Glenwood delivers in first round |

Glenwood delivers in first round

Jeff Caspersen
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Kelley Cox Post Independent

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – While many are shy on playoff experience, virtually every member of Glenwood Springs High School’s girls basketball team has, in one way or another, been exposed to the program’s recent postseason success.

Some have seen big playing time in the playoffs. Others picked up minutes here and there in a postseason game. Some might have simply charted the team’s success as a spectator of from afar.

Tuesday night’s Class 4A playoff opener demonstrated that the 2009-10 Demons gleaned a thing or two from their predecessors.

Rallying from a 28-18 halftime deficit, Glenwood Springs escaped the round of 48 with a 59-54 win over visiting Montezuma-Cortez.

After scoring just six in the second quarter, the Demons netted 41 second-half points in burying the Panthers and punching their ticket to the round of 32.

Afterwards, Glenwood head coach Bryan Derby credited that playoff exposure with helping produce one of the team’s grittiest wins this season.

“You know, I think that’s what got us the win tonight,” said Derby, whose last three teams have made at least the Great Eight. “The girls knew what it took. The first one, no matter what, that’s the hardest to win.”

Kenzie Kuhn scored 24 points and Lexie Warkentin finished with 18 points and nine rebounds to pace Derby’s squad, which finally took its first lead of the night with a Warkentin bucket 1 minute, 9 seconds into the fourth.

“I think, in the second half, we just put it together,” Kuhn said. “We started making our passes and playing some good basketball.”

Glenwood got off to a cold start, surrendering the night’s first eight points and 12 of the first 14.

A 10-3 run that featured a pair of 3-pointers from Kuhn got the Demons to within 15-12 by the end of the first quarter.

Then came a sluggish second quarter in which Cortez outscored the hosts 13-6.

Glenwood then came to life, getting a basket from Warkentin and a 3-pointer from Kuhn to start the third quarter.

“The first few baskets we got helped our energy level come up and we played with more intensity,” Kuhn said. “It got going from there.”

While the Demons caught fire, the Panthers couldn’t find the basket in the second half. They shot at a 10-of-41 clip from the field.

“How many layups did we miss?” Cortez coach Cameron Watkins lamented. “We missed so many layups. I’ve never seen us do that before. I’m speechless.”

Shelby Janz led Watkins’ squad with 19 points. Keely Yanito scored 14, Sydney Bayles eight and Kelia Yanito seven.

The Panthers finished the season with an 11-12 record. They were making their first postseason showing since the 2005-06 season.

“I’m so proud of these girls,” Watkins said. “The is the best season we’ve had in a long time. They’ve really come together as a team. They’ve been a pleasure to coach. I’m just sad we have to end it right now.”

The Demons, who improved to 13-10 with the win, have at least one more game left in 2009-10. They’ll travel to face Conifer (22-1) on Friday.

The winner of Friday’s game will stay in Conifer and face either Mountain View or Montrose in the Sweet 16 on Saturday.

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