Glenwood girls hang on against Junction |

Glenwood girls hang on against Junction

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

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – Thinking back to all the players that have passed through the Glenwood Springs girls basketball program under his watch, Bryan Derby couldn’t help but get a little choked up.

With Tuesday’s 52-48 win over Grand Junction, the sixth-year head coach of the Demons earned his 100th win.

“I got a few tears in my eyes,” said Derby, just moments after receiving a plaque commemorating the honor. “I appreciate every one of these girls these six years. I can’t name them all, but they all know who they are. This all rides with them.”

And Derby has directed some high-caliber teams. His teams have made the Class 4A playoffs in five straight seasons. And, at 7-0, the 2011-12 Demons appear postseason-bound once again.

“I’ve been blessed with a bunch of hard-nosed girls that want to fight, and I respect that out of them,” he said. “They’ve been tough. Tonight, they came out and excelled for me.”

Excel the Demons did.

Holding the 5A Tigers (6-2) to three points apiece in the first and second quarters, Glenwood took a 20-6 lead into halftime.

Pestering Glenwood with its press in the second half, Grand Junction stormed back to make it interesting, though.

An 11-0 run spread between the late third quarter and early fourth cut the Demons’ big lead to 31-29 with 7 minutes, 43 seconds remaining.

Countering with a run of its own, Glenwood built its lead back up to 42-33 with 2:59 to go.

The final moments were frenetic, and the Demons somehow survived.

Delaney Gaddis more or less iced the game with a late steal. With her team clinging to a 51-48 lead, the sophomore intercepted a pass near midcourt, was immediately fouled and then sunk a free throw with 2.5 seconds left.

Lexie Warkentin stole the ensuing Grand Junction inbound pass, and the Demons were at last able to celebrate Derby’s milestone win.

“We knew, just from playing them in the past, that it was going to be a dogfight,” Glenwood senior Connor Adams said. “We knew it was going to be like this.”

Warkentin’s 14 points led the Demons, who host Coal Ridge on Friday. Adams finished with 12 points. Delaney Gaddis had 11 and Cassidy Gaddis chipped in with 10.

Sydni Brandon paced the Tigers, who erupted for 42 points in the second half, with 10 points and eight rebounds. Sarah Wilkinson had nine points and seven boards and Jamie Derrieux finished with eight points and seven rebounds.

Hitting eight 3-pointers and withstanding a late Glenwood rally, Grand Junction held on for a 49-39 win in Tuesday’s boys game.

“They play that 1-3-1 [zone], so we just attacked the gaps,” Tigers sophomore Broderick Robinson said. “We had some wide-open shooters and hit some 3s.”

Robinson led Grand Junction (6-3) with 12 points. Justin Whiting and Garrett Harrison both had nine points, each sinking three triples apiece.

Mike McGraw erupted for 22 points for the Demons, who dipped to 4-2 overall. Randy Burbidge and Collin Porterfield each finished with six points.

In front of a raucous home crowd, Glenwood fell behind 23-16 at halftime and 36-25 after three quarters. The Demons made a run in the fourth to cut it to 39-36, but the Tigers finished on a 10-3 run to put the game away.

“That’s is a good team,” Grand Junction coach Dutch Johnson said. “This is a hard place to play. This is our fifth game in six days, so to come away with a win on the road, we’ll take it.”

“We just didn’t have a good offensive performance tonight,” Glenwood coach Cory Hitchcock said. “We came out flat running our offense. We couldn’t get the ball to our wings.

“We just didn’t do a good job of running our offense.”

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