Bears, Demons ready to go
Nothing in sports arouses the passion of a small town like high school basketball.
And with an expected large turnout of fans and students from Glenwood Springs and Rifle shoehorning their way inside the Bear Lair for tonight’s girls game, emotions should be at fever pitch well before the two varsity squads tip off at 7:30 p.m.
“It’s going to be packed. That’s the glory of the game,” said Glenwood coach Deb Henderson. “The crowd’s into it, the teams are into it, and the coaches are into it. It’s a good rivalry and anything could happen.”
No matter which team wins, what’s going to happen is a winning streak will be snapped.
Rifle (7-0, first place in the Western Slope League, 11-3 overall), puts a nine-game winning streak on the line tonight. The Bears’ last loss ” a 47-37 defeat to Montrose ” occurred on Dec. 13.
“Our defense and rebounding has been a lot better,” Rifle coach Rick Schmitz said of the team’s turnaround from the holiday break. “We just have to continue that.”
Glenwood, after a 42-36 loss to the Bears in a Jan. 22 meeting at the Demons’ Chavez-Spencer Gymnasium, won its last three games in a row.
“We just couldn’t finish,” said Henderson of the team’s first encounter. “Rifle didn’t give up and found a way to win.”
Glenwood led for most of the game’s first three quarters before suffering an offensive shutdown in the game’s remaining eight minutes.
In the fourth period, Rifle outscored the Demons 18-6 and held Glenwood to two field goals in 11 shots.
Tonight’s game is the first of three league contests both teams have scheduled this week. While each game is important for both schools, Glenwood has a tougher challenge ahead.
The Demons’ 5-2 WSL record (8-6 overall) puts them in fourth place in the league standings, two games back of Rifle, but more importantly only a half-game behind second place Steamboat Springs and Moffat County.
A win over the Bears would vault Glenwood into a three-way tie for second, going into head-to-head games with the Sailors and Bulldogs this weekend.
On Friday, the Demons host Moffat County. They then travel to Steamboat Saturday night. Rifle faces the same teams on opposite nights.
The Bears play Steamboat at home Friday, then travel to Craig on Saturday to take on Moffat County. All four contests are varsity girls/boys doubleheaders.
“It’s a tough week, but a fun week,” Henderson said.
“The top four teams in league are playing each other and we’ll see who’s going to be the best.”
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