Demons beat Bears in physical game |

Demons beat Bears in physical game

Post Independent/Kara K. Pearson Rifle's Stuart Stapleton, right, dribbles up the court as Glenwood's Michael Flohr plays defense during Saturday night's rivalry game.

In a very physical battle between two Western Slope League rivals, the Glenwood Springs boys basketball team came through in the end, beating the Rifle Bears 65-53 in front of a packed house in Glenwood Saturday night.Rifle’s undersized big-men trio of Mitch Kosht (6-1), Tyler Gose (6-2) and Drew Blatchford (6-3) couldn’t stop Glenwood’s Ryan Foraker (6-7), Michael Flohr (6-5) and Chris Benson (6-5). In fact, they all fouled out trying to.”I think they played well,” said Rifle head coach Chris Lowther. “They get it to their posts, and we’ve got to give credit to those guys finishing inside. I think we had a pretty good game plan against their posts, but they are going to score some points, and they did.” Foraker got 14 points under the basket and Benson added another six. Flohr added a few more in from the paint, but stayed busy on the perimeter, hitting three 3-pointers and totaling 22 points.

“We definitely used the height advantage,” Foraker said.After a close first half with both teams taking turns with the lead, the Demons (9-1 WSL, 12-6 overall) wound up ahead and took a 25-24 lead into the last half. Rifle (3-7 WSL, 4-13 overall) came out determined in the third quarter and, with the help of a Gose put-back and a Stuart Stapleton 3, went on a 7-0 run to go ahead 31-25. But Glenwood bounced back, converting three Rifle turnovers into points and making the score 33-32 to pull within one point of the Bears. Then Flohr hit a trey and then Nathan Moore followed with another 3 to put the Demons up by five.Gose had another offensive rebound and put-back to make the score 38-35 Glenwood, but the Demons got the ball back with 14 seconds to go in the quarter. Flohr attempted another 3-pointer, but it came up short. Then Foraker grabbed the rebound and kicked it back out to Flohr, who didn’t miss on his second chance.Down 41-35 going into the final frame, Rifle started to fall apart. Gose fouled out, Flohr hit another 3, followed by a 10-foot jumper that put Glenwood up 50-39.

Both teams began to foul each other and the game got more physical with each passing play. They traded points for a while until Stapleton was called for a reach when he tried to steal a ball with a little over 2:00 left in the game. After the foul, he kicked the ball and was called for a technical as he fouled out of the contest. Glenwood capitalized on the situation, making all four free throws it was awarded to go up 60-46. Scott Rust hit one final 3-pointer for the Bears, but it wasn’t enough to bring Rifle back.Rifle ended up with four fouled-out players and committed 16 fouls in the second half while Glenwood committed 12 of its own. “A game fought that hard – you’ve gotta expect quite a few fouls. I think it was called even on both sides, and it’s always going to be that kind of game when we play Glenwood,” Lowther said. “It’s nice to have a deep bench, and I thought our bench played well.”

Tyler Thimsen scored 12 as one of three Demons in double digits and shot an impressive 8-of-8 from the free-throw line.Rust finished as the top Bear, totaling 17 points, while Stapleton scored nine and Blatchford added another eight.With the win, Glenwood completes a two-game sweep over the Bears this season.”It’s always good to win, but even better to beat Rifle, and we keep up our league record,” Foraker said.Glenwood will travel to Delta for another WSL matchup at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, while Rifle will travel to Palisade on Friday for a game at the same time.

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