Buzzer beater lifts Glenwood boys to home tourney title (with video)
Post Independent correspondent
Senior guard John Iuele scored 18 points to lead the Glenwood Springs boys Saturday afternoon, but none of that tally was bigger than his final basket of the day.
Iuele’s fadeaway jump shot as time expired propelled the Demons to a thrilling 38-36 overtime victory against the Montrose Indians in the championship game of the Demon Invitational Tournament at Glenwood High School.
“This was a big game for us,” Demon head coach Fred Heisel said following the emotional triumph. “To win the championship of our own tournament is really neat for these kids.”
It was Iuele who came up with critical baskets for Glenwood when they needed it most throughout the game, including a driving layup in the fourth quarter that gave the Demons a 34-32 lead with 1:16 left to play.
Montrose came right back and knotted the score when sophomore post Luke Hutto hit a jump hook in the lane to put the score at 34-all. Following a Glenwood turnover in the closing seconds, Hutto missed a wing jumper at the end of regulation play that could have given the Indians the title.
A deliberate pace was the order of the day by both teams for the entire game. It was a chess match that saw the Demons fall behind early by a 6-2 count. Sparked by a 7-point scoring outburst by senior guard Patrick Young, Glenwood promptly went on a 9-0 run to close the first stanza and take an 11-6 lead into the second period.
With Demon senior big men Adam Schrader, Will Narvaez, A.J. Adams, and Young taking control of the rebounding department, Glenwood was able to get several shots at the rim while limiting the Indians to just one attempt on most possessions.
“That rebounding is what it is all about,” Heisel said. “We don’t want to give teams multiple attempts at scoring. We started out this year doing some things that weren’t very good. Those things are slowly starting to go away.”
Senior guard Mitchell Burt, the scoring hero from Friday night’s win over Alamosa, hit a 3-pointer, and Iuele knocked down a 3-pointer of his own from straight on to give the Demons a 23-20 lead at halftime. It was a short-lived lead that Montrose would steal back by outscoring Glenwood 10-5 in the third period to take a 30-28 lead heading into the final eight minutes of play.
With Glenwood trailing 31-30 with just under 5 minutes left to play, Heisel called a timeout and drew up a perfectly executed pick-and-roll play that provided Adams with a layup in the lane to put the Demons up 32-31.
At that point, every possession of the ball was huge for both teams. But none proved to be bigger than Iuele having the ball in his hands at the end of overtime, following another Heisel timeout, and sending the Demons to victory and the Glenwood student section pouring onto the floor to celebrate.
Glenwood (4-2) was led in scoring by Iuele’s 18 points, with Young scoring 11 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. Trey Reese and Sean Alex led the Indians with 11 and 10 points, respectively.
The Demons now head over the mountains to play Longmont on Thursday night at 8 p.m. in the first round of the Trojan Classic Tournament.
Glenwood Springs 43, Coal Ridge 27
The Glenwood girls rebounded nicely from a Friday night loss to Alamosa and moved their overall record up to 4-2 with a Saturday morning 43-27 win against the Coal Ridge Titans to claim third place in the Demon Invitational.
The Demons took control of the game early and never looked back, as they took leads of 13-5 and 23-13 in the contest’s first two quarters.
Glenwood gained its biggest lead of the first half at 17-5 when senior guard Natalya Taylor found junior post Graci Dietrich open in the lane for a score.
Senior post Qwynn Massie asserted herself down low, controlling the rebounding department and scoring timely baskets in the painted area as the Demons played with focus and energy despite the 10 a.m. start.
“I’m really proud of the kids for bouncing back the way they did today,” Demons head coach Rhonda Moser said. “They were super disappointed about last night, but they came out ready to play this morning.”
Senior guard Hadley Yellico staked Glenwood to a 35-20 lead with a 3-pointer from the top of the circle, putting the Titans on their heels and in a hole that was too deep to navigate out of.
The Demons — who now will hit the road Thursday for the Longmont tournament to finish out the pre-holiday break portion of the schedule — were led in scoring by Massie with 13 points and Taylor with 10 points. Junior Taylor Wiescamp had 10 points for Coal Ridge.
BOYS 3RD PLACE GAME
Coal Ridge 79, Alamosa 73
Coach Paul Harvey’s Coal Ridge Titans rebounded from a Friday semifinal loss to Montrose to take third place in the Demon Invite with a 79-73 win over Alamosa on Saturday afternoon.
Coal Ridge jumped out to a quick 19-2 advantage, but that margin decreased to 35-32 by halftime. The Titans, though, were able to hold off several Alamosa scoring charges in the second half to record the win.
The Titans will travel to Rifle this coming Tuesday to take on the Bears at the Jack Smith Gymnasium.
Izzy Leet Memorial Tournament title game
Falcon 62, Roaring Fork 30
Buena Vista Tournament
Pagosa Springs 45, Grand Valley 21
Resurrection Christian Invite consolation game
Roaring Fork 45, Olathe 37
White River Shootout 3rd place game
Rifle 54, Meeker 32
Buena Vista Tournament
Grand Valley 45, University (Greeley) 44
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The teams aren’t vying to one up the other in the rankings or looking to get a leg up in the league standings this fall, but that will hardly make the stakes any less meaningful for Basalt and Glenwood Springs high schools when they meet on the football field Friday night.