Demon girls win OT thriller, boys fall at buzzer
In an early submission for game of the year on the Western Slope, the Glenwood Springs Demons girls basketball team picked up a massive win over the visiting Faith Christian Eagles in overtime Thursday as junior forward Tatum Peterson’s layup swished through the twine as the buzzer sounded, giving Glenwood a thrilling 55-53 win to kick off the Demon Invitational inside Chavez-Spencer Gymnasium.
Peterson’s layup was created off of a terrific full-court throw-in from sophomore guard Ximena Gutierrez that found freshman guard Natalya Taylor just past half court. Taylor then found Peterson behind the Faith Christian defense for the game-winning layup, capping off a back-and-forth game that was well worth the admission.
“We knew we were going to be in some close games in this tournament this weekend, so we had been working on some late game plays,” Glenwood Head Coach Rhonda Moser said. “I was fortunate to have an extra timeout there in overtime, so we drew up that play, and the girls just executed it perfectly.”
Early on in the game the Demons and Eagles came out on fire from the field as the two teams combined for 25 first quarter points with the Eagles leading 14-11 after eight minutes of play.
Then, in the second quarter the game turned into a three-point shooting contest as the Demons and Eagles combined for eight threes through 13 minutes of game play.
As Faith Christian junior guard Jennie Schiavone caught fire from beyond the arc for the Eagles, Glenwood junior guard Maddie Bolitho and junior forward Ellie Moser matched her shot for shot, giving the Demons a 21-19 lead midway through the second quarter.
Following a three-pointer from Faith Christian junior forward Simona Kidane, Glenwood went on an 8-0 run to take a 29-22 lead into the half as Taylor knocked down two layups and a floater in the lane, while Gutierrez added a floater of her own.
Coming out of the half, Glenwood looked to build off of the momentum it generated at the end of the first half, but the Eagles responded coming out of the break to take a 36-34 lead after three quarters.
In the third, Glenwood got off to a hot start. Bolitho hit two free throws and Taylor added one free throw, but Kidane knocked down a three-pointer, drawing the foul. The junior would finish off the four-point play to pull the Eagles to within 31-26.
Schiavone would then hit a runner in the lane before Warren would answer for the Demons to make it 34-28 Glenwood.
Down six, the Eagles then went on an 8-0 run as sophomore forward Maura Tully hit a jumper, Schiavone hit two free throws and Hristina Geraskova hit one of two free throws to pull the Eagles to within 34-33.
Schiavone then drilled a three-pointer to send the Eagles into the fourth quarter with a 36-34 lead, setting up a wild final eight minutes.
In the fourth, Glenwood came out strong to score four straight points as Gutierrez grabbed an offensive rebound and got the putback to fall before Warren then added a jumper on the next trip into the offensive end.
Holding a 38-36 lead, Glenwood looked to build off of it, but a four-point play from Geraskova and another three from the senior guard gave the Eagles a 43-38 lead, forcing Glenwood to take a timeout.
The Demons would answer as Peterson got a put back to fall before Geraskova sank two free throws to push the Faith Christian lead back up to five.
Peterson would answer, though, hitting a layup before Taylor added two free throws to make it 45-44 Eagles late in the fourth quarter. Geraskova answered with three free throws that pushed the lead to three, but Moser would rise up from beyond the arc to drill the game-tying three-pointer, sending the game to overtime.
In the extra session, Warren got a putback to fall before Taylor would pick up a steal and race the length of the court for a layup, giving Glenwood a 51-49 lead.
Geraskova would then score four straight points to put the Eagles back in front 53-51, but Peterson would get a layup to fall to tie the game, setting up her heroics at the buzzer to give the Demons their first win of the season.
“I told the girls that it can be anyone on any given night that steps up for us,” Moser said. “We were well-balanced tonight, and tomorrow can be anyone else. When you’re coming off of an emotional win like tonight, you have to recover quickly. I thought my bench did a great job tonight, but tomorrow night it could be someone else. That’s the fun of it.”
For Glenwood, Peterson, Taylor and Bolitho scored in double figures as Peterson and Taylor both finished with 11 points, while Bolitho added 10 points.
Moser added nine points, while Warren and Gutierrez added eight and six points respectively.
Peterson finished with nine rebounds, stopping just one shy of her fourth straight double-double to start the season, while Warren ripped down seven rebounds for the Demons.
DEMONS FALL JUST SHORT AT BUZZER TO EAGLES
Looking to pick up right where the Glenwood girls left off, the Demon boys got off to a fast start Thursday in the first half against the Faith Christian Eagles before cooling off in the second half in a 57-56 loss to the Eagles as sophomore guard Kevin Ayon’s last-second shot fell just short of the rim.
In the first quarter the Demons got off to a slow start as the Eagles raced out to a 9-1 lead on two and-1 layups and a three-pointer from junior forward Benjamin Hawkins, forcing a Glenwood timeout.
Following the quick break to recoup, Glenwood junior guard AJ Crowley came out and drilled a three-pointer to spark the home crowd before sophomore guard Angel Garcia hit a floater in the lane and senior forward Carlos Nolasco-Montes picked up a steal and raced in for a layup to pull the Demons to within 9-8.
Garcia then hit an isolation three-pointer from the top of the arc to give the Demons an 11-8 lead, kick-starting a back-and-forth final four minutes of the first quarter.
Two free throws from Faith Christian junior forward Jonah Gardner and a three-pointer from junior guard Alex Muehlemeyer gave the Eagles a 14-11 lead, but Nolasco-Montes would counter with a layup, leading to a 6-2 run from Glenwood to close the quarter with a 19-18 lead.
In the second quarter, Glenwood sophomore guard Erwin Rodriguez started fast with a putback layup to extend the Demon lead to 21-18 before Faith Christian junior guard Garret Pott answered with a steal and layup.
Garcia then hit another three-pointer before Nolasco-Montes and Crowley extended the Demon lead to 30-22 midway through the quarter.
An Ayon three-pointer later made it 33-24 Glenwood, sending the Demons into the half with a nine-point lead against the Eagles.
Coming out of the break, the young Demons started slow, allowing the experienced Eagles to fight their way back into the game.
Changing things up defensively, Faith Christian forced Glenwood into some uncharacteristic shots, allowing them to capitalize at the other end as the Eagles stormed back to take a 43-42 lead into the fourth quarter after holding Glenwood to just eight points in the quarter.
“They started to face guard Angel and that really seemed to throw us off as guys stopped moving the ball around,” Glenwood Head Coach Cory Hitchcock said. “With us not moving the ball around some guys started to force shots that they normally wouldn’t take, trying to create things for us. We just have to do a better job of moving the ball around when things get tight like that.”
Hoping to pull off a comeback win on their home floor just like the Glenwood girls did in the previous game, the Demons fought hard in the final quarter as Nolasco-Montes and Ayon hit consecutive buckets to give the Demons a 46-45 lead, but a three-pointer from Faith Christian Blair McVicker gave the Eagles a 48-46 lead.
Nolasco-Montes would hit another bucket in the lane — two of his 15 points — to keep Glenwood down just two, 50-48, but Faith Christian would extend its lead to 55-50 on a layup from Gardner in the paint.
“The thing about Carlos is that he’s quicker than most of the people that are going to defend him in a game,” Hitchcock said. “I wanted him to be a little more aggressive from the top of the key by dribbling past people, and I think he did a pretty good job of being aggressive and looking to score. I thought he played pretty dang well for us. We needed that from him tonight. Carlos can be special for us this season, we just want him to be a little more consistent with it.”
Crowley would hit a late three-pointer to pull the Demons to within 55-53, but Gardner would answer with one free throw to extend the lead to 56-53.
That’s where Nolasco-Montes hit his biggest shot of the night, splashing home a corner three-pointer to tie the game late.
However, Gardner would hit one of two free throws before Ayon’s last shot fell just short of the rim, sending the Demons home disappointed.
In the loss, Garcia finished with a team-high 16 points, while Nolasco-Montes finished with 15 points. Crowley finished with nine points, while Ayon finished with seven points.
Glenwood will look to bounce back against Canon City on Friday at 8 p.m.