Demons boys clinch 4A Slope
GYPSUM – The Demons are champs.
Glenwood Springs basketball swept Eagle Valley Friday night in Gypsum to climb to the top of the heap of the 4A Western Slope or at least snag a share of the top spot.
The Glenwood boys had to slug it out against Eagle Valley, scratching their way to a 53-37 victory for sole possession of the title, while the Demons girls won handily, 63-31, earning a three-way tie with Moffat County and Delta.
“It feels pretty good,” said the Demons’ Kevin Flohr, who was sporting a bandage over a nasty cut above his right eye. “It’s three years in a row. We feel pretty good about it.”
Or it’s one in a row.
“It’s their third. It’s my first,” Glenwood boys coach Cory Hitchcock said. “I’m just fortunate to come in and coach these guys. It’s credit to how hard these boys worked. It’s a credit to the staff. A league championship is not a varsity win. It’s a win for the program, everyone who was involved.”
The ladies were just as happy.
“It feels really good, just to see the improvement from last year,” Demons senior Kenzie Kuhn said. “We were really young this year. This just a whole different team. It’s really great to come out and play well in league.”
And now Glenwood waits. The subplot to the entire season is that CHSAA has reduced the state tournament field to 32 teams from 48, and conference winners are not guaranteed a spot. This has Slope observers wondering. The rumor mill has gone from CHSAA taking two on the boys side of the Slope (Glenwood and Steamboat Springs) to excluding the league all together.
“Honestly, if we’re not in, it would be a shame,” Hitchcock said. “I trust those guys at CHSAA. I think they’re going to make the right decision.”
The boys were 11-1 in league and 18-5 overall. The league loss was Steamboat and there are losses to 3A power Faith Christian, Fruita Monument (tops in the 5A Southwest League), and to Grand Junction (No. 2 in the Southwest).
The Demons did lose to Roaring Fork, but that was way back in December when a good portion of the team was still playing football in Glenwood’s playoff run.
“Steamboat and Glenwood should both get in,” Devils coach Brent McConaghy said. “Glenwood has the best player in the league one of the best players in the state in Kevin Flohr. It would be unfair not show everyone the best player in the Slope. Steamboat, by far, is the best defensive team on the Slope. They’re going to play whomever they play to a 40-38 game.”
The girls’ situation is even more complicated. Glenwood, Delta and Moffat ended the regular season all at 10-2 in the 4A Western Slope League. Everybody’s league losses are to each other.
For seeding purposes – and all the coaches involved are going to have to get with the league for further instruction – it may well come to drawing numbers out of a hat.
Glenwood is 18-4, so it’s hard to see the Demons being left out. Their losses are to Delta, Moffat, 5A Fruita and Rifle. The last one on that list is not only Glenwood’s archrival, but undefeated this season in 3A.
The brackets come out on Sunday on chsaa.org.
“Four losses going into a tournament? Yeah, you should be able to go,” Demons girls coach Bryan Derby said. “You never know what happens. I don’t want to tell these girls that this was our last game. In the the past I’ve always tried to get on there, and the computer’s always crashed. Hopefully one of us can get on the Internet and find out.”
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