of head coach Steve Schmidt.

“I verbally committed in August, but we made it official as soon as we could,” Scruton said shortly after her signing. “I chose Evergreen because I loved the team and the coach and the community that they have built within their team.

“It felt like home. I wanted to like where I live and really invest in this next step, and I believe I’ve done that with Evergreen.”

Glenwood Springs senior Celia Scruton signs her national letter of intent with Evergreen State College of Olympia, Wash., as her family looks on, during a Dec. 23 signing ceremony at Glenwood Springs High School.
Provided

The Geoducks are sure glad she picked Olympia, because the program is welcoming one of the best high school-level fullbacks in the state of Colorado into its ranks.

The all-state caliber defender has played a key role in leading the resurgence of Glenwood’s girls soccer program in recent years, helping the Demons’ defense clamp down on teams and leading to multiple state playoff runs, including a magical run to the semifinals in 2018.

“We knew pretty early on [she was a special player],” Evan Segal, a former Glenwood Springs assistant coach, said of Scruton. “Going back to freshman year, she was very vocal, passionate and a determined competitor.

“It’s tougher to teach players [to be like Celia]. You can develop them, but players have it or they don’t, and Celia had it right away.”

By the end of her junior year last season, teams stopped attacking her, “because they just knew,” Segal said.

“This is a kid who wants to play, wants to shut down other teams’ attacking players. And so it was awesome for us coaching, because we knew we had an awesome player. Now, it was about developing her.”

It took Scruton longer to realize her talents and find her voice as a leader. But she had a great role model in older sister, Nina, who captained the Demons in 2016 and 2017.

“My freshman year playing with Nina, she taught me how to be a captain and lead the team,” Scruton said. “That was huge for me, because she helped me find myself as a player and find my voice.”

Scruton’s energy, intensity and overall passion for the game has raised the level of preparation and focus for the Demons, turning the program into a powerhouse in 4A.

“She’s the heartbeat of the team,” former Glenwood Springs head coach Joe Calabrese said. “With her being vocal, the energy and passion that she brings, it sets a tone and a culture of high energy.

“It encompasses all that she is as a player. She really gets people energized pumped up for games. That’s who she is, and you can’t teach that.”

Segal said that unique characteristic has always been present with Scuton.

“She’s just really passionate,” he said. “She’s always been willing to grab her teammates by the jersey collar and drag them to success with her.

“… From a vocal leadership standpoint, she is and was the spark that drove a lot of her teammates to perform better than they thought they could. That was really, really invaluable.”

Scruton will likely be an attacking outside back, like she currently is in high school. Off the field, she’ll major in ceramics and minor in business. The love and interest in ceramics comes from four years of pottery classes in high school.

Now that the recruiting process is over and her next home is set, Scruton can focus on leading the Demons back to the state playoffs while playing in front of her younger sister, Abby, Glenwood’s standout goalkeeper.

“A lot of stress has been taken off my shoulders,” Scruton said. “I know where I’m going, I’ve been accepted and I have a plan. All I have to do now is enjoy my last year [in high school] and continue my leadership.”

Tuesday hoops: Rifle, Grand Valley split non-conference matchup; Glenwood soars at Eagle

The Grand Valley Cardinals made the 18-mile trek up Interstate 70 to take on the Rifle Bears Tuesday evening in Rifle.

It was a night of runs for the Grand Valley girls, as they showed their quick scoring ability and defensive pressure, unraveling the Bears 61-17 in the non-conference game.

The Cardinals had an 8-0 run late in the first quarter, and continued the momentum in the second with another of 11-0.

The Bears were plagued with turnovers and a lack of good shot opportunities the entire first half, as they fell behind 29-7 at halftime.

Grand Valley didn’t let up in the start of the third, continuing the full-court pressure and keeping Rifle scrambling to keep possession of the ball.

“We’ve just been trying to really scramble on defense, get tips and hands on the ball,” Grand Valley head coach Isaac Pittman said. “If we do well we can score points fast.”

Pittman said his team didn’t let up because they haven’t played many games like everyone else. It was only Grand Valley’s second game back since Christmas.

Rifle, now 2-10, will look to bounce back on Friday as they host Eagle Valley, while the 7-2 Cardinals host Moffat County on Friday.

BOYS

Rifle 54, Grand Valley 44

The nightcap put two defensive-minded teams up against one another to battle it out on the court with the Bears prevailing 54-44.

The first quarter was filled with takeaways and stops, as Grand Valley held a slim 7-6 lead.

With a few key baskets from Rifle, and senior Carter Pressler on the court leading by example, the Bears took a 21-16 lead to half.

“He’s playing on a torn ACL already. He made the simple little plays and kept on the guys, making plays and sharing,” Rifle coach Kyle Daniell said. “The ball found him a little tonight. He really stood out, and he is kind of transitioning into a really good leader for us.”

The Bears continued to score in the third quarter behind buckets from Pressler and Treyson Lujan, going up 35-22.

The Cardinals were able to pull as close as nine in the final quarter, but the Bears held fast and secure the victory.

The Bears move to 7-7 on the season and will host Eagle Valley on Friday, while the 5-5 Cardinals will host Moffat County.

Demons roll to league wins at Eagle Valley

BOYS

Glenwood Springs 67, Eagle Valley 52

Riding a No. 4 Class 4A state ranking into Gypsum Tuesday night, the Glenwood Springs boys used solid defense against a strong 3-point-shooting team.

“Once again we controlled rebounds,” coach Fred Heisel said after the 67-52 win, which improved the Demons to 11-3 on the season and 2-0 in league play. “We did a good job of taking advantage of scoring opportunities in transition, and showed discipline in the last few minutes by taking care of the ball and controlling the clock.”

Glenwood opened a 33-27 halftime lead, then outscored the host Devils 15-7 in the third quarter to take command of the game.

Senior AJ Adams led the team with 22 points, and pulled down the majority of rebounds for Glenwood. Fellow seniors Mitchell Burt and John Iuele contributed 16 and 15 points, respectively.

Senior Keegan Garvey and junior Carlos Sanchez had 16 points each for the Devils.

GIRLS

Glenwood Springs 66, Eagle Valley 17

Senior Michelle Marshall stepped up big for the Glenwood Springs girls Tuesday night, scoring 17 points to lead another balanced scoring attack and push the Demons to 11-3 overall and 2-0 in league with the 66-17 win.

The Glenwood girls also cracked the top 10 this week in the latest Colorado High School Activities Association RPI rankings for 4A teams, coming in at No. 9.

“It’s great to have another player step up and be the lead scorer … tonight it was Michelle, but everyone did their job and contributed,” coach Rhonda Moser said.

Glenwood controlled the pace from the opening tip-off, building a 34-11 lead at the half and pouring it on with a 26-point third quarter.

Natalya Taylor had 15 points, as 10 Demons got on the scoreboard for the night.

Both Glenwood teams host another league opponent, Steamboat Springs, on Saturday. Game time for the girls is 2 p.m., and the boys are on at 3:30 p.m. at the Spencer-Chavez Gym at GSHS.

— John Stroud, Post Independent sports

Preps roundup: Glenwood swimmers win six-team home meet; Demons hockey scores big win at Steamboat

Glenwood Springs rode the emotional farewell for 12 senior members of the ladies swim and dive team Saturday, winning the Demons Invitational against several top Western Slope teams.

As has been the case all season, it was team depth that gave the host Glenwood team the ability to outscore the competition at the Glenwood Springs Community Center pool.

The Demons scored 415.5 points to outdo second-place Grand Junction, which tallied 344 points.

Finishing in third was Summit (214), followed by Montrose (145), Aspen (133.5) and Moffat County (84).

“We do have some fast swimmers who will place well in any event they swim,” coach Steve Vanderhoof said. “However, this team’s strength lies in many girls who will place top 12.” 

The other big key to this season’s success is its depth in the 1-meter diving event, where the Demons swept the top four places. Winning the event Saturday was Libby Claassen, followed in order by Juliet McGill, Abbie Scruton and Celia Scruton.

“Diving coach Lara Claassen has done an exceptional job with her divers,” Vanderhoof said. “Glenwood will take three and potentially all four of its divers to the 3A state championship.”

Other top Glenwood performers on Saturday included:

  • Junior Kylee Smith, second 50-yard freestyle, 26.11 seconds: and first 100-yard butterfly (1 minute, 2.85 seconds)
  • Sophomore Amy Madsen, first 100 freestyle (55.96); second 100-yard breaststroke (1:13.66)
  • Sophomore Ellie MacPherson, second 500-yard freestyle (6:08.11); third 200-yard individual medley (2:32.09).

Glenwood Springs will travel to Colorado Mesa University on Wednesday for a triangle meet with Gunnison and Grand Junction high schools.

Download the full meet results here:

BOYS HOCKEY — Glenwood Springs 8, Steamboat Springs 5

Glenwood’s Jacob Fowler looks to set up a play Saturday during the Demons’ 8-5 win at Steamboat Springs.
Patty Kotz/Courtesy photo

The Glenwood Springs boys hockey team came away from a road trip to Steamboat Springs on Saturday with an important Western Slope League win, 8-5 over the Sailors.

The Demons jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the opening period of play, but struggled defensively as Steamboat kept chipping away. 

Steamboat was able to pull within one goal in the third period on a couple of power play goals during a 5-minute major penalty. 

With the 6-5 lead, senior Ryan Kotz found the net 10 minutes, 43 seconds into the period to give the Demons the two-goal edge. Owen Mangeot ripped a clapper from the point 3 minutes later off an assist from Colter Strautman for the final tally.

Glenwood’s Sean Mooney had a hat trick for the night with three goals, while Cole Houston scored twice and Robbie Weir had one to round out the Demon scoring.

“We gave up too many quality scoring chances and our team defense broke down too often but we were able to build a lead and maintain that lead through some nice offensive plays,” Glenwood defensive coach Joey Luetke said.

Senior Dylan Webster acknowledged the need for Glenwood to step it up on defense if they hope to challenge for a league title.

“We knew what they were trying to do in their end and took advantage but we didn’t have an answer for their forecheck,” Webster said. “Basically, we didn’t execute. We need to be better defensively.”

On this night, though, the Demons responded offensively to improve to 6-2 overall and 2-2 in league play.

“We need to learn to play with a sense of urgency every shift,” junior Nolan Mcpherson added. “We didn’t panic when the game tightened up, but we still need to play with emotion.”

Glenwood’s hoops teams continue winning ways at Grand Junction Central

The Glenwood Springs boys and girls basketball teams continued their hot streak into the new year Saturday, playing on the road at Grand Junction Central High.

Following a pair of wins at Rifle Friday night, the Glenwood boys improved to 10-3 overall with another win over the Central Warriors 44-23, and the Glenwood girls also scored a non-conference win, 51-37.

The boys game saw the Warriors race out to a 15-8 lead after the first quarter of play, but Glenwood put on the defensive stop in the second, holding the host team to just 1 point, while the Demons scored 7 to make it 16-15 Warriors at the half.

Glenwood then outscored the Warriors 15-7 in the third and again held the Grand Junction team to just 1 point in the fourth to claim the win.

The Glenwood girls also improved to 10-3 on the season, outscoring the host Warriors 28-20 in the first half, and extending the margin through the final 16 minutes of play.

Coal Ridge teams split

Hosting the Gunnison Cowboys Saturday afternoon, the Coal Ridge Titans boys dropped the 3A Western Slope League matchup, 73-66, while the Lady Titans won, 65-22.

A 28-point fourth quarter for the Coal Ridge boys wasn’t quite enough to complete the comeback, after they fell behind 34-26 at halftime. The Titans dropped to 7-4 overall and 1-1 in league play with the loss.

The girls took charge from the opening tip-off to open a 17-6 lead, and never looked back, improving to 7-4 overall and 2-0 in league.

Rifle boys fall at Steamboat

Playing on the road at Steamboat Springs Saturday, the Rifle Bears opened strong, taking an 11-7 lead after the first quarter. However, a 22-7 run for the host Sailors in the second and a 16-8 advantage in the third sealed the deal. The Bears fall to 5-6 overall and stand at 1-2 in the 4A WSL.

A Rifle vs. Steamboat girls game score had not been reported at press time.