Glenwood boys close out Demon Invite basketball tourney with 1-point win over Coal Ridge, girls stay undefeated against Peak to Peak

Mike Vidakovich
Special to the Post Independent
Glenwood Springs senior Gus Heisel goes underneath for a shot earlier this season.
John Stroud/Post Independent

The annual Demon Invitational Basketball Tournament took center stage at Glenwood Springs High School this weekend, with the home-standing Glenwood boys and girls hitting the court for three games each Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

After a lopsided 65-40 loss on Thursday to the state’s top-ranked 3A team in the Faith Christian Eagles, the Demon boys bounced back on Friday night with a white knuckle 33-31 win against the Peak to Peak Pumas.

Seniors Erick Cordero and Gus Heisel hit a free throw apiece in the game’s final 8 seconds to give Glenwood the victory. Junior Argeny Renteria had 11 points and 10 rebounds to lift Glenwood. Heisel scored eight points in support. Senior Edwin Olave cleaned the glass with nine rebounds.

To close out tournament play, Glenwood faced the rival Coal Ridge Titans on Saturday afternoon, and, in the same fashion as the Friday night win, it was a free throw in the closing moments that helped Glenwood to a narrow 41-40 win.

With the score knotted at 40-all and time ticking away, Glenwood senior forward Edwin Olave drove the baseline for the game’s final attempt and was fouled in the act of shooting with 0.2 seconds showing on the clock. Olave dropped in the first charity toss but missed the second. The Titans grabbed the rebound as the final buzzer sounded.

Though disappointed with the narrow defeat, veteran Coal Ridge coach Paul Harvey is always happy to tangle with a valley rival.

“Always good to play Glenwood,” stated Harvey, who is in his 15th season at the helm of the Titans. “The kids all know each other, and it’s a fun game to play and be a part of.”

Junior guard Sim Wenger played a nice floor game and led the victorious Demons in the scoring column with 19 points on the night. Seniors Gus Heisel and Erick Cordero each had seven points.

When all is said and done in the preseason portion of the Demons’ schedule, they will have faced the No. 1 ranked team in 3A (Faith Christian), 4A (Resurrection Christian) and 5A (Lewis Palmer). Taking on the gauntlet of the state’s top ranked teams is a challenge that Glenwood coach Fred Heisel relishes.

“We’ve played a lot of quality teams to this point, but it’s all about matching up against the best and seeing how the great programs do things,” he said. “When we get into league play, we’ll have a good idea of what we have and how we stack up with the best.”

The Demons (4-3) will continue to see just how they stack up against top flight competition with a trip to Fort Collins this coming weekend for the Power of Five Tournament.

Glenwood girls stay undefeated

Glenwood Springs Demon Taia Nykerk fights to keep possession of the ball and looks for an open teammate during Thursday night’s game against the Moffat County Bulldogs.
Chelsea Self/Post Independent

The Lady Demons of Glenwood opened tournament play on Thursday night with a 55-38 win over 3A Moffat County from Craig. On Friday night Canon City became Glenwood’s fourth victim of the young season, as the Demons pushed a 23-21 halftime advantage into a 50-34 victory.

Senior Joslyn Spires topped the scoring column with 14 points. Junior guard Taia Nykerk and senior forward Mattea Enewold helped the winning cause with 11 and 10 points, respectively. Helping Enewold in the painted area, senior Tori Taylor contributed seven points, and junior Bailey Winder tallied six points on the evening.

The senior-laden Demons took on Peak to Peak in Saturday afternoon’s matinee final and broke open another close game at halftime to run away with a convincing 63-36 win to up their record to a perfect 5-0 on the season.

Spires once again stood at the top of the scoring for Glenwood with 21 points. Nykerk, who along with senior Ruby Patch is coming into her own running the Demon offense, had double figures in scoring as did senior forward Tori Taylor.

Glenwood was without the services of senior point guard and floor general Breauna Sorensen for most of the tournament. She is nursing a wrist injury sustained early in the Moffat County game and may miss the rest of the pre-holiday schedule.

The Demon girls will hit the road this weekend, joining the boys in the Power of Five Tourney.

The Coal Ridge girls were also in action at the Glenwood tournament. The Lady Titans ran their season record to 5-1 with the only loss coming at the hands of a solid Montrose squad on Thursday afternoon. The Titans easily toppled Faith Christian 52-32 in their final game of the Demon Invite on Saturday morning. Both the Coal Ridge boys and girls will be back in action on Tuesday, hosting the Cedaredge Bruins.

The Rifle High School girls also took part in the Demon Invite, falling 52-15 to Peak to Peak on Friday and 21-17 to Basalt on Thursday.

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