Demon coach: Passion is key to wins |

Demon coach: Passion is key to wins

Post Independent/Kelley CoxCoach Kevin Flohr of the Glenwood Springs High School boys basketball team shares a lighthearted moment with his players during a recent practice.

Kevin Flohr knows a thing or two about playoff basketball, a fact the Demons have picked up on.

“You got to have vision,” the third-year coach said of playoff basketball. “Kids at the age of 16, 17, 18 don’t seem to see past today. All you keep teaching all year is to have a vision, and refer to your own history and your own mistakes (as a player). The kids are telling me: ‘You’ve been there ” tell us about it.'”

At Glenwood High, Flohr was a member of two state playoff teams, including the Demons 1978-79 2A state champion club. After graduating, Flohr continued to have playoff success at Mesa State College and was voted to MSC’s “Hall of Honor” in 2001.

“Some of the most amazing conversations I’ve had this year with the kids in the gym are just sitting there with them. They want you to share your experience with them,” said Flohr.

“You’re trying to teach them to have a vision. Have a vision for Friday. Have a vision past Saturday. And then past there and picture yourself there.”

Tonight, Glenwood is hoping to turn that collective vision Flohr’s spoken about into a win over Englewood. A victory over the Jeffco League Pirates would send the Demons into a showdown Saturday afternoon with Greeley Central for an opportunity to advance to next week’s Sweet 16.

Still, Flohr is wary of the Pirates, despite their lowly 5-18 record.

“They are in the toughest league in the state,” Flohr said of Englewood. “Their league champ is D’Evelyn, followed by Evergreen, Summit and Conifer. You go down that list, that is a very competitive schedule.

“You can’t look at a record and think this is going to be a cakewalk. It’s going to be one tough game Friday night.”

The Pirates, who haven’t won since Feb. 1, take a five-game losing string into tonight’s game against the Demons.

Ben Steward, a sophomore, has stepped forward as the leader on Englewood’s senior-dominated roster as the Pirates’ best scorer (11.5 per game average) and rebounder (7.6).

Glenwood, the Western Slope League runner-up, features a multi-faceted attack.

Michael Flohr, the coach’s son, averages 19.5 points a game. Backing up the senior forward, offensively, are teammates Chris Benson (10.0 average), center junior Ryan Foraker (8.9) and senior Nathan Moore (8.3).

Host D’Evelyn, the region’s No. 1-seeded team, is on the other side of this weekend’s bracket. They face the winner of Friday’s Mountain View (11-12) vs. Palisade (10-12) contest Saturday evening.

The winners from Saturday’s semifinals move on to next week’s regional final-four game at Mesa State College’s Brownson Arena.

Flohr said key factors to the Demons’ success is a passion for basketball and a passion to play for each other.

“If you have those two ” it’s made. You’ve got it.” Flohr said. “Anybody can coach a team that feels that way. That’s been the only goals to them: to love the game and with each other.”

Glenwood’s turned those goals into a 15-6 record, which includes winning four of its last five league games. The results have not been a shock to the coach or to the Demons. But they sure were to those who projected 2005-06 as a down year for Glenwood.

“We were a team that wasn’t even chosen to be fifth in our league,” Flohr explained. “So whatever happens from here, they’re already successful because of what they’ve accomplished together. It’s really nice to see a group of kids come together like that.”

(Glenwood Springs Only)

– Today

Glenwood (15-6) vs. Englewood (5-18), 7:30 p.m. at D’Evelyn HS, Wheatridge

– Saturday

If Glenwood wins, Glenwood vs. Greeley Central (16-7), 5:30 p.m. at D’Evelyn HS, Wheatridge

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