Glenwood girls basketball pulls off upset over No. 1 George Washington, heads to 5A Final Four |

Glenwood girls basketball pulls off upset over No. 1 George Washington, heads to 5A Final Four

Glenwood Springs senior guard Breauna Sorensen gets psyched with a teammate during lineup announcements prior to the Lady Demons opening-round 5A state tournament win over Golden at Chavez-Spencer Gym.
John Stroud/Post Independent

The improbable became a very real possibility and then a reality when all was said and done in the Glenwood Springs girls’ 5A state quarterfinal basketball game at Denver Coliseum on Thursday afternoon.

The eighth-seeded Lady Demons knocked off the No. 1 George Washington Patriots, 48-41, to advance to next week’s Final Four behind the hot hands and cool composure of the Glenwood squad.

“We knew going into the second half that we were fresher in the legs than they were,” Glenwood coach Rhonda Moser told KMTS’s Ron Milhorn in a post-game radio interview.

At the same time, the Demons were also in some foul trouble and down by five points, 18-13, after an opening 16 minutes of play that saw Glenwood claw its way back into it after a slow start.

Senior Mattea Enewold gave Glenwood a one-point lead, 10-9, with a little over 4 minutes to play in the half; which, despite George Washington regaining the edge, gave the Demons hope that they could hang with the top-ranked team out of the Denver Prep League.

“We made that run in the second quarter, and even though we were down by five, we said, ‘That’s nothing.’ It’s just score, stop, score, stop and we’re back in it.”

In it they were, closing the gap to 18-17 on a jumper from senior Tori Taylor in the opening minutes of the third quarter, before senior point guard Joslyn Spires gave the Demons the lead again, 23-22, on a 3-pointer.

A back-and-forth game ensued from there, and while George Washington held the slim margin, solid free-throw shooting by the Demons kept it close.

“These girls have showed up at the free-throw line all season,” Moser said. “They’re focused at the line, no joke, and they delivered. We knew the team that stayed the most disciplined was going to win, and we were that team.”

Down by five yet again, 33-28, with five minutes to play in the game, the Demons overcame the physical inside play of the city team and the consistent scoring from Patriots junior Gianna Whiteside. 

Spires’ 3-pointer from the baseline corner with two defenders in her face at 4:37 to play pulled Glenwood to within two, 35-33, and a pair of free throws from junior Taia Nykerk tied it up. Another exchange of leads down the stretch ultimately favored the Demons, who would outscore the higher seed 20-10 in the fourth quarter to claim the upset victory, cemented by Spires’ 8-for-8 performance at the free throw line and 18 total points on the night. Additional game stats were not immediately available.

“I haven’t seen a team this hungry in a while. From Golden on, they’ve been playing with some fire,” Moser said in her radio interview, referring to the Demons’ playoff run that included a 46-32 win over Golden and a 51-35 win over Green Mountain back home at Chavez-Spencer Gym in Glenwood Springs to open the postseason tournament.

Glenwood Springs moves on to the Final Four at Denver Coliseum March 9-11, and will face the winner of Thursday night’s quarterfinal game between No. 4 Windsor and No. 5 Mead.

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

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Glenwood Springs and Garfield County make the Post Independent’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.