Demons down Huskies in big wins
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado ” The boys’ game started well enough for the Battle Mountain Huskies, but it’s the ending that counts.
On their home court, the Glenwood Springs Demons (8-5 overall, 4-0 4A Western Slope League) downed the Huskies (0-10, 0-3) 80-53. The Demons had a slim four-point lead after the first quarter, 18-14, on a bucket by point guard Russell Collins at the buzzer, and carried that momentum on into the second.
Mitch Cooley opened the second period with a 3-pointer to cut the lead to one, but Glenwood’s Kevin Flohr nailed a three of his own the next time down the floor to answer. Glenwood slowly spread the lead with stingy defense and went into the half up by 10, 35-25.
“Again, I think it’s always our defense that gets us wins,” Demons coach Greg Hire said. “We blew the lead open in the third. When you can get quite a few layups off of the transition, it makes the game a lot easier.”
In the third, the Demons held Battle Mountain to eight points, their lowest point total for any quarter. While the defense was suffocating whatever the Huskies tried to do, the Demons were clicking on the offensive end. They put up 23 points in the quarter, many of them coming off of seven Husky turnovers.
“They picked up the pressure and trap in the second half, and we didn’t handle it well. It led to easy transition baskets for them,” Huskies coach Philip Tronsrue said. “That’s how they pushed it out real hard. We talked about what we needed to do at halftime ” making better decisions ” but that didn’t go as well as it should (have).”
Holding a 58-33 lead going into the fourth, Glenwood put 13 straight points on the board after missing their first shot of the period. Kevin Screen’s jumper with seven seconds left put the final score up on the board, an 80-53 win.
“In the second half, we picked up the (defense),” Screen said. “That’s what usually gets us going.”
The Demons shot the ball well on the night, particularly in the second half when they went 19 of 36.
“They got too many offensive rebounds and we couldn’t stop their open shots,” Cooley said. “We weren’t making our open shots or boxing out.”
Cooley finished with 25 points to lead the Huskies and Edward Banegas and Miguel Copas had six points each.
Screen had 18 points for the Demons, Jordan Ciani had 10 more, and William Rosas added nine points of his own.
The boys take on Moffat County (6-5, 2-0) next Friday.
“They’re big, maybe the biggest team in the league,” Hire said. “We’ll work on post defense, our press, and try to control their fast guards.”
The game started out 2-0 in favor of the Demons (9-2 overall, 4-0 4A Western Slope League) on Breanna Richardson’s putback of Lexie Warkentin’s missed jumper, and they soon found themselves ahead 24-3 at the end of the first quarter.
They put up a 14-point dash mid-way through the quarter, with eight points coming from Kenzie Kuhn. Kuhn and Warkentin finished the night with 21 points each to pace the Demons.
The girls had a 40-10 lead at the half, which could have easily been three points less. With less than five seconds on the clock, Kuhn received a pass that she didn’t cleanly handle in front of the Huskies’ bench. She scrambled to pick up the ball from between her legs, hoisted it toward the rim, and as the buzzer sounded the ball swished through the bottom of the net.
Glenwood used their speed to get down the court quicker than Battle Mountain (0-12, 0-3) throughout the night. That speed also helped in creating turnovers; they forced 24.
“We got out and ran the fastbreak well tonight,” Demons coach Bryan Derby said. “We rebounded when we were supposed to and boxed out better than we have been.”
In the third, the Demons held the Huskies to just four points, both baskets coming from Kenia Olivas in the first two minutes after halftime. They wouldn’t see the ball go through the hoop for a long time after that.
Battle Mountain missed their last 12 shots to close out the third and missed their first five to open the fourth.
“You have to make shots to have any hope of winning,” Huskies coach Andrew Schmidt said. “Glenwood has a lot of talent and they’re very physical. We couldn’t force turnovers and Glenwood is really good at doing just that.”
The Demons were able to drive into the lane, almost at will, and because of that the girls weren’t listening to what was being called by their coach.
“I’d yell out to run our offense, they just didn’t run it,” he said. “They knew they could drive and they did.”
The coach knows when he sees something he doesn’t like, but so do the girls.
“We need to work on listening to the coach,” Warkentin said. “When he tells us to do something, we need to run it right the first time.”
The girls have a week to work on following Derby’s play-calling before they face Moffat County at home.
“We’ll come in with the same gameplan of hard-nosed defense and when we can we’ll run,” Derby said. “We still have a few things to work on, but this team has the fight in them.”
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