Alone at the top: Glenwood boys rip Sailors, win league title
GLENWOOD SPRINGS — Members of this year’s Glenwood Springs High School boys basketball team used the preseason picks of the league’s coaches as a rallying cry.
“They all picked us to finish fifth,” said Glenwood senior post player Zack Peterson, who noted that Steamboat Springs was the preseason favorite to win the Class 4A Western Slope League title this season. “So since then, our motto has been ‘picked low, but finish high.’”
Now, the Demons can’t finish any higher.
Cameron Horning finished with a game-high 19 points to go with Peterson’s 15 points and seven rebounds for Glenwood Springs, which limited the Sailors to 10 second-half points and claimed its first unbeaten Class 4A Western Slope League season since 2010 with its 69-36 victory at Chavez-Spencer Gymnasium on Saturday afternoon.
“I thought it would be a much closer game than what it was,” Steamboat Springs coach Luke DeWolfe said. “But Glenwood played tough. They deserved the win, they did some really good things in the second half against us that we just weren’t able to respond to.”
The Sailors (15-5 overall, 12-2 league play), who trailed by four points at halftime after trailing by as many as 10 in the first half, couldn’t keep up with the hot-shooting Demons (17-3, 14-0) in the third quarter. Horning was the catalyst of that, scoring nine points during the 13-2 run the Demons reeled off at the start of the third quarter to take a commanding 43-28 lead with a little more than four minutes remaining before the final quarter.
And thanks to that, the Demons, who on Tuesday clinched at least a share of their first league championship since 2011, also clinched the top seed in this week’s Class 4A Western Slope District Tournament in Grand Junction.
“We want to play really well at districts,” Horning said. “We’re hoping that we can get a district championship out of it and, hopefully, a home game [in the Class 4A state tournament].”
Robi Powers finished with 11 points on 3-for-13 shooting and Brody King added eight for Steamboat, which was limited to three second-half field goals and 13-of-44 shooting (29.5 percent) for the game. What’s more, Glenwood forced seven of Steamboat’s 15 turnovers in the third quarter, which helped pave way to Glenwood outscoring the Sailors 20-4 in the quarter.
“Robi and Garrett [Bye] had off nights and didn’t shoot the ball very well,” Glenwood coach Cory Hitchcock said. “But I think our guys did a great job of making them not shoot the ball well.”
After putbacks from Austin Kerbs and Jonathan Rinck pulled Steamboat within 30-26 at halftime, Horning and Jake Gentry hit layups on back-to-back possessions to put the Demons up by eight.
Hector Lopez hit a pair of foul shots on the Sailors’ next possession, but Horning followed with a layup, a jumper from 17 1/2 feet and a 3 from the right wing. Will Gray followed with a putback, and Glenwood was up 43-28 with four minutes gone in the third. By the time that Rinck converted a three-point play for the Sailors with 3:13 left, Glenwood had taken a 58-34 lead.
Gray and Gentry each added nine points for the Demons. Bye and Rinck each added five points for the Sailors.
GIRLS: GLENWOOD SPRINGS 67, STEAMBOAT SPRINGS 30
GLENWOOD SPRINGS — Four players reached double figures in scoring for Glenwood Springs’ girls basketball team, which jumped to a big lead early and never looked back to net a second-place finish in the league standings.
Hailey Armstrong and Jordan DeCrow each finished with a game-high 13 points, and Madi Spence and Jaime Crowley each chipped in 10 points as the Demons (16-4 overall, 12-2 league) rebounded in a big way after Tuesday’s lopsided loss to league-champion Palisade.
Jenna Miller finished with eight points to go with a five-point performance from Megan Limberg and Savannah Baucknecht for the Sailors (4-16 overall, 1-13 league play), who held a brief lead when Limberg hit a jumper with 6:59 remaining in the first quarter to give Steamboat a 2-0 lead. But a foul shot from Armstrong on Glenwood’s next possession, followed by a jumper from Spence, sparked a 27-2 run that ended with DeCrow’s three-point play at the 5:08 mark of the second quarter. That gave the Demons a 27-4 lead.
Both Glenwood and Steamboat will await seeding for this week’s district tournament, which takes place Thursday through Saturday in Grand Junction.
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At long last, high school basketball teams return to the court this week as part of Colorado’s revamped winter sports lineup, which has been delayed since November due to the coronavirus.