Carbondale, Glenwood in PEG tournament finals
The finals are set.
Undefeated Carbondale will take on Glenwood Springs Middle School in the championship of the girls PEG League Basketball Tournament.
The Carbondale eighth-grade girls, the regular-season champions, improved to 7-0 Thursday night with a powerful 48-23 win over Aspen in one PEG semifinal.
Glenwood Springs stunned Basalt 23-20 in the other Thursday night semifinal, also played at the Carbondale Middle School gym.
Basalt will play Aspen in the tournament third-place game at 9 a.m. Saturday at CMS.
Carbondale will host Glenwood in the championship at 10:30 a.m. Saturday.
The Carbondale Wolverines, pressing on defense and running on offense, sprinted away from Aspen with a huge first half Thursday night.
With Ashley Jensen scoring 17 of her game-high 19 points in the first half, the Wolverines bolted to a 33-13 lead at halftime.
Using contributions from the complete roster, coach Val Sillivan’s Carbondale team eased through the second half earning the 25-point victory.
The Wolverines also picked up nine pints from Laura Wright and six from Veronica Duran.
Annie Leslie and Catie Cheney added four each. Whitney Campbell and Jess Smeins added two each.
Nena Sivess led Aspen eight points. Carly Rosen and Carly Macgill scored five each. Brittany Fortier added three points and Brittany Britt scored two for the Skiers, who are now 4-4 on the season.
Carbondale also picked up contributions from Amy Anderson, Meg Olenick, Sarah Armstrong, Ashley Jammaron, Mattie Juhls, Danila Krajas, Ronnie Debney and Stacie Cummings.
The Wolverines will play Glenwood Springs after the Cougars shocked Basalt in a thriller of an early semifinal on Thursday night.
Basalt had lost only once entering the semifinal matchup.
The game was close throughout with Basalt edging to a 12-10 halftime lead. The two teams were tied 14-14 entering the final quarter after Courtney Sutherland of Glenwood Springs stole the ball and hit a bank shot at the buzzer.
Sutherland passed to Lisa Richards, who scored, to open the fourth quarter.
The Cougars pushed the led to 18-14 with a basket by Hannah Gentry off an assist from Sutherland.
Basalt, meanwhile, struggled shooting from the field. And the Cougars took advantage with a steal and layup by Leanna Lawson. Emily Hauptli added a foul shot and the Cougars led 21-14 before Basalt started a dramatic comeback with three minutes to ply.
Lindsay Soucie broke the Basalt scoring drought with a basket to cut the lead to 21-16.
Key rebounds by Chandler Collins helped Basalt pull even closer. Soucie scored again with 1:23 remaining to cut the lead to 21-18.
Basalt forced a turnover with its press and Collins hit a baseline shot to cut Glenwood’s lead to 21-20. With 1:11 to play.
The teams traded possessions until Ashley Anderson stole the ball for Glenwood Springs with 27 seconds remaining. She drove for a layup to put the Cougars ahead 23-20.
A pair of Basalt 3-point attempts missed as the final seconds ticked off and the Cougars claimed the tense three-point victory.
Hauptli and Sutherland led the Cougars in scoring with five points each. Anderson added four. Richards, Cheree Carver and Lawson added two each as Glenwood Springs Middle School improved to 5-3.
Basalt, now 6-2, was led by Collins with eight and Soucie with six.
Darbi Scherer, Heather Conder and Jordan Ulibarri added two points each for Basalt, who will play for third place on Saturday morning.
“By far, this is the biggest win of the year for us,” said Glenwood Springs Middle School coach Mike Laster, who is assisted by coach Kirsten Gray.
“When we played Basalt before, we didn’t play well. Today we prepared; we executed; we got it done.
“I told the girls we had to want it more than they did. And it turned out to be a good game … a good game no matter what level you’re talking about,” Laster added.
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Amid hundreds of cleat-footed little leaguers casually gathered along the first baseline, the glare of parents’ sunglasses deflecting the early morning sun, coach Troy Phillips began a trip down memory lane.