Glenwood, Rifle girls advance in 4A district tournament
GRAND JUNCTION, Colorado – The fifth-seeded Glenwood Springs High School girls basketball team cruised to a 48-24 quarterfinal win over No. 4 Durango in the 4A District 8 basketball tournament Thursday at Grand Junction Central High School.
Glenwood controlled the tempo from the opening tip-off, building a 26-13 lead at the half.
Senior Kenzie Nelson-Buehler scored 16 points to pace the Demons, who improved to 13-6 with the win. Junior Laura McDermott added eight points, and fellow junior Delaney Gaddis had seven.
The Glenwood girls will face Montrose in Friday’s semifinal round at Brownson Arena on the Colorado Mesa University campus. Game time is 6 p.m.
The No. 3 seed Rifle girls built a 22-17 halftime lead and maintained the advantage through the final 16 minutes of play to top the sixth-seeded Steamboat Springs Sailors by 10.
Rifle junior Chante Church paced the team with 18 points, followed by senior Joey Kuheim who had 14. Church and senior Taylor Walters each had hit a 3-point shot for the Bears.
The Bears used a 15-0 run which spanned the second and third quarters to take a 26-17 lead.
With the win, Rifle (14-6) goes on to face No. 2 Delta, the regular season 4A Western Slope League champion, at 3 p.m. today at Brownson Arena. Rifle lost to Delta twice during the regular season.
Rifle junior Tanner Quick’s baseline jumper with 2 seconds to play lifted the fourth-seeded Bears to a win over No. 5 Steamboat Springs, 29-28.
Rifle (12-8) extended its winning streak to nine games. The Bears moved on to the semifinal round against top-seeded Durango out of the Southwestern League at 7:30 p.m. tonight at Brownson Arena.
The Bears led from the opening minute in Thursday’s quarterfinal, but were only up 15-9 at halftime. Rifle only managed a single free throw in the third quarter, as Steamboat battled back to within one point, 16-15.
The Sailors grabbed the lead early in the fourth quarter, and went up by as many as four points before Rifle recovered.
With 1 minute, 55 seconds to play in the game, junior Trent Brown tied it up 25-all with a bucket in the paint. The Bears climbed back on top on a pair of free throws by senior Jake Statler to make it 27-25.
Carter Kounovsky’s three-pointer with 13 seconds left put Steamboat back on top, 28-27. After a Rifle timeout, though, Quick found the ball on baseline with the clock ticking down and banked it in for the winning shot.
Quick paced Rifle with 13 points. Brown added seven points.
Riding high from a big overtime win at Delta in a Tuesday play-in game, the Glenwood Springs boys hung tough with the third-seeded Eagle Valley Devils before the Devils held on for the 52-43 win.
The biggest comeback of the night was that of Glenwood senior Collin Porterfield, who got doctor’s clearance to play in the game after a season-long hand injury kept him on the bench.
The 11th seeded Demons (6-15) tied the score, 21-21 at the 5:11 mark. But Eagle Valley went on a 14-0 run, and was up 37-26 by the end of the third.
Porterfield’s 3-pointer to open the fourth set the tone for another Demons charge. But Glenwood only got as close as 42-35 before the Devils took control.
The Demons dropped to the consolation bracket, and will play Steamboat Springs at 7:30 p.m. today at Grand Junction Central.
Glenwood remains alive for one of the tournament’s seven berths in the regional round of the 4A state tournament.
(Play-by-play game details for this report courtesy KMTS radio announcers Ron Milhorn and Jack Jabbour.)
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