Demons fall at home in opening round to Tigers
Hosting a home playoff game for the first time in four years, the Glenwood Springs Demons girls basketball team looked to put on a show for its hometown supporters, but unfortunately the young Demons let nerves get the best of them and ultimately came up short, 48-36, in Tuesday’s 4A state playoffs first round matchup against the Erie Tigers inside Chavez-Spencer Gymnasium.
After making a massive leap in Year 2 under Head Coach Rhonda Moser, the Demons were looking to make a statement on their home floor, but the veteran Tigers were able to take advantage of some early Glenwood mistakes to pull away in the first half.
“I told them we needed to be patient on offense and tough on defense,” Moser said. “But you know, we panicked. Unfortunately we were going flying down and taking the first shot, which led to us not having anyone to rebound. It was just back and forth, back and forth. And we just didn’t hit many shots tonight.”
Erie would take a 4-1 lead early in the game as juniors Mckayley Green and Katie Huonder hit jumpers for the Tigers, but Glenwood junior forward Tatum Peterson would catch fire for the Demons in a sign of things to come, giving the Demons a 7-6 lead thanks to some big offensive boards and putback layups.
Holding a 7-6 lead, the Demons appeared to settle into the game, but unfortunately for Glenwood it would go scoreless the rest of the quarter as Erie would go on an 8-0 run to take a 14-7 lead after one quarter of play.
Looking to find a spark to start the second quarter, Glenwood turned to freshman spark plug Natalya Taylor. Taylor started the scoring with a steal and layup to pull to within 14-9, but the Tigers would answer back with a layup to regain the 7-point lead.
Peterson would then hit another shot in the paint over the outstretched arms of two Erie defenders, but the Tigers would go on a quick 5-0 run capped off by a three-pointer from senior Darby Berringer to extend the lead to 10, 21-11.
Glenwood would then answer with a 6-0 run to pull to within 21-17 as Taylor hit two jumpers and Peterson got a tough layup to fall through contact, but that would be as close as the Demons would get in the quarter as Erie went on a 7-0 run to close the quarter, taking a 28-17 lead into the half.
Down 11 points at the half, Glenwood needed to come out strong in the second half, and that’s just what happened as the Demons started the half on a 7-0 run to pull to within three as sophomore guard Ximena Gutierrez knocked down a jumper to start the half before Peterson and Taylor connected on shots. Taylor would then split a pair of free throws to make it 28-24, forcing a quick Erie timeout.
Trailing by just four points with the home crowd back in it, momentum appeared to be shifting to the Demons as the two teams traded shot after shot in the third quarter, putting Erie in front 35-32 heading into the final eight minutes of play.
In the fourth, Peterson would score all six points for the Demons on tough shots in the paint, keeping Glenwood’s hopes alive. On the night, Peterson would finish with 24 points in the loss. Taylor would add seven points off the bench for the Demons.
Despite Peterson carrying the load in the fourth quarter for the Demons, Erie was able to seal the win with a three-pointer from Berringer before going 4 for 8 at the free throw line down the stretch to end Glenwood’s season.
“I’m just super proud of the girls,” Moser said. “To come from where we were last year to where we are now … I’ll take it. But I don’t think the girls are satisfied. I think they’ll rally and start working hard to be ready for next year. I love this team, and I love these kids; they’ll come back from this.”
With the loss, Glenwood finishes the season with a record of 11-13, 4-5 4A Western Slope League.
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