Glenwood girls nab 51-35 postseason win over Green Mountain on Friday to advance to Great 8
Special to the Post Independent
For the group of five senior girls who have played basketball together since they were in grade school, Friday night’s 51-35 win over Green Mountain in the state playoffs round of 16 must have felt like a magical basketball journey that they didn’t want to sign off on and end to quite yet.
“We’ve been playing together since we started youth hoops in third grade,” said senior guard Ruby Patch. “We know each other pretty well and we’ve put in a lot of work to get to this point.”
The Glenwood Springs girls, in front of an electric crowd at the Chavez-Spencer Gymnasium, survived a physical game that at times resembled a rugby scrum, to punch their ticket to a date with the No. 1 ranked George Washington Patriots at the Denver Coliseum 11:45 a.m. Thursday.
Glenwood’s aggressive defense took center stage from the very beginning, with a watchful eye being cast on Green Mountain scoring machine, senior guard Jayda Maves. It was Maves who did the most damage to Glenwood in the Rams’ lopsided victory over the Demons in January. Maves did manage to drop in three 3-pointers during Friday’s contest, many from beyond NBA range, but her 11 total points were something the Demons could well live with. Maves came into the game averaging 24.5 points per game.
“We focused our defensive efforts all week on how we could contain her (Maves),” Glenwood coach Rhonda Moser said. “I don’t usually like junk defenses, but we felt like we needed to pull out all the stops tonight.”
In a game they would never trail, Patch got the scoring going for Glenwood with a 3-pointer from the left side corner. Inside stalwart Mattea Enewold, who led the Demons with 11 rebounds, scored on a put back in the lane. It was then time for Glenwood’s leading scorer, Joslyn Spires, to hit a couple of free throws and score on a layup following a steal to give the Demons an 11-5 cushion after one period.
Shooting twenty-four 3-point attempts on the night and making only seven, Green Mountain exemplified the old adage that if you live by the 3-pointer, you will also die by it. But it was Maves and junior guard Taylor Ellington that connected from way downtown for the Rams to get them as close as they would ever be in the first half, trailing just 15-12.
Spires answered the duplicate shots by Green Mountain with a twisting layup just prior to the halftime break to give Glenwood a 22-16 lead with 16 minutes to play.
Maves started out the second half by knocking down 3-pointers to bring the Rams within 22-19 and then 24-22, but senior guard Breauna Sorensen swished a deep corner 3-pointer, which was followed by Patch scoring on a shot down the middle of the lane that hit every part of the rim before deciding to roll in to give Glenwood a lead of 34-27.
Spires opened the fourth quarter with a 3-pointer which prompted Moser to order a spread offense and a more deliberate attack for Glenwood to try and salt the time, and the game, away.
Senior Tori Taylor came up big for the Demons midway through the final period. Taylor scored in the painted area and then got another easy banker down low on a side inbounds play following a timeout by Moser.
Enewold got a key block with the Demons leading 41-32 and Spires was fouled following a steal, dropping in the two charity shots to put things on ice for Glenwood at 43-32.
Spires led the winning effort with 15 points, including connecting on all eight of her foul shots. Enewold and Sorensen had 9 points each. Patch had 7 points, with junior Taia Nykerk and Taylor helping out with 6 and 5 points respectively. Sorensen also was good on all 6 of her foul shots.
“This is a great group of kids,” Moser said. “They listen and they have a lot of grit. We talk often about how the most disciplined teams are the ones who succeed this time of year.
In other postseason basketball action:
• Glenwood Springs boys basketball lost 65-28 to top-ranked Air Academy in the Class 5A Sweet 16. They are knocked out of the state tourney, concluding the season at 17-8 overall with a 6-0 run in the 5A Western Slope League to win the league title. The Demons graduate six seniors: Gus Heisel, Andy Heisel, Marcos Aragon, Erick Cordero, Aiden Peters and Edwin Olave.
• Second-ranked Roaring Fork boys basketball won 59-50 against Meeker in the second round of the 3A Western Slope District Tournament on Friday. The Rams lost Saturday’s district championship 56-34 to top-seeded Cedaredge.
• Fourth-ranked Grand Valley boys basketball lost 54-45 to first-ranked Cedaredge in the second round of the 3A Western Slope District Tournament on Friday. On Saturday, the Cardinals took fourth place in districts after losing 45-40 to third-ranked Meeker.
• First-ranked Grand Valley girls basketball won 56-43 over fourth-ranked Gunnison in the second round of the 3A Western Slope District Tournament on Saturday. The Cardinals took second place in the tournament after losing 58-50 to second-ranked North Fork in the championship.
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