Cougars reach semifinals; Aspen, Basalt also advance
The Cougars are marching on.
The Glenwood Springs Middle School eighth-grade girls basketball team moved into the semifinals of the annual PEG League Tournament with a win over Riverside on Tuesday night.
The Cougars of coach Mike Laster started quickly and pressed their way to a 9-2 lead at the end of the first quarter behind six points from Emily Hauptli, a basket by Lisa Richards and a free throw by Leanna Lawson.
Both teams struggled through a scoreless second quarter, sharing concern for Glenwood’s Jennifer Betts, who suffered an apparent broken arm early in the quarter.
Both teams refocused in the second half. Christina Reynolds hit three-of-four foul shots for Riverside, to pull the Vikings to within 13-5.
But Glenwood Springs regained the momentum when Courtney Sutherland stole the ball at midcourt on the Cougars’ press and drove for a layup.
Then to open the fourth quarter, she stole the ball and drove the length of the court before hitting a bank shot to push the lead to 17-5.
Stephanie Gottschalck and Raymond added the final baskets for the Cougars.
Richards finished with eight points Hauptli added six for Glenwood Springs.
Reynolds scored all five points for Riverside, which ended the season 1-6.
Glenwood Springs, now 4-3, will play at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday at Carbondale Middle School against Basalt, a 29-22 winner over St. John’s of Parachute on Tuesday night.
The other PEG semifinal, set for 6 p.m. Thursday, will pit league champion Carbondale (6-0) against Aspen, a 24-20 winner over Rifle on Tuesday night.
Coach Damon Martinez and the Basalt eight-grade girls advanced by holding off a late charge from St. John’s down the stretch.
Lindsay Soucie and Lauren Rinker led Basalt with seven points each.
Patty Angel scored 12 for St. John’s.
Basalt is 6-1 with the Tuesday night victory.
In the other first-round game, the contest was close throughout with Aspen finally building up to a 10-point lead.
Rifle Middle School, however, cut the lead to two before Aspen eventually won by four points.
Aspen is 4-3 heading into the Thursday semifinals.
The championship game is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Saturday at Carbondale Middle School.
The third-place game will be played at 9 a.m. Saturday, also at CMS.
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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.