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Glenwood girls swim-dive team wins league, preps for 3A State Championships

The Glenwood Springs High School girls swim and dive team won another in a string of Western Slope League championships over the weekend and is busy getting ready for the 3A State Championships with strong expectations.

It was the third consecutive conference championship for the Lady Demons, and the sixth time in eight years that they’ve won the league title, coach Steve Vanderhoof said.

Glenwood emerged as the top team following the two-day meet, held at the Colorado Mesa University El Pomar Natatorium, collecting 528 points, followed by Grand Junction High School in second with 309 and Durango in third with 276. Aspen High School was eighth with 110 points. 

For Friday’s preliminary round, each team was able to enter four swimmers in each individual event plus two teams of four swimmers in each of the three relay events. The top 16 finishers in each event advanced to the Saturday championship and consolation finals.

The Demons had the best time in the 200-yard medley relay and the 400 freestyle relay and returned all eight of their relay teams to the championship finals. 

In the individual events, the Glenwood girls had the top seed in five of the eight individual swimming events and qualified a league-leading 16 individual swims to the championship final, and 14 individual swims to the Consolation finals.

Led by senior Bennett Jones, junior Amelie Ogilby and sophomore Emma Lindstrom, Glenwood took first place in five individual events and two relays. 

Jones, who plans to swim collegiately next year at Division III powerhouse Pomona/Pitzer, led her Glenwood teammates with a state 3A best time and victory in the 200-yard individual medley (2:08.26) and won the 100 butterfly (59.49).  

Ogilby won the 100 breastroke (1:07.47) and 500 freestyle (5:01.63) with the state’s fastest time and was just short of setting a state 3A record, Vanderhoof said. Ogilby is the defending 3A state champion in the 500. 

Lindstrom won the 200 freestyle (1:58.39) and was second in the 100 freestyle (54.96), and Jones, Ogilby, and Lindstrom teamed up with Addie Newton to take the top spot in the 200-medley relay (1:54.23). The same trio was joined by freshman Penelope White in swimming to a tie with Grand Junction for first place in the final event, the 400-freestyle relay (3:46.10).

In the 200-freestyle relay, Demons swimmers Newton, Anna Thornton, Rowan Wolfson and Sadie Hoiland took second in 1:45.16, just off Durango’s winning time of 1:44.33.

Glenwood’s second team in the 200-medley relay of Sophie Price, Hoiland, Valentina Campos and Thornton rallied from the fifth qualifying position to take third (2:00.74). Price was also third in the 500 freestyle (5:33.15).

Aspen’s Lilly Huggard turned in a strong second-place finish in the 200 IM behind Jones (2:14.77).

Glenwood’s Jones was named WS Swimmer of the Year and Vanderhoof won Coach of the Year honors.

Glenwood Springs qualified 14 swimmers for the Colorado 3A Swimming and Diving Championships this Friday and Saturday in Thornton: junior Samantha Anderson (100 and 200 freestyle); Campos (50 freestyle, 100 butterfly); Thornton (100 freestyle, 50 freestyle); Ogilby (100 backstroke, 500 freestyle); Hoiland (100 freestyle, 100 breaststroke); Price (100 backstroke, 500 freestyle);

Newton (200 freestyle, 100 breaststroke); junior Anna Moon (500 freestyle); junior Macy Wilson (200 and 500 freestyle); Lindstrom (100 and 200 freestyle); sophomore Isabella Moon (100 backstrok); White (200 IM, 100 backstroke); Jones (200 IM, 100 butterfly); Wolfson (100 butterfly, 50 freestyle).

Coal Ridge wrestling hosts duals

Coal Ridge High School boys wrestling hosted Glenwood Springs and North Fork for a round of dual matches on Thursday, Feb. 2. North Fork defeated Glenwood Springs, 63-12. Scores from the Glenwood-Coal Ridge and Coal Ridge-North Fork matches were not posted.

Glenwood Springs match winners versus North Fork included Leobardo Meraz (138 pounds) in a 4-1 decision over North Fork’s Charlie Miller; Cameron Small (190) over Josiah Peters by fall in 3:27; and Kodiak Kellogg (215) over Malachi Deck by sudden victory.

On Friday, Rifle and Basalt (which includes wrestlers from Roaring Fork High in Carbondale) squared off in a dual, with Rifle taking the team win, 46-30.

Wrestled match results

106: Ayden Piatt (Rifle) over Ovet Babonoyaba (Basalt), fall 1:23

113: Towler Scott (Basalt) over Lee Higgins (Rifle), fall 3:36

120: Roaney Requeno (Basalt) over Tucker Collier (Rifle), fall 2:43

126: Gavin Nash (Rifle) over Ivan Babonoyaba (Basalt), major decision 14-2

132: Jordan Irwin (Rifle) over Bronze Urfrig (Basalt), fall 4:53

138: Trey Trouskie (Rifle) over Brandon Alfaro (Basalt), fall 5:09

144: Parker Miller (Rifle) over Luca Shafer (Basalt), fall 3:56

150: Jagen Hazelbush (Rifle) over Randy Del Cid Sosa (Basalt), fall 1:35

157: Arath Lopez (Rifle) over Herberth Requeno (Basalt), fall 0:53

165: Isaac Valencia (Rifle) over Drake Cornett (Basalt), fall 0:52

175: Dayton Schenk (Basalt) over Alex Murchinson (Rifle), fall 5:41

215: Brody Samuelson (Basalt) over Yadier Loya (Rifle), fall 2:22

Coal Ridge boys win, girls fall in Saturday home stand against Moffat County

The Coal Ridge girls and boys managed a split in Saturday afternoon’s basketball contests against the visiting Moffat County Bulldogs.

The girls led off the matinee action at Peach Valley by coming up on the short end of a 51-47 score. The boys saved the day for the Titans by holding off a hard-charging Moffat County quintet in the second half to earn an important 58-51 4A Western Slope League victory.

The boys’ game started off looking like an afternoon walk in the park for Coach Paul Harvey and his Titans, but it turned into what basketball announcer Dick Vitale likes to call white-knuckle time in the game’s final half of play.

The Titans cruised to early leads of 18-6 after one period and 32-20 at the half to give the appearance that this game would look nothing like their thrilling 60-59 overtime win the night before at Summit.

Moffat County had other ideas, though.

“They changed defenses on us there to start the second half, and we were a little slow to adjust to things,” Harvey said. “We have the ability to go on scoring spurts, and that one at the end of the third quarter gave us some confidence and much needed momentum back.”

After watching his team go stone-cold for almost the entire third period, scoring just two points with 1:15 to go, and Moffat County taking a 35-34 lead, he looked on as junior guard Clay Cornejo hit a 3-pointer, which was followed by a triple from fellow junior Lochlan Wade to give the home team a pulse. A drive to the basket and a score by senior James Webber put Coal Ridge back in control of the game at 42-37 entering the fourth period.

Moffat County refused to go quietly, keeping things close throughout the final period, but Wade scored again inside and began to assert himself on the boards. Plenty of help came in the form of another long ball from Cornejo, and baskets from Webber, sophomore Ben Simons, and a steal and layup from senior Andres Mendoza to put the game on ice.

Balanced scoring for the Titans came by the way of 14 points each from Webber and Wade. Cornejo had 12 points, all on 3-pointers. Mendoza chipped in with 10 points.

The Titans now sport a record of 10-7 overall and 6-3 in league play.

For the Titan girls, things looked good in the second half of play after trailing by margins of 11-10 and 22-18 in the game’s first 16 minutes. Coal Ridge came out of the locker room and put together a solid third period by outscoring Moffat County 20-11 to take a 38-33 lead into the final quarter of play.

In the third period, junior guard Brook Richards opened the scoring with a corner 3-pointer, and senior guard Jackie Camunez scored on a drive to the basket to give the Titans a lead of 23-22. Camunez then got a steal and a layup to put the game’s momentum solidly on the side of Coal Ridge. Reserve junior post Averie Cribari hit a short bank shot and junior Emerson Harvey notched a 3-pointer to close out the big third period for the Titans.

Moffat County had an answer for the dominant period from the Titans, and it came in the form of senior forward Cayden King. Time and again during the course of the contest, it was her who came up with big buckets for the Bulldogs. Staying true to form in the fourth period, she scored twice in the lane, and then senior Jadence Vasquez hit a 3-pointer to tie the game at 39-all.

Senior Aceleigh Porter and Camunez each netted a 3-pointer to keep Coal Ridge running stride for stride with Moffat County, but it was King who sealed the win for the Bulldogs with a late basket and clinching free throws to give her team the conference win.

The Titans, coming off a narrow 37-35 loss the previous night at Summit, were without the services of starting guard Riley Cheney who suffered a knee injury in the Friday loss.

“Last night may have taken a little bit out of the kids,” said Coal Ridge coach Clyde Morgan. “But we just needed to be a little more aggressive on the defensive end today.”

Camunez topped the scoring ledger for the Titans with 17 points, tying Moffat’s King for game scoring honors. Richards and Porter each had six points for Coal Ridge with Cribari and Mikayla Cheney helping out with five and four points, respectively.

The Coal Ridge girls now stand at 12-6 overall and 4-4 in 4A WSL play.

Next up for both the Coal Ridge boys and girls will be a Tuesday trip for a nonleague affair at Grand Junction High School to face the Tigers.

Glenwood teams split in OT at Durango

The Glenwood Springs boys and girls basketball teams were on the road at Durango on Saturday afternoon, where the boys came away with a 54-49 overtime win and girls lost 40-35, also in overtime, in a battle of two top-10 teams in Colorado’s 5A ranks.

The girls showdown between the fourth-ranked Durango Demons and the ninth-ranked Glenwood Demons saw the Glenwood team grab a slim 17-15 advantage at halftime, followed by a one-point advantage in the third for Glenwood before Durango erased the three-point lead in the fourth.

The extra 5 minutes went in favor of the home team, 10-5, as the Glenwood girls fall to 12-6 overall and remain undefeated so far in the 5A Western Slope League at 2-0.

In the boys game, Durango led 28-25 at halftime, before the visiting Glenwood Demons chipped away in the third, taking a 29-28 lead that was quickly relinquished to the home team. Durango held a 38-33 advantage at the end of the third, but a pair of buckets from Glenwood’s Edwin Olave and Erick Cordero and some made free throws pulled Glenwood to within two, 39-37.

By the 4-minute mark, Glenwood had the score knotted at 41 apiece, leading to a flurry of late-game lead changes and another tie, 45-45, at the end of regulation.

Glenwood senior Aiden Peters nailed a 3-pointer to give Glenwood the advantage with under 2 minutes to play in the extra. Glenwood held the lead despite Durango hitting a 3-pointer of its own to cut the lead to one inside a minute. Glenwood was true from the stripe in the closing seconds to claim the five-point win.

Next up, the Glenwood teams are at home Tuesday against league foe Palisade; girls at 5:30 p.m. and the boys at 7.

Other weekend scores

Friday: Boys – Cedaredge 68, Roaring Fork 52; Basalt 57, Rifle 21. Girls – Grand Valley 75, Aspen 11; Cedaredge 43, Roaring Fork 31.

Saturday: Boys – Grand Valley 60, Gunnison 54; Roaring Fork 74, Meeker 44. Girls – Grand Valley 46, Gunnison 22; Roaring Fork 57, Meeker 48.

Post Independent reporter John Stroud contributed to this report.

Preps update: Demons hockey scores a key league win to stay unbeaten; rematch at Steamboat Friday

The Glenwood Springs High School boys hockey team rebounded from just its second loss of the season last weekend to score a key 4A Mountain League win at home over Steamboat Springs, 3-2, on Wednesday.

The game had been rescheduled twice after last weekend’s snowstorms, setting up back-to-back games between the Demons and the Sailors, with the rematch at 7 p.m. Friday at Steamboat.

“It was a close, hard-fought conference contest in our barn, for sure,” Glenwood Springs coach Tim Cota said of the Wednesday win. “We knew it was going to be close.”

The first period was a bit riddled with penalties from both teams, before junior Ian Cole and sophomore Jacob Stockdill teamed up to assist on the first goal by sophomore Brayden Dacuma at the 13:40 mark.

“B-dawg’s legs were his asset on a net drive with a nifty deceptive backhand shot across his body that has been his calling card in the past to put us up 1-0,” Cota said.

The Demons managed to keep things in check through the rest of the first period, despite being short numbers due to penalties. But the home team took zero penalties in the second, and it showed with puck possession.  

Senior Kale Tibbetts tallied the Demons’ second goal of the game with 14:24 ticks showing, with helpers from sophomore Jacob Roggie and junior Jett Weatherred.  

“Rogue had a nice night for us; just made some hockey IQ plays out there,” Cota said. “Having a couple power plays that period and staying 5 on 5 with no penalties certainly helped with momentum rolling into the third.”

The frame did see the Sailors score their first goal to make it 2-1 with 6:33 to play, but the score held until late in the third when senior Carson Miller scored with 3:33 to play off the sticks of junior Jacob Barlow and senior Ryder Rondeau. Steamboat answered at the 1:49 mark for the final score. 

Junior goalie Marek Senn had 20 saves on the night.

“All of our lines were firing early and often, we knew we had to come out with jump after a let down against Kent Denver,” team captain Avner Mangeot said of the OT loss on Saturday. “We were hoping to neutralize their top line with continued team D and tilt the puck possession time to our favor.”  

Cole added, “We knew that Steamboat would bring a lot of fire power into our shed, we had to answer with our hard-nosed team D. I think the boys did well.”  

The Demons move to 12-2 overall and stay unbeaten at 6-0 in the league. Following the Steamboat game on the road Friday, Glenwood is back home to host Summit at 7:15 p.m. Tuesday.

Demon hoops teams win

Glenwood Springs senior Tori Taylor looks to score in action earlier this season against Summit.
John Stroud/Post Independent

The Glenwood Springs High School boys and girls basketball teams both picked up wins at home court Tuesday night against 5A Western Slope League foe the Battle Mountain Huskies.

The girls won 59-32 in the evening’s opener, and the boys followed suit, earning a 57-32 victory.

The Lady Demons improve to 12-5 overall and move to 2-0 in league play, and the Glenwood boys are 11-7 overall and also 2-0 in league.

Both teams are on the road Friday to face Durango, with the girls’ matchup pitting two of the top 5A teams in the state.

The Demons are back home to play Palisade on Tuesday; girls at 6 p.m., boys at 7:30.

Other scores this week

Girls: Coal Ridge 60, Steamboat Springs 16; Delta 70, Rifle 36; 

Boys: Aspen 81, Grand Valley 48; Delta 78, Rifle 27

Upcoming basketball schedule

Friday

Coal Ridge @ Summit (girls 5:30 p.m., boys 7 p.m.)

Grand Valley vs. Aspen (girls only 7 p.m.)

Roaring Fork @ Cedaredge (girls 6 p.m., boys 7:30 p.m.)

Saturday

Coal Ridge vs. Moffat County (girls 2:30 p.m., boys 4 p.m.)

Roaring Fork vs. Meeker (girls 5:30 p.m., boys 7 p.m.)

Grand Valley vs. Gunnison (girls 2:30 p.m., boys 4 p.m.)

Glenwood Springs @ Durango (girls 12:30 p.m., boys 2 p.m.)

Tuesday

Glenwood Springs vs. Palisade (girls 6 p.m., boys 7:30 p.m.)

Coal Ridge @ Grand Junction (girls 6 p.m., boys 7:30 p.m.)

Grand Valley @ Olathe (girls 5:30 p.m., boys 7 p.m.)

Rifle High School football’s Kade Street inks with Colorado Mesa University

Kade Street is six feet, six inches tall. He’s north of 210 pounds. Colorado Mesa University’s football program should be so lucky.

On Wednesday, Rifle High School’s formidable offensive and defensive lineman signed to play collegiately for the Mavericks.

“It’s great,” Street, surrounded by friends, family, coaches and, essentially, the entire football team, said. “I’m really excited for the opportunity.” 

Like so many local student athletes nowadays, Street’s high school football career endured some of the most unique circumstances ever known to Rifle High School.

In standard football fashion, Street’s freshman year — in 2019 — he didn’t see too much playing time. The COVID-19 pandemic then hit in March 2020 and delayed Street’s sophomore year of football until spring 2021. 

Rifle High School football coaches and senior Kade Street put up their horns Wednesday after Street signed on to play football at Colorado Mesa University.
Ray K. Erku/Post Independent

Meanwhile, former longtime Rifle football coach Damon Wells resigned and Rifle quickly hired Todd Casebier. And despite this managerial scramble amid a global pandemic, Street joined the Bears in winning a 3A state championship that spring.

Casebier has since moved on to Durango, with current Rifle football coach Ryan Whittington taking over the program in fall 2021. 

Street ended his senior year leading the team in sacks (3) while picking up a respectable 76 tackles.

“My freshman and junior year, I struggled a bit,” Street said. “I kind of lost my motivation for football, but winning the state championship sophomore year — and then this year — I had a lot of fun.”

Whittington said he told Mesa coaches about what they’re getting: a consistent hard worker who comes up big in big moments.

With Street’s massive build and eye for the ball, he helped the Bears make an unsuspecting push into the 2A quarterfinals last fall.

“He’s had a great run here,” Whittington said of Street. “With the success he had as a freshman and his sophomore year winning the state championship and basically getting us back on track and getting us into the second round of playoffs this last year, I think it was a huge accomplishment.”

Whittington said anytime a student athlete like Street leaves a high school program, it’s a huge loss.

Rifle High School senior Kade Street with his family after sigining to play football for Colorado Mesa University on Wednesday morning.
Ray K. Erku/Post Independent

“But I think the legacy that (Street) left, and the work ethic he installed on the younger guys, will help us be even better in the future because there’s kids that want to follow in his footsteps,” he said.

Street’s mother, Jennifer, was by her son’s side when he signed to play for CMU on Wednesday. She said she wants Kade, through his continued journey toward college, to be “accepted, successful and happy.”

“He’s worked hard to get to this point,” she said.

Street, who intends to study construction and business management at CMU, still has a few more months of high school left. He intends to spend it right.

“I’m going to play baseball,” he said. “And have fun with friends.”

Area high school wrestlers compete at Grand Valley 8 Duals

Three Garfield County high school boys wrestling teams, including the host Grand Valley Cardinals, Glenwood Springs and Coal Ridge, competed in last Saturday’s Grand Valley Great 8 Duals in Parachute.

Team scores in the scramble-format tournament were: Glenwood Springs 30, Coal Ridge 24; Florence 66, Glenwood 7; Coal Ridge 30, Glenwood 20; Moffat County 54, Glenwood 16; Rangely 36, Glenwood 30; Florence 69, Coal Ridge 3; Grand Valley 42, Coal Ridge 27; Moffat County 58, Coal Ridge 18; Grand Valley 48, Rangely 24; Meeker 63, Grand Valley 18; Hayden 40, Grand Valley 24; and Grand Valley 50, Rangely 18.

Notable individual records by weight class (wins/losses):

113 pounds — Jessie Richel, Coal Ridge, 3-2

120 pounds — Teagan Jacobs, Grand Valley, 4-1; Jairo Echavarria, Glenwood Springs, 4-1

126 pounds — Jaysen Skeen, Grand Valley, 5-0; Ian Pierce, Coal Ridge, 4-1

132 pounds — Isaac Lepe, Glenwood Springs, 3-0; Cooper Thurmon, Coal Ridge, 3-2; Clancy Swindell, Grand Valley, 2-3

138 pounds — Leobardo Meraz, Glenwood Springs, 3-1; Pierce Ruechel, Coal Ridge, 2-2; Norah Carbajal, Grand Valley, 2-3.

144 pounds — Clayton Rossi, Coal Ridge, 3-2; Phillip Hoyt, Grand Valley, 1-4

150 pounds — Austin Price, Coal Ridge, 2-0; Mason Schoepner, Grand Valley, 4-1

157 pounds — Brandon Short, Coal Ridge, 4-1; Dominic Mendoza, Grand Valley, 3-2

165 pounds — Jordan Cedeno, Grand Valley, 4-1; Nicholas McMaster, Glenwood Springs, 3-2

175 pounds — Aiden Strauss, Grand Valley, 3-2

190 pounds — Sione Clegg, Grand Valley, 3-2

215 pounds — Kodiak Kellogg, 5-0

285 pounds — Richard Terrazas, Grand Valley, 1-4

Rifle wrestles at Duff Seaney Invite

Rifle High School wrestlers were at the Duff Seaney Invitational in Canon City on Saturday.

Wresting for first place in the 165-pound class, Rifle’s Isaac Valencia fell to Falcon’s Joseph Lavato Blake in 5:34. Valencia won his quarterfinal match by fall in 4:25 over Anthony Caldera of Liberty, and his semifinal match by fall in 5:31 over Conner McCardell of Canon City.

PHOTOS: Rifle hosted its first-ever girls wrestling dual last week

Rifle High School made history on Thursday, Jan. 26, hosting its first ever girls wrestling dual. Bears wrestlers who saw inaugural action on the mat were Breauna Sigmon, Mikhayla Washington, Madison Farris and Lorena Velasco Medina.

Farris was the lone Bear to win her match, picking up an 11-8 decision over Olathe’s Aby England in the 155-pound class.

Rifle girls wrestling lines up for introductions during a home dual against Olathe on Thursday.
Ray K. Erku/Post Independent
Rifle freshman Mikhayla Washington, right, puts on her headgear before wrestling Olathe’s Allie Stambaugh at home Thursday.
Ray K. Erku/Post Independent
Rifle’s Madison Farris wrestles Olathe’s Aby England at home Thursday.
Ray K. Erku/Post Independent
Rifle’s Breauna Sigmon wrestles Olathe’s Laeliana Delgado at home Thursday.
Ray K. Erku/Post Independent
Rifle’s Lorena Velasco Medina wrestle’s Olathe’s Belinda Alejandro at home Thursday.
Ray K. Erku/Post Independent
Rifle wrestling coach John Wisniewski coaches during the first-ever girls wrestling dual at Rifle High School on Thursday.
Ray K. Erku/Post Independent
Rifle’s Lorena Velasco Medina during a home wrestling dual against Olathe on Thursday.
Ray K. Erku/Post Independent

Demon wins on the hard court set tone for season’s final push; Glenwood hosts Battle Mountain Tuesday

The Glenwood Springs girls took on the Grand Junction Tigers Thursday night at the Chavez-Spencer Gymnasium and came away with a 54-10 victory to up their record to 11-5, as the high school basketball season begins the countdown to regional and state playoffs at the end of February.

Once a perennial big school powerhouse, the Tigers came limping into the contest with the Demons with an 0-15 record, and from the get-go, Glenwood was determined to keep them winless on the season.

Before fans could even get settled into their seats, senior guard Breauna Sorensen opened the scoring for the Demons with a 3-pointer and fellow senior Joslyn Spires followed that up with a pair of triples to get Glenwood off and running in fine fashion.

Full-court pressure was the order of the day for Glenwood, and the Tigers were unable to solve the defensive puzzle with Demon defenders seemingly coming at them in waves. Senior Tori Taylor contributed six first-quarter points to help Glenwood jump out to a big 17-3 lead.

The Tigers didn’t fare much better in the second quarter against the talented Demons, scoring just one point to trail 31-4. Senior Mattea Enewold got in the scoresheet with a couple of baskets during the stanza and junior Bailey Winder hit a mid-range jumper to close things out heading to the half.

Spires and Taylor had 11 points each at the half for Glenwood. Sorensen contributed five assists and four steals.

Junior reserve guard Madison Stewart kept the Demon scoring onslaught going in the third quarter with a basket and junior Taia Nykerk hit a 3-pointer to push Glenwood to an unheard of lead at 42-4. Coach Rhonda Moser began to substitute liberally at that point, getting game experience for all of her bench players. Promising sophomores Chloe Davies and Lyndsey Helms played the entire fourth quarter for the Demons.

Stat sheet stuffers for Glenwood included Spires with 15 points, Taylor 13 points, Nykerk 7 points, Stewart and Enewold each dropped in six points. Sorensen finished with eight assists and six steals.

The Thursday win came on the heels of another convincing Lady Demons home win two nights before, 44-29 over Summit.

Glenwood will swing back into action Tuesday with a league game at home against Battle Mountain before hitting the road Saturday to take on the Durango Demons who are the top-ranked girls team on the Western Slope.

Glenwood Springs senior Tori Taylor releases a shot during the Lady Demons’ 44-29 win over Summit at home on Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2023.
John Stroud/Post Independent

Other recent girls basketball scores:

Saturday: Moffat County 54, Rifle 43

Friday: Grand Valley 50, Meeker 44 (Grand Valley improves to 9-3 overall and 8-0 to lead the 3A Western Slope League); North Fork 52, Roaring Fork 42

Tuesday: Grand Valley 46, Olathe 39

Demon boys edge Tigers

The Glenwood boys closed out the doubleheader of basketball on Thursday with a thrilling 58-55 win in a game that featured multiple lead changes.

Junior Alec Classen hit a fade away jumper just prior to the first period buzzer to give the Demons a narrow 12-11 lead in a quarter where the lead seesawed back and forth several times.

Junior Argeny Renteria and senior Edwin Olave each scored for Glenwood to give the Demons their biggest lead of the game at 19-14 midway through the second quarter. Glenwood’s lead swelled slightly to 23-17, but the Tigers went on an 8-2 scoring run to close out the half and knot things at 25-all.

The Grand Junction combination of seniors Jake Stanfield and Jase Satterfield kept the Tigers stride for stride with the Demons in the first half by shouldering much of the scoring burden for Junction.

In the third period, senior guard Erick Cordero turned in a key play for Glenwood by banking in a 3-pointer while being fouled in the process. Cordero hit the toss from the charity stripe to complete the four-point play and give the Demons a 31-27 lead.

From there, the Tigers got multiple contributors to step to the forefront to propel them to a 43-39 lead at the end of the third period. Seniors Cameron Ochoa and Andon Tow got into the scoring column, and sophomore Will Applegate hit for five points in the period for Grand Junction.

In the deciding frame, Ochoa shook himself free of the Glenwood defense and hit his third 3-pointer of the game to give the Tigers a 46-39 lead. Junior guard Sim Wenger then hit a pair of free throws for Glenwood, but it was Ochoa immediately answering with another long bomb for a 49-41 Junction advantage.

Guard Aiden Peters hit a 3-pointer for Glenwood to narrow the Tiger lead to 49-46 with just under 4 minutes to play in the contest.

Just moments later, Wenger hit a 3-pointer to tie the game at 51 apiece with 1:36 to go in regulation and the finish line in sight for both teams.

Wenger saved the day for his team once again in the game’s exciting waning moments. Following a Grand Junction turnover, Wenger hit a 3-pointer from the top of the circle and then stole a Tiger pass on the ensuing possession to give the Demons their fourth win in a row, improving their record to 10-7 on the season.

Wenger led the Demons with 21 points, Renteria and Classen chipped in with 10 points, Cordero had nine points and Peters hit for seven points.

The Demon boys will join the girls Tuesday when they will entertain the Battle Mountain Huskies. Both Glenwood teams are 1-0 in 5A WSL play.

Other recent boys basketball scores:

Saturday: Moffat County 74, Rifle 52

Friday: Roaring Fork 60, North Fork 44 (Roaring Fork improves to 10-4 overall and stays undefeated atop the 3A Western Slope League at 7-0); Grand Valley 59, Meeker 54; Aspen 57, Coal Ridge 43

Tuesday: Glenwood Springs 48, Summit 34

Glenwood Springs hockey scores: Saturday – Kent Denver 4, Glenwood 3; Jan. 24 – Glenwood 8, Palmer 2. The Demons are now 11-2 overall and 6-0 in the 4A Mountain League. They host Steamboat Springs at 5:45 p.m. Monday at the Glenwood Community Center Ice Rink.

Glenwood Springs senior Kiera Larson taking her softball game to the collegiate level

The long drives to Denver to play competitive club softball and fine tune her skills during the offseason are paying off for Glenwood Springs High School senior Kiera Larson.

The standout member of the Roaring Fork School District’s combined softball team at Basalt High School put the ink to paper Thursday, and next year is set to be a member of the Plymouth State University Panthers in New Hampshire.

“Softball is a very mental sport, and it’s something where you can always improve on things,” Larson said of her commitment to the sport since she was about six years old.

By 12, she said she knew she wanted to take her game to the next level, both as an eventual four-year starter for the Longhorns and now on to college ball. 

“I’ve always had goals to look forward to but, yeah, it’s just a really fun sport to play, too,” she said.

She said Plymouth State provides a solid mix of a good softball program and the academic areas where she’s looking to focus her studies.

“They have a great criminal justice program, forensic science and social justice, and they have great internship opportunities, too,” she said. 

After touring the school in Plymouth, New Hampshire and meeting with coach Mike Bernier, Larson said it felt like the right fit. The Panthers play at the Division III level in the Little East Conference.

As a member of the Basalt Longhorns, primarily playing the catcher position, Larson has been the team’s stats leader in recent years in just about every category. Plymouth recruited her to play catcher.

Through four years of high school ball, she had a career batting average of .492 through 79 games, with 119 hits, 120 RBIs, five home runs and an on-base percentage of .556.

Her fielding percentage through four years was .910, and she also contributed to the team’s pitching efforts, collecting a 5-2 record in her senior season last fall with 12 appearances.

Family ties

Kiera’s mother, Amy Larson, grew up in New Hampshire and the family has spent numerous summers visiting family there. 

“She’s pretty familiar with the area, and she’ll have her grandparents and multiple aunts and uncles and cousins there for support,” she said. “She’s just worked so hard to be able to get here and to be able to play at the next level, and we’re so proud of her and just happy that the opportunity is there and that it seems like a good fit for her.”

Father Shane Larson has been Kiera’s coach through Little League, and said he is looking forward to seeing her take her talents to the college softball field. 

“This is a great opportunity for her, but it’ll definitely be a change because we’ve been at all of her games through high school,” he said. “Now she’ll be across the country playing so won’t get to see her quite as often.”

“But she has worked really hard for this and we’ve talked to a lot of coaches and went to a lot of camps, and really always stayed focused on what she wanted to do academically through this process.”

As Kiera improved through the Little League ranks, her parents said they encouraged her as she wanted to keep playing at a higher level. She played on a travel team in Grand Junction for five years, and for the past three years has been spending much of her time from March through July as part of the Colorado Bombers Gold, a national club team based out of Denver.

Kiera Larson signs her letter of intent Thursday to play college softball at Plymouth State University in New Hampshire, surrounded by fellow Basalt Longhorns players, family and coaches at Glenwood Springs High School.
John Stroud/Post Independent

Basalt the beneficiary

Basalt head coach Amy Bollock started coaching the Longhorns in Larson’s freshman year, so it’s been extra special to watch her progress, the coach said.

“We were really successful that year, where we had a couple of young players who just stepped in and really helped that team win league and then make it to state,” Bollock said of her first season coaching the high school team. “We had some good upperclassmen that were the leaders who helped groom some of these younger athletes that were coming up.”

Bollock remembers coaching her Carbondale Little League team against coach/dad Larson’s Glenwood team, and thinking it would be special once Kiera got to high school along with a talented group of players from Glenwood, Carbondale and Basalt. 

“I was so excited because I knew all those girls were going to play together in high school,” she said. “That’s a great thing about the Basalt High School program, because we’re able to merge with Carbondale and Glenwood to make one team.”

The Basalt team was started in 2010, and typically has about an equal number of players from Basalt, Roaring Fork High School in Carbondale and Glenwood Springs High. 

“I remember when I was playing on the team, we had between four and nine varsity starters coming from Glenwood,” said GSHS alum and current assistant athletic director, Jordan DeCrow. “It’s definitely a program our kids like to be involved in.” 

Through the years, other Glenwood players have signed on to play at the collegiate level, including Willow Stolley in 2021 (Agnes Scott College, Georgia) and Afton Larsen (no relation) in 2018 (Sterling College, Kansas)

“It’s been great to have all the girls I used to play against in Little League come together on the same team,” Kiera Larson said. Among them was coach Bollock’s daughter, Corey Bollock, another senior member of the Longhorns this past season.

“It was really cool to have players that I knew and had always been playing against, and to finally be on the same team,” Larson said. “And especially the girls who came from Glenwood, with us having to make the commitment to drive there every day. It was a great way as a freshman to automatically make some friends on the team and in the school. And that just carried out all four years.”

Coach Bollock said the benefits are many.

“Just the success that we’ve had, and these girls saying how much fun they’re having getting some girls that might not have played otherwise. We had a couple of girls this year who hadn’t played since they were in sixth grade, and they contributed to the team.” 

On hand for Larson’s signing Thursday were several teammates, including fellow GSHS senior teammate Katalena Lott, a member of the Demons cheerleading squad who recently signed to cheer for Colorado Western University in Gunnison. 

Lott said she started playing softball in addition to doing cheer, and enjoyed being a two-sport athlete. But cheer has been her passion, she said.

“I decided to do cheer again for my senior year, because I missed it so much,” Lott said. 

“It will definitely be different and it’s going to be harder cheering at the college level, and more of a commitment,” she said, noting Western has a coed team and does competitions. “I’m super excited for that.”

Post Independent interim Managing Editor and senior reporter John Stroud can be reached at jstroud@postindependent.com or at 970-384-9160.

Former Coal Ridge track standout Peyton Garrison named amongst Sports Women of Colorado honorees

Even after graduation, Peyton Garrison is still notching accolades for Coal Ridge High School.

The Titans’ standout runner was just named amongst the best female athletes in Colorado, a Monday news release states. She joins 48 other female athletes recognized this year by Sportswomen of Colorado as the “top female athletes and contributors to women’s athletics.”

Sportswomen of Colorado, founded in 1974 as a community-based organization that supports and honors female athletes, has in the past recognized people like WNBA Coach of the Year Becky Hammon, MVP of the National Women’s Soccer League Sophia Smith, and volleyball coach Tom Hilbert.

“The women, coaches, and organizations are being recognized for their outstanding sports achievements during 2022,” the release states. “The honor is a true testament to their incredible talent and dedication.”

Garrison’s high school track record almost spans longer than the races she runs. Her senior year in 2022, she was named the Western Slope League 3A Female Athlete of the Year and has multiple state titles in the 100- 200- and 400-meter events.

She is now on the Montana State University Women’s Track and Field team.

The Sportswomen of Colorado awards ceremony is slated for March 12 at the Hyatt Regency Denver Tech Center.