Demons survive scare vs. Skiers
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – During a break in the action, Glenwood Springs boys basketball coach Cory Hitchcock had a message for his team.
“I told the guys, ‘Let’s go into the Christmas break happy,'” the first-year Demons coach relayed.
Hitchcock’s squad got its happy sendoff, surviving some tense moments late to secure a 53-50 win over visiting Aspen on Saturday.
“The guys really worked hard tonight,” Hitchcock said. “They gave me 100 percent. I’m proud of these guys. I love coaching these kids. They work so hard for me.”
Topping Aspen certainly required a mighty effort.
With Glenwood whipping the ball around the perimeter in an effort to tick precious seconds off the clock and preserve a 52-50 lead in the game’s waning moments, the Skiers came up with a steal.
Quinn Morehead tipped the ball to James Powell, who sent a pass Jake Nugent’s way. Nugent missed a layup. Teammate Bridger Dawson pulled down the rebound and attempted a layup of his own. That one didn’t fall, either.
The ball was tipped around a bit before Glenwood’s Collin Porterfield came down with the rebound. He was fouled immediately.
Stepping to the line with 12.1 seconds left, Porterfield missed his first free throw and rattled in the second for a 53-50 lead.
Dawson misfired on a long 3-pointer with 2.2 seconds remaining, after which the Demons’ Osvaldo Madrid missed a pair of free throws.
With 1 second left, a full-court heave by Dawson sailed wide to run out the clock on what proved to be a nail-biter at Chavez-Spencer Gymnasium.
“We had our shots to win it at the end,” Aspen assistant coach Greg Gerbaz said. “Jake got a look and then Bridger gets a rebound. We couldn’t buy either one. It was just one of those nights.”
Gerbaz was filling in for head coach Steve Ketchum, who was in Tempe, Ariz., to attend his stepson’s graduation from Arizona State University.
Gerbaz will be happy to hand the clipboard back to Ketchum when the 2-3 Skiers return from their holiday break. They host Moffat County on Jan. 4.
“I’ll tell coach he can have it after [the break],” Gerbaz joked. “I have an ulcer after one game. … I like making the suggestions, not making the calls.”
Dawson led Gerbaz’s Skiers with 18 points on Saturday. The senior big man also had eight rebounds.
Nugent finished up with 16 points and Quinn Morehead scored 10.
“That was an intense game,” Nugent said. “Games with Glenwood are always fun.”
Kevin Flohr poured in a game-high 25 points for the Demons, who improved to 6-3. The senior sunk a pair of 3-pointers to spark a 12-0 run late in the third quarter.
Nick Ciani and Willy Pelland finished with 10 points apiece for Glenwood, which doesn’t play again until Steamboat Springs comes to town on Jan. 7.
“It’s finally time to relax,” said Ciani, who also had nine rebounds. “We’re all looking forward to sleeping and eating a lot of food.”
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