Bulldogs eliminate Glenwood Springs

Phil Sandoval

FRUITA – The Demons took their coach’s words to heart, but it wasn’t quite enough down the stretch.

Palisade rallied to beat the Glenwood Springs Demons 43-39 in Friday’s elimination-bracket game of the girls Class 4A District 7 tournament.

Responding to the challenge of coach Deb Henderson to “play hard” after it’s first-round loss to Montrose Thursday, the Glenwood came out with more aggression against the Bulldogs, but couldn’t solve the riddle of scoring consistently.

Glenwood overcame it’s offensive problems once, but it came back to haunt them in crunch time.

It took 3 minutes and 11 seconds for the Demons to score in the first quarter, but they were able to shrink a eight-point deficit to one by the end of the period.

Nikita Daniely, whose field goal sparked a 7-0 scoring run, cut the Palisade lead 11-10 after hitting a free throw with 9 seconds left in the first quarter.

Baskets by Keegan Nadon and Daniely, who led Glenwood with 13 points, gave the Demons short-lived leads twice in second quarter.

But the Bulldogs, who were also trying to fend off elimination, didn’t wilt.

The Bulldogs rallied to a 21-18 halftime lead on sophomore Kristen Hayes’ 3-point field goal from midcourt.

Down by three midway in the third, the Demons took command.

They scored six points in the period’s final three minutes to open a 29-25 lead. Megan McKinnie’s gravity-defining scoop shot broke a 25-all tie. Amber Sutherland nailed a six-footer at the buzzer.

A 5-2 run on scores from Sutherland and Nadon in the fourth had Glenwood in solid shape.

“We played hard and didn’t give up,” said Henderson of the turnaround.

Up by nine with a little more than 5 minutes left, the Demons were a couple of field goals away from advancing to the fifth-place game and a chance for the final state tournament berth.

That never happened.

Palisade cut Glenwood’s lead to four. Nadon boosted it back to six with 4:24 left, but the Demons would only score one more basket in the contest.

And the Demons aggressiveness on defense started to cost them.

Already out of team fouls by Nadon’s score. Palisade took advantage of Glenwood personal fouls with repeated attempts at the free throw line.

The Bulldogs were 16-of-27 from the charity stripe against Glenwood’s 9-of-16.

In Palisade’s final, seven of the nine points scored came on free throws.

Jodie Watson gave the ‘Dogs the lead with 3:07 left. and they never relinquished the advantage.

“We had control and we gave it away,” Henderson said. “We got scared at the end and we didn’t want to run an offense.”

Glenwood ends the year, Henderson’s first, with a 9-12 overall record.

Palisade 43, Glenwood Springs 39

Glenwood 10 8 11 10-39

Palisade 11 10 4 18-43

GLENWOOD SPRINGS – Cassie Carlson 1 0-2 2, Megan McKinnie 4 0-0 8, Amanda Whiting 0 1-2 1, Keegan Nadon 3 3-4 9, Marina Flores 1 0-0 2, Amber Sutherland 2 0-2 4, Nikita Daniely 4 5-6 13, Jeri Polowchena 0 0-0 0, Totals – 15 9-16 39.

PALISADE – Ashley Tuttle 0 0-0 0, Jodie Watson 1 7-10 10, Jessica Sargent 2 2-3 7, Charisse Swetnam 0 0-0 0, Sammi Richards 6 3-8 15, Kelsey Harrington 1 3-4 5, Susie Edwards 0 1-2 1, Kristen Hayes 2 0-0 5. Totals – 12 16-26 43.

3-Pointers – Watson, Sargent, Hayes . Fouled out – Nadon. Technicals – none.

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